Are Cookie Diets Healthy?
What is the Cookie Diet
The concept of the cookie diet dates back many years. Sanford Siegal, MD developed the original cookie diet in 1975. Dr. Siegal's cookie diet is said to have helped approximately 500,000 people lose weight.
The cookies you would find yourself eating if you were on the cookie diet would not consist of the traditional mouth-watering chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies that many of us may have hoped for. Nonetheless, the cookies are tasty, though a bit less sweet. There is a wide variety of cookies available, including oatmeal raisin, butterscotch, chocolate chip, blueberry, and coconut, to name a few. Several companies sell cookie diet cookies.
In essence, the cookie diet is a low calorie diet. A part of the cookie diet concept is that the cookies are high in protein and fiber. Fiber helps you feel full and stay full longer. The cookies contain amino acids, which are believed to act as appetite suppressants.
Depending on the brand and variety of cookie that dieters choose, they basically eat approximately six to nine cookies throughout the day. In addition, they eat one meal each day. The daily meal should consist of vegetables and lean protein.
Is the Cookie Diet Healthy
Before getting into whether the cookie diet is healthy, it must be said that you should consult with a doctor or nutritional expert if you have any concerns about whether any given diet is right for you. This is especially true of people with certain dietary requirements, such as diabetics and those with kidney disease.
Considering the cookie diet is low in calories, it is important to take a look at the vitamins and nutrients to determine whether it meets daily dietary needs.
While the cookie diet uses fiber as a means to control hunger, the cookies are not actually that high in fiber. After eating nine cookies, you would have consumed approximately four to nine grams of fiber. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for fiber is between 25 grams and 35 grams. That means the daily meal you eat as a part of the cookie diet would need to contain between 16 and 26 grams of fiber in order for you to meet the RDA of dietary fiber.
The cookie diet comes up short in fiber.
The daily recommendation of protein by nutritionists is .37 for each pound of body weight. For example, if you weighed 150 pounds, you would need roughly 56 grams of protein each day (.37 x 150).
Cookie diet cookies contain approximately two grams of protein. After you have eaten nine cookies, you will have consumed 18 grams of protein. If you manage to double that by eating another 18 grams of protein with your daily meal, you will have consumed a total of 36 grams of protein. You would have to weigh only 97 pounds for this to meet your daily protein requirement.
The cookie diet comes up short in protein.
Vitamins and Minerals
At one time, some of the varieties of cookie diet cookies were enriched with vitamins. However, after recipe changes, most cookie diet cookies do not contain many vitamins or minerals, if any at all. At least one cookie diet company provides multivitamins to be taken by dieters. Whether you get it from the cookie diet company or elsewhere, if you decide to go on a cookie diet, ensure you take a multivitamin.
The cookie diet comes up short in vitamins and minerals.
Controversy exists as to whether it is healthy to restrict calories in such an extreme manner.
Some argue that it is unhealthy and can cause a slowed metabolism as your body adjusts to the lower caloric intake. As a result of the slowed metabolism, the weight loss process will be slowed down.
On the other hand, spokespeople for cookie diet companies have indicated that restricting calories does not have a detrimental effect on the body. They have pointed to the many patients that have had good results after following their diets.
Whether or not the cookie diet goes a little too far with restricting calories may be debatable. At the very least, it raises some concern.
The general recommendation for added sugar each day is approximately 32 grams for a 2,000 calorie diet. There are approximately five grams of sugar in cookie diet cookies. That equates to 45 grams of sugar a day (or 141% the recommended amount for a diet with twice the caloric intake), after eating nine cookies.
Be cautious when considering any diet with an excessive amount of sugar. A diet high in sugar can put you at a greater risk of developing health problems, such as diabetes. Unfortunately, many of us already consume more sugar than is healthy.
The cookie diet is high in sugar.