Are Oreos Healthy? 14 Things You Need to Know

Is eating Oreos considered healthy?

No, eating Oreos is not considered healthy due to their high fat, sugar, and calorie content, and their potential negative impact on health when consumed excessively.

Continue reading to find out more and check your knowledge!

Ingredients to be cautious about

  • Empty calories
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Vanillin

Possible short-term side effects

  • Weight gain
  • Increased blood sugar levels
  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes

Possible long-term side effects

  • Heart disease
  • Weight gain
  • Addiction
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Increased triglyceride levels
  • Metabolic syndrome

Healthy alternatives

  • Rice cakes
  • Fruit and yogurt parfait
  • Dark chocolate
  • Almonds
  • Vegetable sticks with hummus

Did you know...? 🤔

Is eating Oreos considered healthy?

Does consuming excessive Oreos potentially lead to type 2 diabetes?

Do Oreos contain high fructose corn syrup?

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Oreos are the best-selling cookies in the history of the world. Certainly, most people agree they are delicious. But how bad are Oreos for you? Do they have any health benefits, or are they completely bad news?

Oreos are not a very healthy snack, as the main ingredients are processed flour, sugar, and oil. Oreos have 14 grams of sugar per serving, which is higher than most other cookie brands. Oreos have less than 1 gram of fiber per serving.

Below, we’ll look at Oreos nutrition in detail—with and without the cream. We’ll analyze the ingredients and sugar content, and we’ll explore whether Oreos cause weight gain. We’ll see how they compare to Chips Ahoy, whether they’re bad for your skin, and more!

Are Oreos Bad for You?

Below are the 14 questions I’ve answered about Oreos nutrition. Click to skip to any section, or keep reading for the full analysis:

  1. What Are Oreos Made Of?
  2. Are Oreos High in Sugar?
  3. Do Oreos Make You Fat?
  4. How Much Exercise Does It Take to Burn Off an Oreo?
  5. Are Oreos Low Fiber?
  6. Are Oreos High in Sodium?
  7. Can Oreos Cause Acne?
  8. What Happens if You Eat Oreos Every Day?
  9. Are Oreos Bad for Your Heart?
  10. Are Oreos Good for Building Muscle?
  11. What Is the Healthiest Oreo?
  12. Are Oreos Healthier Without the Cream?
  13. Which Is Healthier, Oreos or Chips Ahoy?
  14. Are Oreos Vegan?

1. What Are Oreos Made Of?

Let’s start by looking at the ingredients. There are many kinds of Oreos, but we’ll be looking at four of their popular products as a sample.

I’ll share my takeaways below the table:

Oreos FlavorIngredients
Oreos (Classic)Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1 , Riboflavin Vitamin B2 , Folic Acid), Sugar, Palm And/Or Canola Oil, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Leavening (Baking Soda And/Or Calcium Phosphate), Salt, Soy Lecithin, Chocolate, Artificial Flavor.
Golden OreosUnbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, Riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, Folic Acid), Sugar, Canola And/Or Palm Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Flavor, Natural Flavor.
Gluten Free OreosSugar, White Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Palm Oil, Canola Oil, Whole Oat Flour, Cornstarch, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Invert Sugar, Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Chocolate, Artificial Flavor.
Oreo ThinsSugar, Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, Riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Soybean And/Or Canola Oil, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda, Chocolate, Artificial Flavor.
Oreos Ingredients

Here’s what I notice about these ingredients:

  • Oreos are made with refined flour. Most Oreos have “unbleached enriched flour,” which is a highly processed ingredient. Unlike whole wheat, it has most of its fiber removed. This lowers the nutritional value, making it mostly empty calories. Gluten Free Oreos have some whole oat flour, but their main flour is white rice flour.
  • Oreos have added sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Sugar may be the worst thing about Oreos, nutritionally. Not to mention, Oreos have other potentially high-glycemic index ingredients, too, like processed flour. This could cause large blood sugar spikes for many people. See below for more on Oreo’s sugar content.
  • Oreos have vegetable oil. Oreos contain canola oil and/or palm oil, depending on the flavor. These oils are highly processed, high in calories, and relatively low in nutrients. Palm oil also adds some saturated fat, which most health authorities recommend limiting. Read more below on whether Oreos are bad for your heart.
  • Oreos have cocoa. This is kind of obvious, but it’s worth mentioning, because cocoa powder is actually a healthy ingredient by itself. There are healthy ways to eat chocolate. (Unfortunately, Oreos just come with a lot of sugar, too!)

