Fig lovers often include Fig Newton cookies, a Nabisco product, in their diet. This cookie features paste made from figs inside a soft dough. You may find similar cookies sold under generic and brand names. This sweet treat is a fairly healthy choice as far as cookies go – one serving is low in calories and fat, and contains fiber, minerals and other nutritional compounds.
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Calories and Fat
A two-cookie serving of Fig Newtons adds 110 calories and 2 g of fat to your daily meal plan. While eating raw figs is a better choice for snacking, this cookie is a slightly better choice than many other sweet options – a serving of two cream-filled chocolate cookies, for instance, provides 108 calories with a higher fat level of 4.5 g.
Carbohydrates and Fiber
Eat a serving of Fig Newton cookies to get a small boost in your carbohydrate intake – two cookies provide 22 g of carbs. The carbohydrates in these cookies dispense fuel for your body and keep your central nervous system functioning correctly. The Gayot website reports that figs are higher in fiber than other types of fruit, both fresh and dried. A serving of Fig Newton cookies provides 1 g of fiber compared to 0.6 g in a serving of cream-filled chocolate cookies.
Fig Newton cookies are a source of iron, with 4 percent of the daily recommended intake. Iron has an important effect on red blood cell production, a process critical for providing the oxygen your body needs to stay alert and energized. The cookies also have 2 percent of the calcium you require each day; this mineral improves the integrity of your bones and teeth.
The fig filling of Fig Newton cookies provides flavonoids and polyphenols, which are antioxidants. These compounds fight damage to your organs and other tissues triggered by free radicals. Additionally, this fruit provides omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Antioxidants play a role in warding off a variety of diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The healthy fatty acids in figs are important for your immune system and heart.
Figs contain natural sugars, but the cookie portion of the Fig Newton contains added sugars that are not healthy. A two-cookie serving provides 12 g of sugar that may encourage tooth decay and the formation of cavities as well as unwanted weight gain. The American Heart Association suggests limiting your sugar intake to roughly 25 to 37 g of sugar each day.
Because figs are quite high in fiber, eating a large portion of Fig Newton cookies may cause constipation. The amount you need to eat to trigger this condition varies from person to person. To mitigate this potential problem, drink a high quantity of water when eating these cookies; this should help the fig filling move through your digestive system without causing problems.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Fitbit: Fig Newton
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cookies, Chocolate Sandwich, With Creme Filling, Regular
- McKinley Health Center; Macronutrients: the Importance of Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat; March 2008
- Guyot; Fabulous Figs; R.B. Levin; October 2010
- Cleveland Clinic; Eating Too Much Sugar? It's Time to Tame Your Sweet...; M. Ohlson; December 2009
- MayoClinic.com; Dietary Fiber: Essential For a Healthy Diet; November 2009