The idea of a “protein cookie” is pretty appealing. After all, protein is healthy, and cookies are yummy, right? But today let’s dig into details of one of the leading brands—Lenny & Larry’s—to see how their nutrition actually stacks up.
Lenny & Larry’s Cookies have plant-based protein and chicory root fiber, which makes them a bit healthier than other cookie brands. However, most of their products still have processed ingredients like palm oil, enriched flour, and cane sugar, too. Overall, Lenny & Larry’s Cookies are still not health food.
Below, I’ll break down the actual ingredients in Lenny & Larry’s Cookies. I’ll look closely at the sugar content and the protein content—with comparisons to other brands of cookies and protein bars. And I’ll also answer whether these cookies are “fattening” or not!
Are Lenny and Larry’s Cookies Good for You?
Here are the five specific questions I’ll be answering about Lenny and Larry’s Cookies. Click any of them to skip ahead to that section—or just keep scrolling to read them all:
- What Are Lenny and Larry’s Cookies Made Of?
- How Much Sugar Is in Lenny and Larry’s Cookies?
- Are Lenny and Larry’s Cookies Fattening?
- Are Lenny and Larry’s Cookies Good for Bodybuilding?
- Are All Lenny and Larry’s Cookies Vegan?
1. What Are Lenny and Larry’s Cookies Made Of?
Let’s start by taking a look at the actual ingredients of Lenny & Larry’s Cookies. We’ll look at several flavors, including both the popular “Complete Cookies” and “Keto Cookies.”
Below the table, I’ll share my takeaway points:
|Lenny & Larry’s Cookie Flavor||Ingredients|
|The Complete Cookie: Chocolate Chip||Enriched Wheat Flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Protein Blend (vital wheat gluten, pea protein, rice protein), Chicory Root Fiber, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, dextrose, natural vanilla extract), Cane Sugar, Invert Sugar, Vegetable Glycerine, Palm Fruit Oil, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Baking Soda, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum.|
|The Complete Cookie: White Chocolaty Macadamia||Enriched Wheat Flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Protein Blend (vital wheat gluten, pea protein, rice protein), Cane Sugar, Chicory Root Fiber, Palm Fruit Oil, Vegetable Glycerine, White Chips (sugar, palm kernel and palm fruit oil, natural flavor, sunflower lecithin [emulsifier], salt), Invert Sugar, Macadamia Nuts, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Baking Soda, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum.|
|Keto Cookie: Chocolate Chip||Palm Fruit Oil (sustainably sourced), Sugar Free Chocolate Chips (chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin, natural vanilla extract), Peanut Butter (roasted peanuts), Protein Blend (pea protein, almond protein), Chicory Root Fiber, Organic Erythritol, Grain Free Flour Blend (lupin flour, arrowroot flour), Vegetable Glycerine, Natural Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Baking Soda, Sunflower Lecithin, Stevioside (stevia extract), Salt, Mixed Tocopherols.|
Here’s what I notice about these ingredients:
- Lenny and Larry’s Cookie ingredients vary a lot between product lines. For example, the Complete Cookie has wheat flour and cane sugar as key ingredients. But in the Keto Cookie, those ingredients are nowhere to be found. So you need to assess each product separately.
- Lenny and Larry’s Cookies have palm fruit oil. All of these 3 flavors have palm oil, which is high in saturated fat. The health effects of saturated fat are debated, but most health organizations recommend limiting it. Shockingly, palm oil is the #1 ingredient in The Keto Cookie.
- Lenny and Larry’s Cookies contain chicory root fiber. This ingredient is linked to benefits like better digestion and blood-sugar control. It makes Lenny and Larry’s Cookies above average when it comes to fiber content. The only issue is that it could cause gas for some people if you’re not used to it.
- Most Lenny and Larry’s Cookies use a plant-based protein blend. Plant proteins may be healthier than animal protein in multiple regards. With The Complete Cookie, you get a blend of wheat, pea, and rice protein. With The Keto Cookie, it’s pea and almond. Pea protein is especially good, as it is a complete protein.
Now here are points that only apply to one product line or another:
- The Complete Cookie has enriched wheat flour as its first ingredient. This flour is basically empty calories, as much of the fiber and nutrients have been removed. With “enriched flour,” some nutrients have been added back in. But this is still not great as the main ingredient.
- The Complete Cookie has cane sugar and invert sugar. Nutritionally, these are essentially the same as table sugar, and they should be limited if you want optimal health and energy.
- The Keto Cookie is sweetened with erythritol and stevia. Many zero-calorie sweeteners are controversial. But these two are believed to be relatively safe ones. Erythritol especially has a good reputation, as it seems to have antioxidant properties.
- Several Lenny and Larry’s flavors contain real nuts or peanuts. Nuts may have benefits for longevity and weight control, among other factors. They’re real plant foods packed with vitamins and minerals.
As you can see, there are a mix of pros and cons to Lenny and Larry’s Cookies. Compared to other cookies, they have a few benefits, like the chicory root fiber and plant-based protein. But they still have many processed ingredients like white flour, sugar, and palm oil.
Now let’s look a bit closer at exactly how much sugar these cookies have.
2. How Much Sugar Is in Lenny and Larry’s Cookies?
Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookies have around 13g of total sugars per serving, or 25g of total sugars per cookie. The American Heart Association recommends a daily sugar limit of 25g for women or 36g for men. So one Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie would be most of your daily sugar intake.
