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Can I eat cookie for breakfast?

Quick Answer

Eating cookies for breakfast is not generally recommended from a nutritional standpoint. Cookies tend to be high in added sugar and refined carbohydrates while lacking protein, fiber, and other important nutrients. However, eating a cookie occasionally as part of a balanced breakfast is unlikely to be harmful for most people. Those with health conditions like diabetes or heart disease may want to avoid cookies for breakfast.

Nutritional Value of Cookies

Cookies are typically made from ingredients like refined wheat flour, sugar, butter or oil, eggs, and leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder. This means they are high in calories, carbohydrates, and fat, while being low in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Here is a nutritional breakdown for a typical chocolate chip cookie (about 30g):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 140
Carbohydrates 18 g
Fiber 0.5 g
Fat 7 g
Protein 1 g
Sugar 9 g

As you can see, cookies provide a quick burst of energy from their carbohydrate and sugar content but lack the protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are part of a balanced breakfast.

Benefits of a Nutritious Breakfast

Nutrition experts recommend eating a balanced breakfast that contains protein, fiber, and micronutrients:

  • Protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling full.
  • Fiber aids digestion and gut health.
  • Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals support overall health.

Some examples of nutritious breakfast foods include:

  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Greek yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Whole grain toast
  • Vegetables

People who eat a nutritious breakfast tend to have:

  • Better concentration and productivity
  • More strength and endurance
  • Lower risk of obesity and high blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes

So while the occasional cookie won’t hurt, making cookies a breakfast habit can mean missing out on the benefits of more nutritious foods.

Health Risks of Eating Cookies for Breakfast

Eating cookies or other sweets for breakfast on a regular basis can negatively impact your health in several ways:

  • Blood sugar spikes – Cookies cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to energy crashes later in the morning.
  • Weight gain – The refined carbs and sugar in cookies promote fat storage. Replacing nutritious breakfast foods with cookies regularly may lead to weight gain over time.
  • Nutrient deficiencies – Cookies lack important nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, and iron that are needed as part of a balanced breakfast.
  • Increased heart disease risk – People who eat cookies and baked goods for breakfast have a significantly higher risk of heart disease compared to those eating meat, eggs, or cereal.
  • Elevated cholesterol – The saturated fat and trans fats found in many cookie recipes can raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
  • Tooth decay – The sugar in cookies feeds harmful plaque bacteria in the mouth, increasing risk of cavities.

For people with diabetes or prediabetes, eating sugary cookies for breakfast can also cause dangerous spikes and crashes in blood glucose levels. Those with gluten intolerance may experience adverse effects if the cookies contain wheat flour.

Healthier Cookie Alternatives for Breakfast

If you really love having something sweet in the morning, there are some healthier cookie alternatives to consider:

  • Oatmeal breakfast cookies – Made with oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, and minimal added sugar.
  • Energy cookie bars – Contain oats, wheat germ, ground flaxseed, and dried fruits.
  • Protein cookies – Made with almond flour, oats, and whey protein powder.
  • Quinoa breakfast cookies – Include quinoa, banana, almond butter, and dark chocolate chips.
  • Chia breakfast cookies – Packed with fiber thanks to chia seeds, oats, and whole wheat flour.

Pairing a homemade healthy cookie with Greek yogurt, fruit, and coffee or tea can make a balanced breakfast that provides lasting energy. Look for recipes that are lower in sugar and use nutritious ingredients like whole grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

How Many Cookies Can I Eat in a Day?

There are no absolute rules for how many cookies you can eat per day. However, nutrition experts recommend limiting added sugars to no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day for women and 9 teaspoons (37 grams) for men.

One typical chocolate chip cookie contains about 9 grams of sugar. So if cookies are your only source of added sugar for the day, 3-4 cookies would stay within the recommended daily limits.

However, most people consume added sugars from various sources like soda, baked goods, candy, ice cream, and sugary cereals. The American Heart Association suggests no more than 36 grams (9 teaspoons) of added sugars per day for adult men, and 25 grams (6 teaspoons) for women.

Here is a quick guide to the number of cookies containing different amounts of added sugar:

Cookies Added Sugar (grams) Daily Limit – Men Daily Limit – Women
1 chocolate chip cookie (9g) 9 4 cookies 3 cookies
1 oatmeal raisin cookie (7g) 7 5 cookies 4 cookies
1 peanut butter cookie (5g) 5 7 cookies 5 cookies

So if you want to enjoy cookies in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, limiting yourself to 3-4 small or medium-sized cookies per day is a good guideline.

Tips for Healthier Cookie Eating

If you want to enjoy the occasional cookie without sabotaging your nutrition goals, here are some tips:

  • Choose homemade cookies over store-bought when possible, so you control the ingredients.
  • Look for recipes with less refined sugar – try using bananas, applesauce, or alternative sweeteners.
  • Substitute some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat or almond flour.
  • Add mixins like oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut, or dark chocolate for extra nutrition.
  • Portion cookies into 100-150 calorie servings and store the rest out of sight.
  • Eat cookies as part of a balanced meal or snack – pair them with fruit, yogurt, milk, or nuts.
  • Savor your cookies slowly – take time to enjoy the taste and texture.
  • Drink water with cookies to help fill up.

Moderating your portions and choosing healthier recipes can allow you to eat cookies as part of a balanced diet without overdoing the added sugars.


Eating cookies for breakfast occasionally won’t do much harm for most people. But having cookies as a daily breakfast habit in place of nutritious foods can negatively impact your health over time. The high amount of added sugars, refined carbs, and saturated fat in cookies may contribute to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.

However, healthier homemade cookies in moderation – along with plenty of whole foods like fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, nuts and seeds – can be part of a balanced diet. Focus on nutritious whole food choices for breakfast, limit cookie portions to 3-4 small cookies per day, and enjoy your treats mindfully for the healthiest approach.