The Best and Worst Girl Scout Cookies

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The Best and Worst Girl Scout Cookies

Written by Melinda Hershey, Health Educator

It's that time of year again: those adorable little Girl Scouts will be around any day now, and their colorful cookie boxes are bound to show up at your office--or maybe even your front door! Sure, Girl Scout cookies aren't the healthiest snacks around, if you do decide to indulge in these seasonal, nostalgic treats, here's how the cookies crumble.

Image source: Flickr

Lowest-Fat Girl Scout Cookie: Shortbread (Trefoils)

Shortbread (called Trefoils in some regions cookies) contain just 4.5 grams of fat for a four-cookie serving. As a bonus, the Shortbread variety is also the lowest-sugar Girl Scout cookie, containing just 1 gram of sugar each.

Highest-Fat Girl Scout Cookie: Tagalongs are the worst with 9 grams of fat in just two cookies. While eating dietary fat doesn't make you fat, processed treats like cookies generally use less-than-healthy fat sources that you should try to limit.

Image source: Flickr

Lowest-Carb Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)

Girl Scout cookies aren't exactly "low-carb," but if you're counting carbs for diabetes management, Tagalongs (called Peanut Butter Patties in some regions) weigh in with the lowest carbohydrate count: 13 grams of carbohydrate per two-cookie serving.

Highest-Carb Girl Scout Cookie: Its peanut-buttery cousin, the Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies, contain twice the amount of carbs for a three-cookie serving: 26 grams!

Image source: Flickr

Highest-Fiber Girl Scout Cookie: Samoas (Caramel deLites)

Samoas (called Caramel deLites in certain regions) are among the highest-calorie, highest-sugar, and highest-fat Girl Scout cookies available, but if they are your all-time favorite, take comfort in this: they contain the most fiber thanks to the coconut.

But wait! Before you start ordering these chewy, coconutty delights in bulk, take heed--they are not exactly "high" in fiber. Two Samoas contain just 1 gram of fiber, which accounts for a measly 5% of your Daily Value. Clearly, you'd be much better off getting your fiber from healthier sources, like bran cereals (10 grams per serving!) or veggies.

Lowest-Fiber Girl Scout Cookies: All other Girl Scout cookies contain 0 grams of fiber.

Image source: Flickr

Cookies Lowest in Saturated Fat: Savannah Smiles and Do-si-dos

If you're keeping an eye on your saturated fat intake, the Savannah Smiles and Do-si-dos are your best bets. Each contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat per two- or five-cookie serving, respectively.

Girl Scout Cookie Highest in Saturated Fat: Steer clear of the Caramel deLites, two of which will set you back 6 grams of saturated fat--that's 29% of your Daily Value!

Image source: Flickr

Shortest Ingredients List: Shout Outs! and Shortbread

If you're looking to minimize your intake of unpronounceable ingredients or highly processed foods, then looking to the length of the ingredients list is one way to find something more wholesome. Both the Shout Outs! and Shortbread cookies contain just 10 ingredients.

Longest Ingredients List: Samoas, which list 20 ingredients on the box!

Image source: Tumblr

Get our full list of Girl Scout cookie nutrition facts.

Lowest-Calorie Girl Scout Cookie: Shortbread

You probably want to eat the most cookies you can for the least amount of calories, right? So which Girl Scout cookie will give you the biggest bang for your calorie buck? Shortbread is the winner! You can indulge in five cookies for a reasonable 120 calories.

Highest-Calorie Girl Scout Cookie: If you're looking to maximize your cookie volume, you might want to stay away from the Thanks-a-Lot cookies; you'll down 150 calories in just two crumbly, chocolaty discs.

Image source: Flickr

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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2/28/2012 3:30:21 PM

I didn't get the idea that Spark thought that this was healthy; just that GS cookies are a part of life and it is another thing to deal with like high fat cooking, fast food and the like. I myself have ordered some from my GD and my choices were made after reading the info on the Girl Scout site. And I will enjoy my choices in moderation which is one thing that we are learning to do here on the site. So to each his own! My only critique is that this post could have been more timely...the first of the year before the cookie campaign started would have been helpful to many here.


2/28/2012 3:13:30 PM

Great Timing on this! Our orders are in and waiting for deliveries. I had my grandchildren pickout what they liked.and they can have them to take home. Only bought because my gd's troop needed the girls to sell over 100 boxes each so they can go away for a GS weekend.( I didn't buy 100!)


2/28/2012 12:56:57 PM

RILEDUP's SparkPage
Yay, the shortbreads are my favorite!! But the thin mints are great,'d be nice to know where they fell in this. I know last year you could buy a box and they would donate it to the troops, so I bought a box for my family, and a box for a soldier who might be missing home. I felt a lot better about the cookies then, and I'll be doing it again this year! :)


2/28/2012 12:38:26 PM

Thanks for the info. All you sparkies out there that are saying that sparkpeople is making girls scout cookies sound good for you ON THE CONTRARY! They are just trying to let you know how to make the "best" of a bad choice. I think we all know that girl scout cookies aren't healthy for us so I think it's nice to have the "best" of the options in the back of our heads when those adorable little girl scouters come knocking on our doors!


2/28/2012 12:34:14 PM

2 Samoas = 1 gr fiber, which is only 5% of daily value.... So that means i have to eat 40 cookies a day. Boy, I better get started! *giggle*


2/28/2012 12:25:17 PM

Dear SparkPeople - this is a disappointing post - it almost makes it seam like these are healthy for you. Glad to see other commenters agree.


2/28/2012 12:22:17 PM

I donated my boxes to the Food Pantry in my town, that way I could support the Girl Scout groups but not gain a pound. I hope that some families that rarely get these treats actually got my boxes.


2/28/2012 11:31:35 AM

BRWNNTWN's SparkPage
EVEN BETTER CHOICE - donate the money directly to the girl scout troop - that way they get to keep the entire $4 - purchasing a box of cookies nets them, at most, $.70!!!!!!!!
You are still helping the girls, but not hurting yourself!!!!!! (Just hand the adult the money and say this is for the TROOP. Then they have to list it as a donation and they get to keep all.)


2/28/2012 11:04:55 AM

GMAGEE's SparkPage
I stopped buying GS cookies years ago when I discovered palm oil and palm kernel oil in the ingredients. Sooo bad for anyone to eat. Why can't the GS hire a bakery that uses better-for-you ingredients?

And, I agree with MERIADATH. Why can't they find another activity besides selling cookies? Why don't they 'craft' something that they can sell?


2/28/2012 10:25:58 AM

I purchased the cookies last year, and the troop donated purchased and undelivered boxes to the overseas troops. I don't know what they are doing this year.


2/28/2012 10:12:29 AM

WENDIQ's SparkPage
Last year I paid for cookies, but didn't take any....Helped both the Scouts and myself...:) The girls did look a little questioning, but the Mom's "got it"!


2/28/2012 10:10:11 AM

once ask to buy cookies I replied "no thank you"
then was asked "are you on a diet?"
my reply " no, I'm on a money diet"
to which I received a very strange look


2/28/2012 10:01:55 AM

Thanks for the information. I was wrong on all but one answer whcih reveals the benefits of this blog.


2/28/2012 10:01:07 AM

JILLITA55's SparkPage
Thin mints are my favorite. Had a couple the other day. Done for this year


2/28/2012 9:37:33 AM

Awesome, Trefoils are my favorite.

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