Oreos: the milk’s favourite cookie debate (vegan or not)

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Image credit: www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/bhofack2

Going vegan is a way to promote sustainable living and protect animal rights. However, does that mean you have to let go of all snacks like candies, chips, and the likes? No. There are food items you can enjoy that do not contain dairy products. However, there is always a debate when it comes to Oreos. You may be tempted to conclude that this number one selling cookie is vegan. Nevertheless, there is more to it than meets the eyes.

We have created this guide to help you understand the truth behind this most-loved cookie and where it stands in this on-going debate.

Reasons why Oreos are favorite cookies

There are good reasons why Oreos have become favorite cookies for many people who love sweet foods. Many of these people agree that keeping some Oreos makes sense because these cookies are simply classic. 

Well, with black and white being some of the favorite colors in fashion, perhaps the same can be said of the Oreo. Whether it’s basic vanilla and chocolate or red velvet, it appears many people will still desire to have a round of Oreo cookies.

Even better, Oreo comes in a variety of flavors. You can rest assured that you can find the type of Oreo that meets your flavor that you are craving for. Also, they go well with most types of milk or milk alternatives. For these reasons, you can eat them as an addition to desserts or use them as recipes.          

Oreo Cookies Ingredients

The Oreo sandwich comprises two wafers (usually chocolate) with a sweet créme filling in-between. Made in 1912, this cookie is found in several countries, including the United Kingdom. Since its inception, there has hardly been any significant changes in its ingredients. Although, a lot of varieties and flavors have emerged over time.

Here are eleven main ingredients you will find in an Oreo cookie:

  • Unbleached enriched flour, which contains wheat flour, iron, niacin, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B1), and riboflavin (Vitamin B2). 
  • Sugar 
  • Alkali-treated cocoa
  • Palm oil or high oleic canola oil
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Leavening agent (monocalcium phosphate or baking soda)
  • Salt
  • Soy lecithin
  • Corn starch
  • Chocolate
  • Vanillin

Nutritional Value

Oreos are sold in packs, each of them containing six cookie sandwiches with 270 calories. This implies that an Oreo cookie has 45 calories, among which include carbohydrates (25), fat (16.5), and protein (1.5). However, the amounts of carbohydrates vary from one flavor to another.

Understandably, Oreo cookies have become the most popular cookies in the world. This popularity is because you can find them in a wide range of flavors and variations to meet a variety of tastes. By now you might be wondering the other health benefits you are likely to find in Oreo cookies. Well, below are some of the health benefits that are known to be in Oreo cookies: 

Folic acid and iron 

Oreo cookies have folic acid which is a type of water-soluble B vitamin. You can find folic acid in foods such as cereal, pasta, bread, flour, cookies, pastries, and many more.

Folic acid is usually used to prevent kidney diseases, anemia, and neurological issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Besides this, folic acid helps in the production of DNA and proper development of the human body. 

On the other hand, iron is considered an essential mineral that your body needs for it to effectively transport oxygen. Iron is a crucial component of red blood cells or hemoglobin, and lack of it can lead to a lack of red blood cells. If this happens, it means there will be less amount of oxygen that is transported throughout your body. This can cause exhaustion, fatigue, and headache. 

Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B3

Oreo cookies are also known to have vitamin B1 which is sometimes called thiamine. This vitamin can be found in beans, grains, yeast, meat, and nuts. If you have a poor appetite, continuous diarrhea, or ulcerative colitis, you need to take thiamine. This is because thiamine can treat these health conditions and can help your body to process carbohydrates properly. 

Vitamin B2 also known as riboflavin is another type of B vitamin that can help you with normal cell growth and function in the digestive tract lining, skin, the brain, and blood cells. You can also find riboflavin in other protein sources, such as eggs, milk, nuts, green vegetables, and meat.

Finally, Oreo cookies have vitamin B3 which is important for general good health, reducing cardiovascular risks and triglycerides, and improving the HDL cholesterol levels. Consuming his vitamin can also reduce the chances of getting atherosclerosis which is the hardening of the arteries.             

Are Oreos Vegan Or Not?

The question is whether Oreos are vegan or not is debatable. Fortunately, here, you can see if Oreos are vegan or not. The list of ingredients documented earlier shows no trace of animal products. However, the Oreo company states that Oreos are not vegan-friendly. 

You can find this claim on the FAQ section of their website: “Oreos have milk as cross-contact and therefore are not suitable for vegans.” Does that imply that you shouldn’t consume these cookies? Let us find out what PETA has to say about such products.

PETA’s View On Controversial Products

The fact that Oreos are not made with dairy products does not rule out the point that there is no milk in the factories that produce them. However, does having a micro amount of dairy in food products make them non-vegan? Here is what PETA, a world-class animal protection organization, has to say about such products:

“Some packaged foods have a long list of ingredients. The farther an ingredient is down the list, the less of that ingredient is the food. People who have made the compassionate decision to stop eating animal flesh, eggs, and dairy products may wonder if they need to read every ingredient to check for tiny amounts of obscure animal products.

Our advice is not to worry too much… The goal of sticking to a vegetarian or vegan diet is to help animals and reduce suffering; this is done by choosing a bean burrito or a veggie burger over chicken flesh or choosing tofu scramble over eggs, not by refusing to eat an otherwise vegan food because it has 0.001 grams of monoglycerides that may be animal-derived.”

What We Think

Oreos are not bad to consume. However, if you are more concerned about having no trace of animal products in your diet, then you can consume homemade vegan Oreos. Besides, they contain less-processed ingredients.




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