The Importance of Nutrition Labels: Oreo v. Classic Creme
I was prompted to write this post after a friend of mine commented on my Cookie Creme Protein Shake stating “This looks great, but I think I’ll use real Oreos…”
This comment struck me in several different ways.
First of all, I am not sure if a “real” Oreo even exists. There is nothing “real” about a Oreo. Oreos have been scientifically engineered to be addictive. They contain High Fructose Corn Syrup which is man-made as well as refined and processed flours, sugars, and cocoa. Nabisco recently did away with Trans Fat, which I applaud them for.
Second, this thought process is what makes healthy eating seem so incredibly difficult and health coaching even harder. Just because something has a healthier alternative, does not mean taste is compromised. At the end of the day, I am a person with a relentless sweet tooth. I love cookies and just about anything chocolate. I make it a point not to recommend anything that I have not tried or taste-tested myself. Food should taste incredible and it is my personal goal to make sure that each and every one of you have the best tasting, most nutritionally sound bang for your buck.
Third, this is exactly why reading nutrition labels is so incredibly important! Something so simple, like comparing two nutrition labels, can make all the difference in the world for your overall health and well-being.
Let’s take a quick look at the labels I posted below. These are two screen shots taken today. The first is Oreo from the Nabisco website. The second is Classic Creme from the Back To Nature site.
The Nutritional Basics
- Calories: 160
- Calories from fat: 60
- Total Fat: 7g
- Sodium: 160mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 25g
- Dietary Fiber: 1g
- Sugars: 14g
- Protein: 1g
One serving of Oreos is two cookies. I don’t know anyone who can (or does) stop at two Oreos…
Back to Nature Classic Creme
- Calories: 130
- Calories from fat: 50
- Total Fat: 6g
- Sodium: 130mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 18g
- Dietary Fiber: 1g
- Sugars: 11g
- Protein: 1g
One serving of Back to Nature Classic Cremes is 2 cookies.
From simply scanning the nutrition labels we already know that Oreos are higher in Calories, Calories From Fat, Total Fat, Sodium, Carbohydrates, and Sugar. Remember, this is per serving.
- Looking at the ingredient list is already overwhelming upon first glance. A personal rule of mine is you should always be able to pronounce any and all ingredients. The sheer length of the list is troubling as well.
- The first ingredient is sugar. Since this isn’t natural sugar, but refined sugar, we can already assume this is a bad start. Sugar is quickly followed by enriched flour. Enriched flour had to have its nutrients restored to it, because they were lost during processing. Next are not-good-for-you oils and High Fructose Corn Syrup. HFCS is an inexpensive and concentrated sugar substitute that is used to sweeten just about everything. It is a form of sugar that is most easily converted into fat and then stored. The last couple ingredients include artificial flavors and, finally, chocolate. Oreos do not contain any real milk, sugar, or vanilla. The filling is essentially Crisco. Yum?
Back to Nature Classic Cremes
- The ingredient list on Back to Nature Classic Cremes makes me warm and tingling inside. It is short, manageable, and I know what everything is.
- The first ingredient is unbleached flour which still contains its nutrients. Followed by naturally occurring sugars and dutched cocoa. Dutch process cocoa has a neutral pH and is not acidic. Next is brown rice syrup. Brown rice syrup is a nutritive sweetener that is about half as sweet as sugar and lower on the glycemic index. The final ingredients are natural sea salt and natural flavor. Sounds better already!
Taste and Texture
Taste and texture are extremely important! I adore food and look forward to making my meals. I refuse to eat anything that tastes gross. Why should I shortchange myself when there are so many incredibly tasting foods to choose from? I make a promise to you: Back to Nature Classic Cremes are amazing. They are better than “real” Oreos. If you don’t believe me, read the reviews.
Final Comparison: Price
Nabisco Oreos run you anywhere from $2.98 (on sale) to $4.68. (regularly priced)
Back to Nature Cookie Cremes are $3.99 and, in my experience, always on sale. 2 for $5.00. ($2.50 each)
When it comes down to it, Back to Nature Cookie Cremes are the better option. In overall nutrition they provide more for your body per serving. The ingredients are all naturally occurring and minimally processed. As for price, which is incredibly important, they run just about the same as Oreos, sometimes cheaper. The only thing left to do is take a stroll down the Natural Aisle of your grocery store as opposed to the Chips & Cookies aisle.