If you must have a cookie from time to time, a ginger snap is among your best options, compared to other varieties such as chocolate chip or sugar cookies. Most ginger snaps are lower in fat and sugar than other types of cookies, and you'll also get a good dose of certain vitamins and minerals, as well.
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Looking at the Calories and Fat in Ginger Snaps
A 1-ounce serving of ginger snaps, which is about 4 pieces, contains 118 calories and about 2.8 grams of fat, of which less than 1 gram is saturated. For comparison, a 1-ounce serving of chocolate chip cookies contains 126 calories and 5.6 grams of fat, of which 2.7 grams are saturated. One ounce of sugar cookies has 136 calories and 6 grams of fat, of which 1.5 grams are saturated. Opting for ginger snaps is a good way to enjoy a dessert while also keeping your saturated fat intake low. Keeping your saturated fat intake low is one way to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.
They're Lower in Sugar Than Some Other Cookies
Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, which puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and type-2 diabetes, according to the American Heart Association. One way to cut your sugar intake is to limit your intake of desserts, such as cookies. When you do have dessert, an ounce of ginger snaps will set you back 5.65 grams of sugar, which is equal to just less than 1 1/2 teaspoons. For comparison, an ounce of chocolate chip or sugar cookies contains about 10.5 grams of sugar, which is about 2 1/2 teaspoons. The American Heart Association recommends a 6-teaspoon daily limit for women and a 9-teaspoon daily limit for men.
They Offer Iron, Folate, Calcium and Vitamin E
One ounce of ginger snap cookies delivers 1.81 milligrams of iron, a nutrient that helps your body make red blood cells and produce energy, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. That 1.81 milligrams is 23 percent of the 8 milligrams men need each day and 10 percent of the 18 milligrams women should have on a daily basis. Ginger snaps also contain 41 micrograms of folate, a nutrient essential for DNA production and to reduce the risk of certain birth defects. Those 41 micrograms are 10 percent of the 400 micrograms of folic acid healthy adults need each day. Ginger snaps contain small amounts of calcium and vitamin E, too.
Not a Lot of Fat, but Ginger Snaps Have Sodium
When it comes to calories, fat and sugar, ginger snaps are a better option than other types of cookies such as chocolate chip and sugar. Beware the sodium content of the cookies, however. An ounce of ginger snaps has 142 milligrams of sodium, which is 9 percent of the 1,500 milligrams you should limit yourself to each day, according to the American Heart Association. Despite the nutritional content, ginger snaps still aren't a health food, so only indulge every once in a while.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cookies, Gingersnaps
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cookies, Chocolate Chip, Commercially Prepared, Soft-Type
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cookies, Sugar, Commercially Prepared, Regular (Includes Vanilla)
- American Heart Association: Knowing Your Fats
- American Heart Association: Added Sugars
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Iron
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B-9 (Folic Acid)
- American Heart Association: Sodium (Salt)