Overall, the main ingredients in Oreos are essentially processed flour, sugar, and oil. This is not a recipe for a healthy snack. However, let’s dig deeper into the details.

The sugar is probably the worst aspect of Oreos nutrition, so let’s look more closely at that next.

2. Are Oreos High in Sugar?

Oreos have around 14g of total sugar per serving, or 4.7g of sugar per cookie. About 60% of that sugar is found in the cream—the rest is in the chocolate wafers.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily sugar limit of 25g for women or 36g for men. So, five Oreo cookies would use up most of your daily sugar intake for women, and seven and a half Oreos for men.

Here is a table comparing the sugar content of Oreos to other cookie brands:

CookieServing SizeTotal Sugars
Oreo (Classic)3 cookies (34g)14g
Golden Oreo3 cookies (34g)12g
Gluten Free Oreo3 cookies (34g)14g
Oreo Thins4 cookies (29g)12g
Double Stuf Oreo2 cookies (29g)13g
Chips Ahoy! Original3 cookies (33g) 11g
Nutter Butter2 cookies (28g)9g
Nilla Wafers8 wafers (30g)11g
How Much Sugar in Cookies? Comparison Chart.

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 processed flour in Oreos. 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.

3. Do Oreos Make You Fat?

Oreos can potentially lead to weight gain, as they have several high-calorie ingredients like sugar, enriched flour, and vegetable oil. They are also low in protein and fiber, so they may be less filling than other snacks. However, Oreos can still be eaten in moderation on a weight-loss diet.

Remember: The most important thing for weight loss is your total calorie balance. And if you want to make weight loss easier, the best things to eat are foods with a low calorie density.

Low-calorie-density foods are typically high in fiber and water. Think vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. They fill up your stomach and help you feel full on fewer calories. (Protein also helps you feel more full.)

Oreos are basically the opposite. They are full of calorically dense ingredients like refined flour, sugar, and oil. However, it is still possible to lose weight while eating some Oreos.

Can you eat Oreos on a diet? Of course you can, in moderation. Eating 3 Oreos will not make you fat. But eating 3 after every meal might. It’s all about the big picture.

In general, one food will not make or break your diet. Portion sizes and total calorie balance are the most important factors when trying to lose weight.

Related Questions:

  • How many calories are in 1 Oreo? Each regular Oreo has about 58 calories. Double Stuf Oreos have about 70 calories each. Oreo Thins have about 35 calories each.
  • Which part of the Oreo has more calories? The cream of an Oreo has more calories than the wafers. The cream has about 36 calories per cookie, and the chocolate wafers have 22 calories. (source)

4. How Much Exercise Does It Take to Burn Off an Oreo?

To burn off the calories from one Oreo (around 58 calories), most people would need to run or walk about half a mile.

There’s a general rule of thumb that you can burn about 100 calories from each mile you run. That rule actually applies whether you are running fast or slow—and even if you’re walking. It’s been tested, and it holds true. (source)

Each normal Oreo has ~58 calories, so that’s about a half a mile to burn off an Oreo. Alternatively, you could do 5-7 minutes of some other vigorous exercise. For example, burpees, cycling, or walking up stairs can burn 58 calories in around that time.

5. Are Oreos Low Fiber?

Oreos have less than 1 gram of dietary fiber per serving. This makes Oreos a low-fiber snack. In my opinion, this is one of the big failings of Oreos.

Most people don’t eat enough fiber, and it’s a big key to improving your nutrition. Low-fiber snacks often spike blood sugar more and fill you up less, potentially leading to overeating. And if your diet is low in fiber overall, that can cause more problems.

That said, if you’re on a low-fiber diet for any specific reason, then this could be a plus.

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6. Are Oreos High in Sodium?

Most Oreos flavors have between 90mg and 135mg of sodium per serving (3 cookies). This is a pretty normal range for cookies. Chips Ahoy and Nilla Wafers have around the same sodium content per serving.

