I) Nutritional Cookies
Cookies serve as a great treat and snack and are ideal for staving off those hunger pangs during a hectic day at school or work. Cookies can be carried almost anywhere, and they are easily available. In today’s world of rising obesity levels and sedentary lifestyle, consumption of health foods is gaining in popularity. Cookies baked at home and those off the shelf have varied health benefits. Here’s a look at some of those benefits.
1) Fibre: The content of fibre in a cookie increases if you use nuts and dried fruits in the recipe. Fibre is essential for shifting bowels, which can prevent constipation and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
2) Sugar: Cookies that are off the shelf have a higher sugar content in comparison with those baked at home. Some of them may contain as much as 37.5% of sugar. Sugar is the ingredient that enhances the taste of the cookies, making them a hit with children. One should cookies that have moderate levels of sugar.
3) Carbohydrates: Cookies are a good source of carbohydrates in the form of flour and sugar. Flour binds the cookie, giving it texture and shape, making it the most essential ingredient in a cookie. Carbohydrates are necessary for energy production. However, consumption should be checked because an excess of carbohydrates will be converted to fat. Flour can also trigger gluten allergies. Hence, its use needs to be monitored.
4) Fat: A common ingredient in cookies is butter, making fats an essential component in most cookies. Traditionally, shortening or lard were used as butter substitutes; however, today, butter is used as their replacement. Fat, in the right amounts, is needed by the body; however, an excess of anything can be bad. The same holds true for fats. Butter can be substituted by vegetable oil because it has a higher concentration of unsaturated fats.
Some of the most popular cookies include oatmeal cookies, buckwheat cookies and brown rice cookies. Homemade cookies are healthier because they have a higher nutritional value; however, in today’s fast-paced lifestyle off-the-shelf cookies are making their presence felt. You should choose cookies that are low in fat and sugar content.
II) Nutritional Bars
The present generation, especially the youth, are always on the run. In such a scenario meals are often skipped, making nutritional bars the need of the hour. These nutritional bars are pocket-sized, making it easy to carry anywhere. Initially, only athletes, who needed an extra boost of energy, consumed these bars. However, with the passage of time, any individual who wants an energy boost has resorted to these nutritional bars.
There are different types of bars available in the market, such as diet bars, meal-replacement bars, brain-boosting bars, breakfast bars, energy bars, protein bars, and carbohydrate bars.
Without a shadow of doubt, nutritional bars are ideal for individuals who are constantly on the go and for those who get tired or exhausted at the end of the day. They are healthier than doughnuts and snacks dispensed by the vending machines. However, some bars may have a high content of fat and sugar. Hence, they need to be consumed in moderation.
Some popular bars that are gaining in popularity include amla bars, apricot bars, apple-cinnamon bars,.and anjeer-amaranth bars.
III) Cereals (Muesli)
Muesli is considered to be a healthy and nutritious breakfast cereal. With oats, nuts, dried fruits and flakes as the primary ingredients, muesli offers a wide range of health benefits. Muesli gives you a feeling of “fullness” and provides you with adequate nutrition, making it a wonderful breakfast meal.
1) Fibre: Muesli is an excellent source of roughage or dietary fibre, which is found in most components, especially oats and wheat. Fibre reduces level of cholesterol and prevents constipation, which is a common digestive problem.
2) Weight Loss: Consumption of muesli on a daily basis can help you lose weight. Fibre plays an active role in the absorption of water, making it swell up. This means that it occupies more room in the stomach, making you feel full. Moreover, muesli is a rich source of vitamins of the B-complex group, which regulate metabolism and help in the breakdown of fat accumulated in the body.
3) Energy: Muesli is a rich source of carbohydrates because of the oat and wheat content. It provides a quick boost of energy, especially when consumed in the morning as breakfast. Morevoer, it helps you stay alert at all times, keeping you better prepared for exercise, especially if you regularly hit the gym.
4) Heart Disease and Cancer: Because muesli is a rich source of oats, seeds, and nuts, it provides Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and healthful lignans. Lignans have an association with medical use against cancer of the ovaries, colon, prostate, and breast. Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants help fight heart disease.
Popular forms of muesli include seeds and nuts muesli, multi-grain muesli, and amaranth muesli.
The aim of this article is to highlight the health benefits of nutritional cookies, bars and cereals. We hope that the article provided deep insight on the benefits of these popular foods.