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6 Healthiest Cookie Doughs on Grocery Shelves—and 4 to Avoid

RDs share which cookie dough brands are the healthiest, and which ones you may want to leave behind.
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch
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When the midnight munchies strike, your thoughts may immediately race to that tub of cookie dough sitting in the fridge. You can either bake it into deliciously fresh cookies in the oven or air fryer, or you can opt to go the instant gratification route and nosh on it raw. Either way, it's a tasty, satisfying dessert that never disappoints. Except when it comes to nutrition.

Traditional cookie dough is calorie-dense and mostly made up of fat and sugar—two nutrients you may be trying to limit in your diet. Thankfully, there are many newer brands out there that we've found that offer healthier cookie doughs made with wholesome ingredients and less sugar.

How we chose the healthiest cookie dough

A standard serving size for a cookie is 1 ounce or about 3 inches across (the width of a credit card or the length of your pointer finger). To find a healthier cookie dough, dietitian Annette Snyder, MS, RD, CSOWM of Top Nutrition Coaching recommends sticking to the following criteria:

  • Less than 10 grams of added sugar: Desserts and sweet snacks like cookies are one of the main sources of added sugar in our diet, per the American Heart Association (AHA). When looking for cookie dough, aim for less than 10 grams of added sugar per serving. "Less than 5 grams is ideal but may be more difficult to find," Snyder says.
  • Less than 150 milligrams of sodium: You'd be surprised to find that many cookie doughs are riddled with sodium. That's why Snyder recommends looking for a brand with less than 150 milligrams of sodium per serving. Reducing your salt intake is a great way to lower your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy, per the AHA.
  • Less than 3 grams of saturated fat: Snyder recommends looking for a cookie dough with less than 3 grams of saturated fat per 1-ounce serving. Taking in too much saturated fat has been linked to a greater risk of heart disease, per the AHA.

Now that you know how to shop for healthier cookie dough, read on for the best and worst brands at the grocery store. And if you're not in the mood to turn the oven on, turn to these 10 Cookie Brands That Use the Highest Quality Ingredients.

The best cookie doughs

Best: Twisted Dough Cookie Monster

Twisted Dough Cookie Monster
Twisted Dough
Per serving: 140 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 20 g protein

Twisted Dough contains all the good-for-you nutrients you want, with none of the stuff you don't. It comes recommended by dietitian Megan Hilbert, MS, RDN with Top Nutrition Coaching because it doesn't include any saturated or trans fat. "Eating too much saturated fat can contribute to high cholesterol which, in turn, increases your risk for heart disease and/or stroke. Trans fats also contribute to high levels of cholesterol, and these fats can also increase levels of inflammation in the body which is a major contributor to metabolic syndrome and other diseases," she says.

This dough also contains 20 grams of protein per serving — that's as much protein as a scoop of whey protein powder! The high protein content helps manage your blood sugar levels and promotes fullness — which means less snacking or cravings later in the day.

Plus, each serving is very low in both carbs and sugar. "With only 2 grams of sugar per serving, this amount is ideal to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy spot, which can reduce energy crashes later in the day and also prevent insulin resistance in the long run," Hilbert says.

RELATED: 12 Best Low-Sugar Desserts on Grocery Shelves

Best: Cappello's Vegan Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Cappello's Double Chocolate
Per serving: 140 calories, 10 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 85 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 3 g protein

Cappello's cookie dough is Snyder's favorite because it's made with fewer and higher-quality ingredients, all while remaining fairly low in added sugars—a difficult feat for baked sweets. Take a look at the ingredient list, and you'll find antioxidant-rich cocoa powder and high-fiber almond flour. "We like antioxidants from plants as they help protect our body's cells from attack by free radicals, which can cause damage," Snyder says, adding that "the almond flour provides not only a gluten-free cookie base, but it adds beneficial monounsaturated fats."

Plus, Cappello's chocolate cookie dough is vegan, grain- and gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of seed oils, so it's suitable for many different eating styles. "The one drawback is the higher saturated fat content from the coconut oil," Snyder says.

Best: Deux Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

deux cookie dough
Per serving: 110 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 2 g protein

We're not sure what we love most about this cookie dough, the mouthwatering flavors or the focus on whole-food ingredients in its recipe. "There are very few additives or processed ingredients, which is beneficial for our overall health due to whole foods having a higher portion of nutrients and other beneficial compounds like antioxidants and fiber," Hilbert says.

The main ingredient in this dough is oat flour, which is a great source of prebiotics. "Prebiotics are incredibly important for maintaining healthy gut function by feeding beneficial bacteria in our digestive system," Hilbert says. Because of the oat flour used, you'll get 2 grams of fiber to help maintain regular digestion and also gut health. "Most Americans are not getting enough fiber in their diet (25 to 30 grams is ideal, only about 5% of people reach this) so getting in extra fiber can go a long way," Hilbert says.

RELATED: 30 Low-Calorie Desserts to Buy Under 150 Calories

Best: Bhu Foods Protein Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Bhu Protein Cookie Dough
Bhu Foods
Per serving: 140 calories, 9 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (6 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 8 g protein

Props to Bhu for creating a cookie dough that's high in fiber, free of top allergens and gluten, has no added sugar, and boasts a bit of protein. Snyder likes that it's sweetened with monkfruit, which, she says, "seems to have a decent safety profile compared to some other non-nutritive sweeteners, some of which may negatively affect our gut microbes."

