It's no secret that us Brits love biscuits, but our love of the sweet treats could spell disaster for our waistlines with some of them containing an alarming amount of calories and sugar.
Our guide to healthy biscuits – and the biscuits that are the worst for your diet…
According to research, we Brits work our way through a massive 141 million packs of biscuits a year. Whether we buy them for midday snacks, filling the kids’ lunch boxes or serving with our afternoon cuppas, the biscuit industry is worth a staggering £2.2billion – and we’ll be the first to admit we might have contributed to that more than a little!
Read more: Best and worst chocolate bars for your diet
Biscuits are our go-to treat, and we all have our favourites: HobNobs, Jaffa Cakes, Jammy Dodgers, we don’t know where we’d be without a biscuit or two on the treat menu from time to time. But is our craving for a sweet treat causing harm to our waistlines? And is there such a thing as healthy biscuits (or healthier)? We decided to investigate…
It’s so hard to keep track of our daily calories when we’re on a diet, but if you’re reaching for a biscuit and think they’re all the same – think again! Your intentions might be good, but you could be accidentally mistaking a calorific culprit for a low-cal snack, and wouldn’t it be nice to know which (almost) healthy biscuits you can tuck into guilt-free?
We think you’ll be alarmed when you find out which is the worst biscuit you could eat when you’re trying to watch your weight (with a gasp-worthy 2.9g of saturated fat in each one!) and which is the best healthy biscuit, with a diet-friendly 30 calories.
We won’t spoil the surprise, but let’s just say that you don’t have to give up chocolate…
Here’s our round up of the best and worst biscuits on the supermarket shelves, and which may be the more healthy biscuits:
One of the nation's favourite break snacks, these wafer chocolate biscuits contain low amounts of calcium, vitamin D, iron and potassium. However, overall their nutritional value is low. They're certainly not one of the worst sweet treats on the market, and with two fingers per serving they work out to have lower saturates than many of the other chocolate biscuits out there.
Although these party classics are naturally high in sugar because of the icing on the top, they're not the worst biscuits for you. At only 24 calories per biscuit they have a third fewer calories than a jammy dodger for example. Also with such little fat and saturates, as well as the promise of no artificial preservatives or sweeteners, you can enjoy a couple of these party rings guilt-free.
Unfortunately, lovers of these tasty pure butter shortbreads from Walkers will definitely want to avoid these if you're watching your waistline. Eating 100g of these amounts to a pretty hefty 533 calories, and the fat and sugar content is also huge. Perhaps a once-in-a-while treat! But don't forget to enjoy them when you do have them!
These are one of the worst biscuits you can eat in terms of saturated
fats. Just two will amount to almost a quarter of your daily limit plus
there's a heaped teaspoon of sugar in each one.
Verdict: Jammie Dodgers contain almost a heaped teaspoon of sugar in each one and there's no real raspberry in the fruity centre. So it's perhaps best to save these for a one-off treat every so often!
contain less calories and sugar than chocolate digestives but they have
more saturated fats. They also contain hydrogenated vegetable oil which is bad for your health.
Verdict: These have more than 7 times the amount of saturated fats and almost double the amount of sugar compared to plain HobNobs.
Verdict: These biscuits may only have a few more calories than their non-chocolate
counterparts but they contain twice as much sugar and far higher levels
of saturated fats than a plain digestive.
These aren't the best biscuits for your heart as the cream centre in
just one has nearly 10% of your daily intake of saturated fat.
Verdict: A creamy centre and relatively high levels of fat mean these aren't the best biccy to reach for.
Verdict: Not bad for a biscuit with chocolate chips - these cookies have less saturated fat than many other chocolatey options.
Cals: 46 Good for chocolate lovers
These are definitely one of the best options if you like chocolate and
are counting calories, but they are high in sugar, which will make your
sugar levels spike and leave you feeling hungry sooner.
Verdict: Ginger nuts are one of the healthier biscuits to choose and because of the
iron-rich molasses content, three biscuits will provide about a tenth of the recommended daily allowance of iron which is good for your blood.
These biscuits have a high malt and milk content as well as having one
of the lowest calories amounts per biscuit and a low sugar and sat fat
Cals: 71 Good for tea lovers
Verdict: The high wholewheat content makes these a good source of fibre which helps provide healthy digestion.
These Rich Tea biscuits are really low in saturated fats as they're
made with vegetable oil and they're less calories than a plain
Cals: 30 Lowest calories
Verdict: Watch your sugar intake, as more than a couple of these could cause it to spike, but who would have thought that a chocolate biscuit could contain less calories than a Rich Tea?
Verdict: Now you really can have your biscuit and dunk it! These slimmed-down digestives contain just 31 calories, so you can have two and still consume less calories than you could with one normal-sized biscuit.