For reference: The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium to 2,300mg per day. But they are “moving toward an ideal limit” of only 1,500mg per day. That would still be over 33 Oreo cookies. So, Oreos are not that horrible when it comes to sodium.

7. Can Oreos Cause Acne?

Our understanding of the relationship between diet and acne is still evolving. But increasingly, there is significant evidence that diet does play a big role in acne. And there are a couple foods that are widely acknowledged as problematic.

The first big problem food for acne is dairy: Milk, cheese, ice cream, and so on. So if you’re eating your Oreos with cow’s milk, that could already be aggravating your acne.

But the second acne problem food is even more relevant to Oreos: Sugar. As covered above, Oreos have a fair amount of sugar in each serving (14 grams). Plus they have more processed carbs from the grain-based flour, which may increase acne, too.

Milk and sugar are suspected to affect acne through similar mechanisms. It has to do with your body’s insulin response. Your body’s use of insulin is affected by eating dairy foods and also by spikes in your blood sugar from high-glycemic carbs. (source)

Interestingly, this means that for many people with acne, reducing acne is about stabilizing your blood-sugar levels. And often, that means cutting out high-GI carbs like those in Oreos—or at least minimizing them.

So, are Oreos bad for your skin? Do Oreos cause pimples? Well, for many people, yes, they may. But acne science is still a developing field. If you want to learn more, I wrote more about how to clear your acne in this big blog post.

8. What Happens if You Eat Oreos Every Day?

How Oreos affect your body will depend on your overall diet. If you only eat one or two Oreos daily—and if your lifestyle is healthy overall—then you may not face any bad consequences.

However, if you eat large portions of Oreos—and if your overall diet and lifestyle is unhealthy—that could cause bad consequences long-term. What kind of specific issues? Well…

Eating Oreos may spike your blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes can have many negative short- and long-term effects. These can potentially include:

  • Lethargy (“sugar crash”) and hunger;
  • Insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes;
  • Hardening of the blood vessels, leading to increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Also, Oreos may lead you to eat excess calories. Since they are a processed food with high calorie-density, they are easy to overeat. And if you overeat calories too often, you could have weight gain and associated health issues.

And if your diet is consistently high in sugar, that comes with documented risks, as well. High-sugar diets are observed to raise blood sugar levels, triglycerides, blood pressure, heart disease risk, and obesity risk. (source)

So, is it bad to eat Oreos every day? It depends on your overall diet. Eating one Oreo per day may be totally fine for most people. But eating a large plate of them every day is certainly not very healthy.

Related question:

  • How many Oreos should you eat a day? How many Oreos is too much? One famous nutrition author, Joel Furhman, M.D., has recommended a “life plan” of eating healthy with 90% of you calories—the last 10% can include stuff like cookies, if you wish. So for a 2,000 calorie diet, that’d be 200 calories of “junk” allowed, which is ~4 Oreos, if the rest of your diet is healthy.

9. Are Oreos Bad for Your Heart?

Oreos could be bad for your heart, if eaten as part of a high-sugar diet. High-sugar diets have been shown to raise blood sugar levels, triglycerides, blood pressure, heart disease risk, and obesity risk. (source)

The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 25g of sugar per day for women and 36g per day for men. It would only take about 5-8 Oreos to reach those limits, and that’s if you’re not consuming any other sugar all day long.

What about the issue of saturated fat? The American Heart Association also recommends limiting saturated fat to reduce heart disease risk.

For someone with a 2,000 calorie diet, the AHA recommends only 13g of saturated fat per day. One serving of Oreos (3 cookies) has 2g of saturated fat. So, Oreos are not dangerously high in saturated fat—but be aware if you’re eating multiple servings.

Related question:

  • Are Oreos high in cholesterol? Oreos do not contain dietary cholesterol.

10. Are Oreos Good for Building Muscle?

When looking at foods for muscle building and bodybuilding, the two main things people discuss are usually calories and protein. How do Oreos stack up in these areas?

