As the old saying goes, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover.’ This saying strangely fits digestive biscuits too, which often mislead people with their name.
Have you ever thought if the digestive biscuits on your plate are really digestive, or is it just a hoax?
Most people eat it the first thing in the morning and some as their evening snacks, assuming it would help their digestive system. But are digestive biscuits good for weight loss? Is it a good idea to replace unhealthy stuffs with other biscuits?
Well, it isn’t an outright lie either and has some partial truth in it too.
The story stretches far back to 19th century when two Scottish doctors got together to aid their patients with reoccurring digestive problems.
But now we are in the 21st century and 200 years later, many things have changed, in and around digestive biscuits.
When those 2 creative Scottish doctors created digestive biscuits, they concentrated on putting some baking soda and coarse-brown bread. Now while baking soda remains in the most of the digestive biscuits, there is a whole lot of things going on in their manufacturing.
Today they have whole wheat flour, sugar, salt and other preservatives. This modern-day biscuit now is known to attack the metabolism. They are found to hold down the food in the intestinal tracts and slow down the overall digestive process. Doesn’t that go against what they promise on their packaging?
Let’s look deeper into the nutrition and diets
Most nutritionists believe that there is no bad food, as all kinds of food are required by human body.
All foods provide either of these seven elements: Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats, Fibres, Mineral, Vitamins, and other micro nutrients.
Modern-day digestive biscuits are known to have fibers, some fat, and carbohydrate.
Experts say, that if you take them once in a while, rather like a medicine every morning and night, then there is no reason they would affect your system in a negative way.
No food, in particular, promotes weight loss. A balanced diet is a key here, experts add.
The modern-day digestive biscuits are processed and apparently do not function in the way they promise on the packet. Some digestive biscuits are also found to use some additives to get you hooked to the brand.
As per the reports from Food safety and standards authority of India (FSSAI), digestive biscuits do not even have baking soda in them.
The reports claim that baking soda, which is basically sodium carbonate, does not stay as the same compound when processed. Due to the heat involved in the process of Biscuit manufacturing, the Baking Soda alters its chemical formula to sodium carbonate, which is entirely a different compound with different chemical properties.
If that’s too complex to understand, just know that it’s not even close to what it claims.
READ: Healthy Indian Breakfast options for weight loss
What types of Digestive Biscuits are available in the market?
Food industries are westernizing and more or less, every country is getting to an American model of food processing where things are sugary and bigger.
Due to this, there are tons of options you can choose from when it comes to digestive biscuits. We primarily have three types of them.
- Normal: These digestive biscuits are simply whole-meal wheat flour, mixed with some sugar and salt for taste. These ones are not that bad and since it has no other extra flavors and enhancers, they could replace your normal biscuits with negligible or no health effects.
- Flavoured: These biscuits are everything that’s gone wrong with the food industry in the last 30-40 years. The craze of flavors is what has doomed the health of our generation. There are plenty of flavors for digestive biscuits, like everything else in the market. These biscuits are known to have tons of fats and palm oil.
- Reduced Fat: This kind reads like it is a good news. But as the formula goes; if you take fat out from a product, it should be replaced with another ingredient to make up for the taste. Usually, the cut-down fat is replaced with extra sugar.
When we referred to the nutritional chart for digestive biscuits, we learned that it doesn’t play good in terms of macro-nutrients.
Generally, a digestive biscuit has 75 calories. It has 2.3 gm of fat, 2.6 gm of simple sugar, and sodium.
If you consume it as an evening snack and mix it with a cup of tea or coffee, It isn’t any less than eating a big packet of potato chips, our study concluded.
Things to remember when buying Digestive Biscuits;
- Digestive biscuits are empty calories and unhealthy fats and must not be considered as a healthy Although they sometimes have a bit of fiber and protein, it isn’t a healthy party or anything that would facilitate your digestion.
- The sodium level in certain digestive biscuits is so high that they aren’t any less than a deep-fried variant of snack, and that definitely isn’t healthy.
- Even the sugar level of these biscuits are astonishingly It’s so above the normal level, that it wouldn’t be same to ever count them as a healthy option. In fact, most of the food safety organizations put them under the semi-sweet food item category.
- Since the sugar and salt (sodium) content of digestive biscuits are high, it is advised for blood-pressure patients to not consume them.
- Experts claim that the digestive biscuits don’t offer any nutritional value. They do not have any micro nutrients and contain no calcium, and usually are made of no-fat milk, which is not really healthy.
- The flavored digestive biscuits worth 95 calories while normal ones are, as stated above, 75 calories. There is a clear difference of 25 calories. So, if you have a cheat day, push your digestive biscuits in there and avoid them on normal days.
- Although Digestive biscuits do not contain yeasts, they do have some form of the leavening agent, similar to pancakes and muffins dishes.
- The digestive biscuits are highly processed and are filled with preservatives to make them last long in all kind of weather conditions.
READ: Is Maggi Noodles good for weight loss?
Are all digestive biscuits bad?
Well, any question that generalizes everything in the category can be answered with a big ‘No.’
And same applies to the digestive biscuits. Of course, the entire category isn’t a stinky fat and sugar.
There are some digestive biscuits that truly stand with the term and could be even termed healthy.
Especially the ones with high whole grains content. This could help patients with diabetes and help people to maintain their weight.
If you pick the right biscuit, you might as well get a lot of fiber from them, because of the abundance of food grain. This could keep your stomach full for longer duration’s and benefit you in many other digestion related problems like constipation.
On the other hand, the stoked up sugar and salt can benefit patients with low blood pressure.
Are there any alternatives?
The market is filled with alternatives and you would find tons of options if you do a little research as per your taste. While everybody prefers their own type, we would like to share our own favorite alternatives.
- Gingernuts: Made out of flour, baking soda, and ground ginger, this is our healthiest recommendation. It is straight from the century-old recipe which doesn’t require much even if you would like to prepare some at home.
- Oats biscuits: These biscuits are healthy and have all the goodness of oats. And it surprisingly tastes good too. God bless food industry to make everything tastier.
- Not eating biscuits: This is the healthiest option I know. Do not eat biscuits if you do not want high sugar or sodium troubling your digestive system. Just grab an apple or a carrot. Why not?
Are Digestive biscuits good for weight loss? I would say that the name digestive biscuit is misleading but it isn’t a bad option, relatively. Especially when compared to the mainstream biscuits.
Of course, it doesn’t show us the real picture on the packaging and does not deliver as much as promised, but you can keep them in your drawers for times when you would want to keep the hunger at bay.