What's more, it features ingredients not often seen in baked goods, like MCT oil, baobab, and pea protein along with cashew butter, Snyder points out. "Aside from the fat from the cashews and cashew butter, there is MCT oil added. MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) are smaller in size compared to most of the fats we eat, making them easier to digest and absorb into the bloodstream quickly, which is thought to help satisfy hunger better," she says.

Bhu's cookie dough also contains prebiotic tapioca, which Snyder calls "food for our friendly gut bacteria." And as a bonus, it contains baobab, a fruit native to Africa and Australia. "Purported benefits include improved blood sugar control, reduced inflammation, and aiding in digestive health," she says.

Best: Whoa! Dough Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Whoa! cookie dough
Whoa! Dough
Per serving: 90 calories, 4.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (2 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 1 g protein

This ready-to-bake cookie dough is also safe to eat raw, and it'll become your go-to when the sweet tooth kicks in. It has just 7 grams of added sugar (8 grams total sugar), which is well below most traditional brands of cookie dough. "Excess sugar can also contribute to inflammation and increase risk for cellular aging," Hilbert says.

What's more, this dough is free of many major allergens like egg, soy, dairy, and gluten. "For those who do have food allergies or sensitivities this can be a fun, healthy cookie dough option that won't cause gastrointestinal distress or problematic allergic reaction," Hilbert says. "It's nut-free, too, which can be helpful for kids who want to take nut-free treats to school."

RELATED: 12 Best Store-Bought High-Protein Desserts

Best: Sweet Loren's Chocolate Chunk

Sweet Loren's Chocolate Chunk
Sweet Loren's
Per serving: 120 calories, 5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (1 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 2 g protein

Sweet Loren's checks all of the boxes. "I like that the ingredients are fairly simple, and they gave thought to texture and taste in a 'healthified' sweet treat," Snyder says. This cookie dough is made of a blend of oat, tapioca, and potato starches. "Oats provide a source of prebiotic soluble fiber, helpful for keeping our gut happy and preventing huge swings in blood sugar (and that helps manage appetite)," Snyder says.

We like that it's sweetened with basic ingredients such as sugar and molasses rather than high-fructose corn syrup, and while that contributes added sugars, the total content is still right at the top of the recommended range. Snyder also likes that these are low in saturated fat and sodium, making this dough more heart-friendly. The dough comes pre-cut so you can pop it on parchment paper and bake for a quick and easy treat.

The worst cookie doughs

Worst: Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Lovers Cookie Dough

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip
Nestle Tollhouse
Per serving: 170 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 2 g protein

This classic chocolate chip-packed cookie dough is rife with added sugars and not-so-great ingredients. One serving contains 13 grams of added sugar, which can add up quickly. "If we consume too much added sugar, it can get stored as fat, leading to weight gain and increased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer," Hilbert says.

What's more, the main ingredient is bleached white flour, a highly processed food. "During the milling process, outer bran is taken off the flow, which is where most of the dietary fiber and micronutrients are contained, and missing out on this key nutrition can make it harder to reach out to daily intake of fiber and B vitamins," says Hilbert.

Worst: Pillsbury Reese's Cookie Dough

Pillsbury Reese's Cookie Dough
Per serving: 160 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein

Reese's chunks in a cookie may sound like dessert heaven. However, this pick is high in added sugar and contains zero fiber. "Added sugars offer no other nutrients compared to sugars found in nutrient-rich plant foods," Snyder says. These are also made with refined wheat flour, which is stripped of the fiber and vitamin content when the outer hull is removed. Plus, the peanut butter candies "contribute hydrogenated palm kernel and soybean oils (not that great for the heart), artificial colors, and more added sugars," Snyder says.

RELATED: The Absolute Best Way to Bake Cookies in an Air Fryer

Worst: Nestle Toll House M&M's Minis Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Nestle Tollhouse M&M's
Nestle Tollhouse
Per serving: 90 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (0 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 1 g protein

Another candy-studded cookie dough you'll want to pass up on. Hilbert points out that many additives on the ingredients list are ones she wouldn't recommend, especially the artificial dyes found in the colorful M&Ms. "More research is needed in this area, but some studies show that red dye 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6 are contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens. Certain dyes (like blue 1, red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6) can cause hypersensitivity reactions like flushing or skin reaction," she says. Plus, the serving size is considerably less than the traditional ounce, so don't be fooled by the lower calorie and sugar content here.

Worst: Pillsbury Chocolate Chunk and Chip Cookie Dough

Pillsbury Cookie Dough
Per serving: 170 calories, 7 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 1 g protein

"If you want an old-school chocolate chip cookie and don't want to try and modify it for health reasons, you're better off making it yourself where you can control the ingredients," Snyder says. For starters, these cookies contain bleached enriched flour (generally refined and lacking in fiber and other nutrients in grains), palm oil (which is not listed as sustainably sourced and is all saturated fat), and your basic table sugar.

"Excess added sugars can be stored as blood fats (triglycerides), not to mention contribute to unwanted weight gain," Snyder says. "The saturated fat content is higher along with the added sugars. We try to keep saturated fat on the low side given that it can increase triglycerides and end up stored in the liver. We don't want fat stored in the liver as it can affect your liver function later on."

April Benshosan
April is a born-and-raised Brooklynite who has a passion for all things health, wellness, and tastebud-related. Read more about April
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