  • Calories: Oreos are high in calories. So, if you’re someone who struggles to eat enough calories to gain weight or build muscle, Oreos may be an option that allows you to get more calories down.
  • Protein: Oreos are low in protein, with only 1g of protein per serving. So if you’re aiming for a high-protein diet to aid in muscle synthesis, Oreos will not help your macros.

From these two points, we can deduce the following:

Oreos are not a great snack for a cut, since they have a lot of calories without providing much satiation, and they do not have much protein. But Oreos may be fine if you’re bulking, since they can help you consume more calories, and it’s generally ok to eat a lower protein diet (by percentage) during a bulk.

Related question:

  • Are Oreos good to eat after a workout? If you’re going to eat Oreos, then after a workout is actually a decent time to eat them, since the high-glycemic carbs can help refill your glycogen stores. That said, a healthier source of simple carbs like fruit or whole grains could also do the job.
  • Are Oreos good for weight gain? Oreos can be used for weight gain if they are eaten as part of a calorie surplus. But your overall daily and weekly calorie balance is what really matters. (To make Oreos even higher in calories, you can smear peanut butter or almond butter on them.)

11. What Is the Healthiest Oreo?

On a “per cookie” basis, the healthiest Oreo would probably be Oreo Thins. But that’s mostly just because each cookie is smaller.

Oreo Thins only have about 35 calories and 3g of sugar per cookie. That’s compared to regular Oreos with 58 calories and 4.7g of sugar per cookie. So, yes, Oreo Thins are significantly lower in calories and sugar.

However, if you eat a lot of Oreo Thins, you could end up eating the same amount of calories and sugar anyway. So, be aware of your portion sizes.

12. Are Oreos Healthier Without the Cream?

Oreos without the cream have about 38% fewer calories and 60% less sugar than eating Oreos with the cream. Therefore, if you eat the same amount of cookies, it would generally be considered healthier to eat Oreos without the cream.

Side Note: The USDA actually has nutrition information available for Oreo cookies without the cream. Amazing, right?

And if you review that information, you’ll see: The cream is the worst part of an Oreo, nutritionally. That delicious “cream” is particularly rich in sugar.

Don’t get me wrong: The chocolate wafers in Oreos are bad, too. They’re mostly made of processed flour, oil, and sugar. But without the cream, they are at least a bit lower in calories and sugar (per cookie).

13. Which Is Healthier, Oreos or Chips Ahoy?

Oreos have more more sugar and sodium per serving than Chips Ahoy. However, Chips Ahoy have more saturated fat per serving. They have the same amount of calories. Neither cookie is healthy, as they are both highly processed.

Here’s a table comparing the Oreos and Chips Ahoy in several key nutrition areas:

SnackServing SizeSat. FatSodiumSugarFiber
Oreos3 cookies (34g)2g135mg14g<1g
Chips Ahoy3 cookies (33g)3g105mg11g<1g
Are Oreos better for you than Chips Ahoy?

So, are Oreos better or worse than Chips Ahoy? It’s really hard to say. It depends on which metric is most important to you. But the simplest answer is just that neither one is very healthy!

Note: There are different flavors and varieties of both Oreos and Chips Ahoy. Above was merely a comparison of the “Original” flavors. So, please take that into consideration to make your final decision.

Related question:

  • Are Oreos the worst cookie for you? Oreos seem to have higher sugar content than most other popular cookie brands on the market. So that may make them worse than average. However, it’s a stretch to say that Oreos are definitively the worst. Likely, there are worse cookies somewhere out there.

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14. Are Oreos Vegan?

Oreos are generally considered vegan. However, some vegans choose to avoid Oreos because of the processed sugar, which may be filtered with animal bone char.

Actually, Oreos are one of the foods most famous for being “surprisingly vegan” or “accidentally vegan.” Maybe it’s because they’re advertised as “Milk’s Favorite Cookie,” or maybe it’s because they have “cream” in the middle (hint: it’s actually just sugar).

But in any case, Oreos don’t actually have any animal products. Again, the disclaimer is that the sugar may be filtered with bone char. So some of the most strict/picky vegans avoid Oreos for that reason. But most vegans are okay with eating Oreos.

Related question:

  • Are Oreos made with animal fat? Oreos are not made with animal fat. Oreos have palm oil and/or canola oil as their main source of fat. These are both plant-based.

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