Here is a table comparing the sugar content of Lenny and Larry’s Cookies to other cookie brands:
|Lenny & Larry’s Cookie Flavor||Serving Size||Total Sugars|
|The Complete Cookie: Chocolate Chip||1/2 cookie (57g)||12g|
|The Complete Cookie: White Chocolaty Macadamia||1/2 cookie (57g)||14g|
|Keto Cookie: Chocolate Chip||1 cookie (45g)||1g|
|For Comparison: OREO||3 cookies (34g)||14g|
|For Comparison: Chips Ahoy! Original||3 cookies (33g)||11g|
|For Comparison: Nutter Butter||2 cookies (28g)||9g|
It may look at first like Lenny and Larry’s cookies have just as much sugar as OREOs. But keep in mind: The serving size varies between Lenny & Larry’s and other brands.
When you eat “one serving” of a Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie, you’re getting a whopping 57 grams of food, including 8 grams of protein. In comparison, OREOs only have 1 gram of protein per serving.
So, in my view, Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookies are just a bit less sugar-heavy than these mainstream cookies like OREO. But still, as you can see, they have quite a lot of sugar.
Any amount of added sugar should likely be viewed as a negative, as it is not needed for health, and it’s taking up space in your diet that could be filled with more nutritious foods.
Another thing to consider is the enriched flour in The Complete Cookie. This refined flour is high on the glycemic index. That means it can quickly turn into sugar in your body, and it can contribute to blood-sugar spikes, even though it’s not listed as “sugar” on the label.
However, Lenny & Larry’s Keto Cookie doesn’t have these issues. It has half the carbs per serving, and only 1 gram of total sugar. So if you’re trying to limit your sugar, you might want to look at The Keto Cookie.
However, with The Keto Cookie, the potential downside is the amount of saturated fat (7 grams per cookie).
3. Are Lenny and Larry’s Cookies Fattening?
Each Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie has around 420 to 460 calories. The Keto Cookies are smaller, with around 200 calories per cookie.
Depending on your overall bodyweight, you may need to eat under 2,000 or even under 1,500 calories per day to lose weight. In that case, eating a whole Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie would be take up quite a significant amount of your total calories.
Lenny and Larry’s Cookies are not the lowest-calorie food since they include processed ingredients like palm oil, enriched flour, and cane sugar.
Processed ingredients like these have a high caloric density, as the bulk and fiber are removed. It’s just pure fat or pure carbs. To lose weight, it helps to focus on low calorie-density foods with more fiber.
One of the benefits of Lenny & Larry’s Cookies, compared to other cookies, is that they add back in some fiber in the form of chicory root fiber. That may slow down digestion and help you feel full. But I’d still not recommend these cookies as a frequent diet food.
By itself, a Lenny and Larry’s Cookie will not make or break your weight-loss efforts, though. Weight loss depends on your overall diet and lifestyle.
If you’re burning more calories than you’re eating each day/week overall, you should lose weight. Eating Lenny and Larry’s Cookies on occasion will not automatically ruin your diet as long as that larger pattern remains in tact.
For more help with weight loss, check out this post with 18 tips for weight loss without counting calories.
4. Are Lenny and Larry’s Cookies Good for Bodybuilding?
Lenny and Larry’s Cookies have added protein. Sometimes, they’re even referred to as “protein cookies.” But how much protein do they really have? And are they a good choice for bodybuilding overall?
First, let’s look at the protein content of Lenny & Larry’s cookies. And let’s compare them with two other cookie brands and two protein bars:
|Lenny & Larry’s Cookie Flavor||Serving Size||Protein|
|The Complete Cookie (White Chocolaty Macadamia)||1/2 cookie (57g)||8g|
|Keto Cookie (Chocolate Chip)||1 cookie (45g)||9g|
|For Comparison: OREO||3 cookies (34g)||1g|
|For Comparison: Chips Ahoy! Original||3 cookies (33g)||1g|
|For Comparison: Clif Builders Bar||1 bar (68g)||20g|
|For Comparison: No Cow Bar||1 bar (60g)||21g|
As you can see, the Lenny & Larry’s Cookies have a lot more protein than cookies like OREO or Chips Ahoy. But they still only have about half as much as protein bars like Clif Builders or No Cow.
But let’s break it down another way. Let’s calculate their estimated macronutrient ratio. I’ve found that to be a helpful number on a bodybuilding diet—especially when cutting—as you want to keep your “protein per calorie” high:
- Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie has 8g of protein in a 210 calorie serving, so the calories are about 15% from protein.
- Lenny & Larry’s Keto Cookie has 9g of protein in 200 calorie serving, so the calories are about 18% from protein.
- For comparison: Boiled lentils have about 9g of protein in a 116 calorie serving, so the calories are about 31% from protein.
- For comparison: Tempeh has about 19g of protein in a 193 calorie serving, so the calories are about 39% from protein.
So, here you can see that Lenny & Larry’s Cookies deliver less protein per calorie than lentils or tempeh. Therefore, I wouldn’t consider them an amazing source of protein. They have some—but it’s not as much as truly “high protein” foods give you.
For more high-protein meal ideas, check out my post on hitting 100g of protein or more per day as a vegan.
5. Are All Lenny and Larry’s Cookies Vegan?
All flavors of Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookies, Keto Cookies, and Complete Cookie-fied Bars are vegan. However, their The Boss! Cookie line is not vegan, as it contains milk protein.
Lenny & Larry’s markets their Boss Cookie line as being “powered by dairy & plant protein.” Judging by the order of ingredients listed on the package, it’s mostly dairy protein, with some added wheat protein as well.
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