Thick 'N Fit Kitchen: Daysha's Tips On How To Pick Out A Good Protein Cookie

Hey Queens!

Welcome back to my Thick N Fit Kitchen! This week I wanted to help out all of my fellow cookie lovers out there, and provide some tips on how to best pick out a good protein cookie.

So anyone that knows me knows that cookies are a huge obsession of mine. If it were possible to eat cookies for every single meal I high-key probably would.

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But now that I am more health-conscious, I have to be more particular about how to indulge my cookie obsession since many regular cookies are very high processed carbs, and high unhealthy fats.

So that's when I got into protein cookies.

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On the surface protein cookie seem like the best alternative to regular cookies because you're getting more protein, and more protein means you're being healthier, right?

Well, it's actually not that simple.

While a diet that has an adequate amount of protein has its health benefits, the media has actually overhyped getting more protein to the point where I believe it's causing people to  self-sabotage their health and fitness results.

Getting protein is important, but the most important indicator of health is making sure that you have a balanced ratio of protein, fats, and carbs in your diet.

But many brands are aware of this protein obsessed diet culture that we live in, and often market their food in a way that preys on that obsession. But when you dig a little bit deeper into the ingredients and macronutrients, these treats are either not as healthy as you think they are, or they are listing nutrition information that is slightly deceiving, and is allowing people to over consume more than what they think.

So I wanted to provide you with some quick tips that I use to determine if I would eat a protein cookie.

Step 1: Pay Attention to the Marketing/Nutrition Info

Selective attention marketing is a term that I created based off of the psychological phenomenon of the same name. In the context of food marketing, it is when brands will feature desirable aspects of their food on the front cover in big bold fonts, and colors so as to entice you to focus on those qualities, and purchase their food.

And while there are many companies that use this tactic as a pure way to capture your attention, there are also other companies that use this tactic to divert your attention so that you are not noticing their low quality of ingredients or disproportionate macronutrients.

This is usually one of the biggest ways in which these companies allow us to hinder our health and fitness results because they get us to focus on one tree (the protein information) in a very big and dense forest (overall nutrition information).

And with protein cookies specifically, I find that they do this very deceptive marketing trick  where they will advertise the protein amount of the entire cookie, but when you dig into the nutritional information you actually see that the “one” cookie in the pack has the nutritional value of eating two cookies/servings.

But what makes it even more deceptive is that the nutrition information only displays the value for eating one cookie/serving (ie. half of the cookie).

So if you were only paying attention to the fact that the cookie has 16 grams of protein, and then did a quick glance, and saw that it was 150 calories in the nutrition facts section, many people would believe that they were getting 16 grams of protein for 150 calories.

But in actuality, because this one cookie has two servings, you would need to double all of the information in the nutrition facts section.

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This now means that you're consuming 300 calories to have this entire cookie, with 12 grams of fat,  40 grams of carbs, and 16 grams of protein. Now I’m not telling you this information to say that it is bad to be eating this much, but rather that these are the small ways in which we don't see that we might be eating more than what we thought we were. And it is the accumulation of  these small over consumptions that ultimately have the biggest negative impact on getting the health and fitness results we want.

So when it comes to the marketing, the best advice I have is to pay attention for asterisks, and small print. If you see things like “per cookie” or “per serving” underneath something that is being prominently labeled as healthy, that is usually an indicator to me that I should dig into the nutrition information to make sure I fully understand how much I need to eat in order to get those advertised nutritional benefits.

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Step 2: Really Know What You're Eating

So as I mentioned before it is not bad to eat a 300 calorie cookie, but it is important to know that so that you can make the necessary adjustments for what you eat throughout the day.

I would also like to highlight that I, personally, like to pay a little more attention to the macronutrients, because macros being off balance are also another small way in which we can negatively impact our health and fitness results.

For example, this protein cookie is adequately labeled as far as its serving amount goes, its calories per serving are reasonable, and it has decent ingredients. But when you dig into the macros, it not only has an extremely high amount of fat per serving, but a good chunk of that fat is coming from saturated fat, which is a more unhealthy fat.

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But if you were only paying attention to the calories, then you would be missing out on a very vital piece of information.

When I did Fitness Genes last year, I learned that I have a saturated fat sensitivity, which means that I have to be much more careful about how much saturated fat I have than most other people. So despite being in a decent calorie range, eating this cookie would have a big impact on my goals because of how my body reacts to eating high amounts of saturated fat.

So I personally wouldn't eat this, but the macros do seem right for someone who is doing a more high fat, high protein diet like ketogenic diet.

When it comes to knowing what you're eating, my best advice would be to be mindful of the macronutrients, and making sure that nothing feels off balance.

For half a protein cookie in one serving, I'm personally fine with being within 150 to 200 calories, 4 to 8 grams of fat, 15 to 25 grams of carbs, and at least 8 grams of protein.

For an entire protein cookie in one serving, I'm personally fine with being within 200 to 300 calories, 8 to 12 grams of fat, 30 to 45 grams of carbs (with a significant amount being fiber), and at least 16 grams of protein.

Step 3:  Eat What Makes Sense, and Makes You Feel Satisfied

Overall, I really like to first decide how much of the cookie I would like to eat. Then I figure out what the calorie and macronutrient information would be for what I want to eat. Then I make modifications, if necessary (adding more or less based off of where I'm at for the calories/macros I've already consumed for the day).

So I'm not restrictive about what I eat. I don't tell myself I can't have something. I just really make sure I do my due diligence to understand what's in it, and eat an amount that allows me to satisfy my craving, but that doesn't compromise my health and fitness goals.

So just as a recap:

1. Be mindful of the marketing, and make sure you understand exactly how much you would need to eat to get the advertised nutritional benefits.

2. Double-check the macros to make sure that everything feels in balance.

3. And finally, eat an amount that allows you to satisfy your craving, but that doesn't compromise your health and fitness goals.

As far as protein cookie brands that I like to eat, I have to be honest and say that I haven't been impressed with most cookies I've seen.  But one that I found that kind of makes the cut are the Buff Bake cookies. I say kind of because they use coconut flour, and I hate the little remnants of coconut flakes that I feel in my teeth after I eat them. So I can't say I'll be eating them for long. But as far as macros, calories, and ingredients go, they are the only cookie brand that has been decent across the board (outside of a few marketing issues). But I try to only eat half in a serving unless I know that I am eating or that I have ate low-carb that day.