Does “fresh baked nutrition” in the form of a giant cookie sound appealing to you? If you’re like most sane people and enjoy a sweet treat once in a while, the protein-packed Complete Cookie from Lenny and Larry’s sounds like a dream come true.
I set out and tried all the flavors I could find in stores near me. I was able to get my hands on birthday cake, double chocolate chip, peanut butter, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and pumpkin spice. Let me tell you, the flavor and texture sure do not disappoint. The cookies are moist, dense, HUGE, and taste fresh from the bakery.
I wondered, were the company’s health claims true? How do the health stats compare to those of a regular cookie of roughly the same size?
For the sake of this comparison, I am using the classic chocolate chip cookie. I’m comparing a Complete Cookie with one from Starbucks — a seemingly harmless treat to pick up along with your afternoon coffee.
To start off, the serving size of the Complete Cookie is half of the cookie, or 57 grams. To be real, who only eats half of a cookie? We’re going all in and using the stats on the full cookie (114 grams). The reference cookie from Starbucks is a bit smaller, weighing in at 85 grams.
Calorie wise, these cookies are not much different. The classic cookie from Starbucks is 370 calories, and its healthier counterpart is 380 for the full cookie — keeping in mind that the Complete Cookie is bigger. More cookie for the same amount of calories? I’m already in.
Lenny and Larry’s major claim is that they produce protein cookies, so on to comparing the protein contents of the two cookies. The normal cookie has 4 grams of protein in the whole thing, while the Complete Cookie contains a whopping 16 grams! That’s enough to be classified a “good source of protein.”
Fiber wise, the Complete Cookie has 6 grams and the Starbucks one has 2 grams. The Complete Cookie has 12 grams of fat, and the Starbucks cookie has 19. Of the 19 grams of fat in the Starbucks cookie, 12 grams are saturated, (not the healthy kind), while only 3 of the 12 grams of fat in the Complete Cookie are saturated.
On top of these factors, the Complete Cookie is above the Starbucks cookie on the nutritional value scale. This is because the Complete Cookie is also vegan, non-GMO, and kosher. Additionally, it contains no high fructose corn syrup, no cholesterol, no artificial sweeteners, and no sugar alcohols. Not all of these things can be said for the Starbucks cookie — or most foods in general, to be honest.
These above mentioned differences make the Complete Cookie pretty desirable. However, the two cookies line up pretty evenly in a few aspects. For one, they both have about 30 grams of sugar. This means that both of these treats should be regarded as just that — TREATS. Just because the Complete Cookie has some added benefits does not counteract the fact that they contain a lot of sugar.
On top of having high sugar contents, both cookies contain around 50 grams of carbohydrates, with the Complete Cookie actually outdoing the Starbucks one with an additional 4 grams. Carbohydrates are essential to all kinds of function. However, an excess can lead to weight gain and other health dangers associated.
One factor of nutrition that the Starbucks cookie is actually better than the Complete Cookie in is sodium content. The Complete Cookie contains about double the amount of sodium than the Starbucks cookie.
There’s no denying that cookies are delicious. They make a great dessert or snack once in a while when you’re craving something that tastes like childhood, and makes you feel warm and fuzzy from inside out.
Based on this analysis, even the Complete Cookie, or “healthy cookie” is something that should be eaten in moderation. It does have some benefits when compared to regular cookies, and suits audiences with dietary restrictions, but it is not something that is necessarily healthy to be eating every day.
Don’t be fooled by marketing and keep cookies as treats, not as your everyday snack!