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Healthy Cookies

Is there really such a thing? We sampled all the brands then asked Jeff Hampl, Ph.D., R.D., a nutritionist at Arizona State, for his take.

South Beach Living peanut butter cookies
Per pack: 100 calories, 3g protein, 15g fat

With an impressive 4 grams of fiber, the 2-cookie package is enough to satisfy any strong PB craving. The cookies themselves are a little dry and brittle but not at all bad.

Our Expert: "Kraft cut back on total carbs and sugars by using alternative sweeteners, plus healthy whole grains. Bonus points for the extra protein the peanuts in the recipe provide."

Oreo Sugar Free chocolate sandwich cookies
Per 2 cookies: 100 calories, 2g protein, 16g carbs, 5g fat

Although the cookies are lighter and crispier than regular Oreos, the fake sugar left several tasters' stomachs queasy.

Our Expert: "Unless you're diabetic and have to watch your carb intake, these Oreos aren't really any better for you. One regular Oreo has 53 calories, compared with the sugar-free's 50."

SnackWell's Sugar Free shortbread cookies
Per 3 cookies: 130 calories, 2g protein, 22g carbs, 6g fat

Tasters loved the rich, buttery flavor and flaky texture of these cookies. Since they're rich, it's also easier not to eat too many.

Our Expert: "Although they don't have any true nutrients, these cookies do have far less sugar and fat than traditional shortbread. When it comes to sweet snacks, you could do far worse."

Fig Newtons 100% Whole Grain cookies
Per 2 cookies: 110 calories, 1g protein, 21g carbs, 2g fat

Fig Newtons are an acquired taste. For staffers who love them, these "healthy" Newtons were passable. For those who didn't, they just seemed dry, chalky, and overly chewy.

Our Expert: "Don't be fooled. Despite the whole grains, these cookies are still packed with high-fructose corn syrup and sugar."

Kashi TLC oatmeal dark chocolate cookies
Per cookie: 130 calories, 2g protein, 21g carbs, 5g fat

Surprisingly stale despite the enclosed "freshness" pack, these chip-laden blocks were dense and chewy but not horrible.

Our Expert: "Kashi's TLC cookies are a tease. They have seven different whole grains and sesame seeds for fiber but are still high in calories due to all those chocolate chips and honey."

Fudge Shoppe Mini Fudge Stripes 100 Calorie Right Bites cookie pouches
Per Pack: 100 calories, 1g protein, 16g carbs, 3.5g fat

More like cereal than a cookie — and definitely just a couple of bites at most. Still, despite the small portion, the flavor was delicious.

Our Expert: "These cookies aren't healthier than the originals — just a shrunken down, portion-controlled serving. Good if you're taking a pack to work. Bad if you cave in and eat the whole box."

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