Are Digestive Biscuits Good For Health?

by Sruthi Chowdhry

Do you like eating digestive biscuits with tea every day? Do digestive biscuits really aid digestion? Ever thought if they are actually healthy for you? If not, then this post will help in clearing up a few myths. Read on and find out how healthy are your digestive biscuits.

What’s In A Name:

Don’t judge a food by its name alone. And it holds true for the digestive biscuits too. The term ‘digestive’ may lead many of you to think that cookie aids your digestion. Originated in the 19th century as a food to help digestion, likely because they contained baking soda, digestive biscuits were prepared from coarse-brown bread. The modern-day version of the cookie has however deviated from brown bread and may contain wholemeal wheat flour.

These biscuits are mass produced baked goods that contain primarily wholemeal wheat flour, leavening agents like sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate, malic acid and tartaric acid, vegetable oil, powdered skim milk, sugar and of course baking soda (1). The baking soda here is not helping our digestion because heat produced while preparing the biscuits alters its properties.

You might be munching these biscuits thinking they offer a bag full of health benefits, but in reality these cookies are not giving you much nutritive bang.

Digestive Biscuits Nutritional Profile:

How many digestive biscuits do you have with tea? Two? From a health point of view they are not something you should incorporate in bulk quantity in your diet plan. And we have a valid reason! Two digestive biscuits contain about 150 calories, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fibre and 0.1 gram of sodium. A single biscuit contains 70 calories, which signifies that it offers a lot of energy for very little nutritive value (2).

Healthy Or Unhealthy?

  1. The sugar content in digestive biscuits is very high, prompting health authorities to classify them as a semi-sweet food item.
  2. They contain considerably unhealthy fats, besides the empty calories. Though the biscuits have small quantities of protein and fibre, they are not enough to supplement a healthy balanced diet or the daily recommended intake.
  3. Prominently, they are high in sodium. Taking just four digestive biscuits is same as having a packet of potato chips.
  4. People with high blood pressure are strictly asked not to consume these items.
  5. They have no other beneficial vitamins or minerals. The contain non-fat milk added to the biscuits contain no calcium. Even otherwise, they offer zero nutritional value.
  6. Digestive biscuits have 10% saturated fat from altered vegetable oils, which are unhealthy (3).

[ Read: Is Oatmeal Good For Constipation? ]

Digestive Biscuits Variations:

We have established that digestive biscuits are sugary treats. Still, there are low-fat varieties waiting to entice you. The low-fat digestive biscuits contain nearly 25% lesser fat than the original ones. It might feel a healthier choice at first, but the rest of the ingredients remain the same. Digestive biscuits are also available in chocolate flavors that make them all the more delicious. However, the added chocolate only boosts the sugar content and calorie numbers. A single chocolate-flavored digestive biscuit contains 90 calories. In that case, they might be just taken on a cheat day.

[ Read: Is Eating White Rice Healthy For You? ]

Benefits Of Digestive Biscuits:

Usually, whole grains are very beneficial to our health, particularly to the heart. Whole grains help manage diabetes better besides keeping weight under control. When chosen right, digestive biscuits made with whole wheat should provide some benefits. Secondly, the fibre in the biscuits assists in keeping the stomach full. Since many across the world consume less fiber in their diet, they can combat constipation problems with digestive biscuits to some extent. Lastly, as the biscuits contain a high amount of sodium, individuals with extremely low blood pressure can enjoy its benefits.

In conclusion, digestive biscuits are a tasty way to keep hunger pangs at bay. They just do not offer as much as promised. Did this post clear your misconceptions about the biscuits? Please let us know in the comments section below.

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