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Different types of low calorie cookies include cookies that are naturally low in calories, cookies in which some or all of the high calorie ingredients are reduced or eliminated, and commercially prepared cookies that reduce calories by reducing the size and thickness of the cookie. These cookies can make good snacks, though they most generally cannot be considered healthy foods. It should be noted that not all dietetic cookies are necessarily low calorie. Individuals who purchase these cookies should read product labels to ensure that they understand the calorie count of the cookies that they are buying.
Some cookies are lower in calories than others. For example, meringue cookies are typically low calorie cookies because they are primarily made up of egg whites with some sugar added. Another low calorie cookie is the pizzelle, a traditional Italian cookie that is very thin and cooked on a contraption that is similar to a waffle iron.
Another option for those who want low calorie cookies is to substitute some of the higher calorie ingredients in a recipe with lower calorie items or to simply reduce the amount of a particular ingredient. In some cases, cooks will simply reduce the amount of fat or sugar that goes into a recipe, thus reducing the calories. This can sometimes require experimentation, as the flavor of a cookie can be significantly compromised if its recipe is not followed exactly. It is also possible to substitute certain ingredients for others. Common substitutions include cream cheese or even applesauce for all or part of the butter required in a cookie recipe or using so-called scoopable sugar substitutes in place of sugar.
Some commercial cookie brands have created smaller sizes of some of their regular cookies in order to retain customers by offering them low calorie counterparts. These cookies may be considerably smaller than their regular size versions and in some cases may also be much thinner and crispier. These cookies may be packaged in individual packets and are advertised as having only a certain amount of calories in each packet.
Consumers of low calorie cookies should be aware that just because a cookie is advertised as low sugar or low fat does not necessarily mean that it is low calorie. In some cases, the manufacturer is able to maintain the flavor and texture of a cookie by adding additional fat to a low sugar cookie or additional sugar to a low fat cookie. This means that while the cookies may be suitable for a particular dietary plan, such as a diabetic or low-carb diet, they are not low calorie.
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