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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Calories >>  Biscuits

Calories In Biscuits

Call them biscuits in Europe or cookies/crackers in United States and Canada, these small flour- based, usually sweetened, delights are popular with both children and adults. The word biscuit probably derives its origins from the process in which it is cooked. Latin words bis (twice) and coctus (cooked) may refer to the baking and oven crisping process of original biscuits. Usually tiny in size, the European variety tends to be more creative with its use of sugar, butter, cream, jams and preserves, cheese, and herbs, and so on. The English variety, on the other hand, is often more hard or crumbly, depending on how you would like to consume them.

The English tradition of “dunking” biscuits in tea to soften them has led to a hardier or stable variety of teatime biscuits. In recent times, the health industry has caught on to this food in a big way with the inclusion of digestive biscuits, dietary biscuits for weight loss or fiber, calcium fortified biscuits, glucose biscuits, and protein-enabled biscuits.

  • Calories in biscuits come from basic ingredients such as refined flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter or oil used in the cooking process. Additional calories in biscuits may come from additives such as flavors and preservatives used.
  • Nutrients in biscuits, especially commercially made biscuits, may include a higher amount of carbohydrates, some fats and proteins, sodium and sugar. Most commercially made biscuits, however, contain little to no dietary fiber.
  • Nutritional details of biscuits also include ‘hydrogenated oil’ or hardened vegetable oil. Hydrogenated oil and saturated fats prevalent in many store bought biscuits may cause ill health. They can further contribute to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and so on.

Calories In Homemade Biscuits

One of the main concerns when consuming commercial or store bought biscuits is the amount of calories from carbohydrates and fats. One solution: try simple recipes for home and make a few swap outs to control the calories in homemade biscuits. You can use whole wheat or multigrain flour instead of refined flour. You will receive all the benefits of a digestive biscuit plus the healthy dietary fiber essential for your body. Homemade biscuits allow you to control the amount of fat (butter, margarine, oil or shortening) used in the cooking process. You can use less sugar than the amount suggested or even replace it with natural sweeteners, agave nectar, honey, or more healthy ingredients such as apple puree.  Nutrition facts of homemade biscuits made with whole wheat may consist of 44 calories per small biscuit (about 1 to 1½ diameter in shape). Other nutrition facts include:

  • Total fat = 1.62
  • Saturated fat = 0.373 grams
  • Sodium  = 126 mg
  • Potassium = 43 mg
  • Total carbohydrate = 6.47 grams
  • Dietary fiber = 1 gram
  • Sugars = 0.36 grams
  • Protein = 1.35 grams

Whole-wheat biscuits may also contain up to 2 percent iron and 3 percent calcium. (Percent daily values are based on 2000-calorie diet.)

Calories In Canned Biscuits

For many snackers, canned biscuits are an easy and accessible choice. With dozens of options available, canned biscuits are a snack time favorite. You can purchase packaged biscuits or canned biscuit dough that makes biscuit batches when heated in the oven. However, the calories in canned biscuits do add up due to ingredients such as refined flour, sugar, salt, butter and baking powder. Additionally, canned biscuits may also contain preservatives to increase the shelf life of the dough. When choosing canned biscuits for snack or teatime, ensure that you read the expiry date on the label. Do not consume raw dough and follow instructions on the label while baking the biscuits. Nutrient content in canned biscuits may be broken down as follows. Here we have provided the nutrient content for canned biscuit dough for one biscuit (about 27 grams).

  • Total fat = 4 grams
  • Cholesterol = 0 mg
  • Sodium = 292 mg
  • Phosphorus = 138 mg
  • Calcium = 14.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate = 13 grams
  • Sugars = 2 grams
  • Protein = 2grams

Nutrient content for canned biscuit may also contain up to 4 percent of iron and 1 percent of calcium. (Percent daily values are based on a 2000-calorie diet.)

Properties Of Biscuits And Its Health Benefits

Health benefits of biscuits depend largely on the kind of ingredients used to make them and quality of these ingredients. Some digestive biscuits made from whole wheat or multigrain crackers do provide high doses of dietary fiber, which aid in digestion and better bowel movement. Certain biscuits such as ginger snap cookies may help alleviate nausea. Glucose biscuits or other fortified biscuits may help address deficiencies in children and adults. However, these maybe consumed in moderation and under a doctor’s supervision. Other diet biscuits when consumed as part of a weight loss plan may help individuals overcome hunger pangs between meals, while providing health benefits such as dietary fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals and whole grain benefits.

Side Effects Of Biscuits

Many people believed that since soda bicarbonate remedies indigestion, biscuits, which contain baking powder, might also help with the same. However, not all biscuits provide a remedy for digestive disorders. Moreover, refined flour used in biscuits may cause constipation in some individuals. Gluten allergy is one of the major side effects of biscuits. Individuals who suffer from Celiac’s disease or any form of gluten allergy may not be able to consume traditional biscuits. Another side effect of biscuits concerns the amount of sugar and fats in biscuits. Most of the calories in biscuits come from the sugars. In addition, if you are consuming cream biscuits, sugar topped biscuits, biscuits with jams and preserves, and so on, you continue to add calories to snack time.

Tips On Biscuits Intake

Recommended quantity of biscuits intake may depend on what kind of weight goal you are planning to achieve. While biscuits can certainly make healthy snacks, the idea is to consume them in moderation. When to consume biscuits depends on whether you utilize them as snacks or as part of your daily diet to fulfill certain dietary deficiencies. However, the best way to consume biscuits includes dividing them into moderate portion sizes (2 to 3 medium-sized biscuits) eaten between larger meals or at snack hour. Other healthy ways to eat biscuits include consuming homemade biscuits and biscuits that are rich in dietary fiber and low in sodium and sugars. You may also purchase biscuits that specifically read low in fat, no trans fat, or fewer calories. Since the quality of biscuits depends on the ingredients used, ensure that you pick biscuits that read ‘made from whole grain’, multigrain crackers, and natural preservatives and additives. Biscuits made from flour attract moisture and may become soggy or stale. Storage tips for store bought biscuits include keeping them in airtight containers. Canned biscuit dough should be frozen or refrigerated according to the instructions on its label. Do not consume biscuits post the date of expiry.

Submitted on January 16, 2014