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Surprising Side Effects of Eating Cookies, According to Science

If you happen to give the Cookie Monster a run for his money, you're going to want to slow things down a bit.

If there's one food most people have no problem eating no matter what time of the day, it's a cookie. Think about it—whether you want to indulge in something sweet alongside your morning coffee, need a mid-day pick-me-up, or want a treat after dinner, a cookie does the trick. It's very easy, though, to sit and eat quite a few cookies at one time, as they're not all that big and well, they are delicious.

If you happen to feel a deep connection to the Cookie Monster, you might wonder what your habit of snacking on cookies is actually doing to your body. Uncover the truth below and perhaps once you dust off those cookie crumbs, you'll want to stock up on The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

You could gain weight.

Female leg stepping on floor scales

This one shouldn't really come as much of a shock, but it's still important to keep in mind. If you're eating tons of packaged cookies, you could see the number on the scale go up. See, these store-bought cookies are a prime example of processed foods, and plenty contain high-fructose corn syrup. One study actually found that mice who ate high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those who ate table sugar, and both groups were consuming the same amount of calories.

While one cookie a day isn't going to completely derail your diet goals, it's often easy to eat more than one at a time, and soon enough, downing quite a few cookies throughout the day could lead to unwanted pounds.

You could end up craving more.

packaged baked goods

What you might not realize is that part of the reason why you're eating more cookies is that your body is actually craving them. When you eat something like cookies that are loaded up in sugar, there is a rise in your blood glucose. That blood sugar spike leads to a crash, and your brain then wants more of those types of foods, so you start craving them. A vicious cycle!

If you're looking to cut back on your sugar consumption, the easy guide to cutting back on sugar is finally here.

You'll be hungry not long after.

milk and cookies on a plate with crumbs

A big issue with cookies? They're often lacking in fiber. One serving of Chips Ahoy! Original Chocolate Chip cookies—which is three cookies—has less than 1 gram of fiber, for example. And this lack of fiber will just mean trouble for you.

Foods that are high in fiber will keep you fuller for longer, which means you won't keep snacking, and fiber intake has been associated with lower body weight. Eating a diet filled with high-fiber foods can also help combat your risk of developing heart disease and cancer, so it's a win-win! Loading up on cookies, which are devoid of fiber, is just going to have you back in the kitchen again not too long after, still feeling hungry.

You're increasing your likelihood of developing chronic health issues.

chocolate chip cookies on a plate with two cups of milk in the background

Consuming a large amount of cookies each day is only going to harm your heath in the long run. It's been proven that those who end up over-consuming sugary foods can end up not only developing obesity but also type 2 diabetes. Another study in the Journal of the American Medical Association even discovered that those who get 25% or more of their calories from added sugar (which by now, it's clear cookies are loaded up with this stuff!) are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease. Scary!

Your skin can suffer.

chocolate oreo cookies

If you're trying to keep wrinkles from forming (isn't that always the goal?!), munching on cookies all day isn't necessarily the best move. Your skin has collagen and elastin, but those can be damaged, thanks to elevated amounts of sugar you get from foods like cookies. That damage can then lead to the development of wrinkles. All of those cookies just aren't worth your skin sagging!

So what can you do? Well, just be sure to enjoy a cookie sparingly, and avoid eating an entire sleeve of Oreo cookies in one sitting!

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more about Jennifer
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