Are Quest Cookies Keto-Friendly?

Are Quest Cookies Keto-Friendly?

Keto-friendly snacks are in demand right now. People want low-carb sweets to satisfy their sweet tooth. Quest Cookies (made by Quest Nutrition) are billed as the chewy, tasty solution to this problem. They come in several flavors, contain 15 grams of protein per cookie, and are very low in sugar. But are Quest Cookies keto-friendly?

Compared to real cookies, Quest Cookies are relatively low in carbs. But are they low-carb enough to be keto?

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What Are Quest Cookies?

Quest Cookies, also called Quest Protein Cookies, are low-sugar cookies made by Quest Nutrition. They come in several flavors, including Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin, and Double Chocolate Chip.

Each Quest Cookie contains 15 grams of protein, making it a high protein snack. They’re more or less protein bars. Quest Cookies are also fairly high in fiber: 9 to 12 grams per cookie, depending on the flavor. 

The promise of the Quest Cookie, similar to Quest Bar, is to satisfy cravings in a healthy way. After you learn the nutrition facts, you can decide if this promise is fulfilled. 

Quest Cookies Nutrition Facts 

The four flavors of Quest Cookies share similar features. They’re all low in sugar, high in protein, and high in fiber. 

What about low in carbs? That’s a bit of a stretch. Here are how some of the flavors break down nutritionally[*]:

#1: Chocolate Chip

  • Calories: 250
  • Total fat: 17 grams
  • Saturated fat: 10 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Total Carbohydrate: 19 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 9 grams
  • Total sugars: <1 gram
  • Erythritol: 6 grams
  • Sodium: 220 milligrams (10% DV)
  • Calcium: 150 milligrams (10% DV)

#2: Peanut Butter

  • Calories: 220
  • Total fat: 13 grams
  • Saturated fat: 4 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Total Carbohydrate: 22 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 12 grams
  • Total sugars: <1 gram
  • Erythritol: 5 grams
  • Sodium: 220 milligrams (10% DV)
  • Calcium: 150 milligrams (10% DV)

#3: Oatmeal Raisin

  • Calories: 250
  • Total fat: 14 grams
  • Saturated fat: 8 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Total Carbohydrate: 25 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 12 grams
  • Total sugars: 3 grams
  • Erythritol: 4 grams
  • Sodium: 220 milligrams (10% DV)
  • Calcium: 150 milligrams (10% DV)  

#4: Double Chocolate Chip

  • Calories: 240
  • Total fat: 15 grams
  • Saturated fat: 9 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Total Carbohydrate: 21 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 11 grams
  • Total sugars: <1 gram
  • Erythritol: 5 grams
  • Sodium: 190 milligrams (8% DV)
  • Calcium: 150 milligrams (10% DV)

Quest Cookies Ingredients

The Quest Cookies ingredients label (for Double Chocolate Chip cookie flavor) looks like[*]: 

Protein Blend (Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate), Soluble Corn Fiber, Butter (Cream, Natural Flavor), Erythritol, Palm Oil, Natural Flavors, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Calcium Caseinate, Water, Cocoa Butter. Contains less than 2% of the following: Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Sodium Caseinate, Xanthan Gum, Stevia sweetener.

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There’s nothing too alarming on this list, though those with dairy intolerances or allergies will have trouble with the milk-based protein blend. 

Like many Quest products, Quest Cookies are sweetened with erythritol, a type of sugar alcohol. Erythritol tends to cause less digestive issues compared to other sugar alcohols (like xylitol), and it’s unlikely to affect blood sugar levels[*]. 

In addition to being low in sugar, Quest Cookies also don’t contain gluten or soy—both common food allergens. On Amazon, Quest Cookies are marketed as gluten-free. But on the Quest Nutrition website, this label is avoided. 

Quest Cookies and Net Carbs

When marketing their cookies, Quest talks about net carbs, not total carbs. 

To calculate net carbs, you simply subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbs. Since fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate with no calories, net carbs are the better measure for assessing blood sugar impact. 

Quest Cookies net carb counts are advertised as:

  • Chocolate Chip: 4 grams net carbs
  • Peanut Butter: 5 grams of net carbs
  • Oatmeal Raisin: 9 grams net carbs
  • Double Chocolate Chip: 5 grams net carbs

If you apply the equation net carbs = total carbs – grams fiber, the math doesn’t work. But that’s because they’re also subtracting the sugar alcohols—which are also partially undigestible forms of carbohydrate.   

Take the Chocolate Chip protein cookie. It has 19 grams of total carbs, 9 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of erythritol. (19 grams total carbs – 9 grams fiber – 6 grams erythritol = 4 grams net carbs).

Do you want to be eating this much erythritol? That’s not clear. Some people have problems digesting this sugar alcohol[*]. 

Next, you’ll learn how Quest Cookies could affect blood sugar and insulin levels—and if they could derail your ketogenic diet.   

How Quest Cookies Could Affect Blood Sugar and Insulin

Of all the macronutrients (carbs, protein, or fat), carbs affect blood sugar levels the most[*]. Carbs are a form of sugar, after all. 

When blood sugar rises after a carby meal, the hormone insulin rises along with it. Insulin is your blood sugar boss. It comes along to store blood sugar as glycogen (stored glucose) or fat[*]. 

So if you’re trying to burn fat, you want to keep insulin levels low. The easiest way to do that? Limit your carb intake.  

Now glance back at the total carbs for each of the four flavors of Quest Cookie. Chocolate Chip, 19 grams of carbs. Oatmeal Raisin, 25 grams of carbs. And so on. 

Even if you calculate net carbs, you’re still looking at 5 to 10 grams of carbs per cookie. So no, Quest Cookies are not, strictly speaking, low-carb snacks. 

If you’re on a keto diet, you should limit carbs to around 20 grams per day. A couple of Quest Cookies get you near that limit and could, depending on your physiology, kick you out of ketosis. 

The takeaway? Quest Cookies aren’t low-carb foods and may raise blood sugar and insulin levels. 

Are Quest Cookies Keto?

As far as cookies go, Quest Cookies are on the healthy end of the spectrum. They’re high in protein, low in sugar, and generally free of nasty ingredients. 

But are they keto? Probably not. 

The Oatmeal Raisin cookie, for example, contains 9 grams of net carbs. For keto-adapted athletes, this is probably fine. They can handle a higher carb load.   

If you’re just starting on keto (or have a lower carb tolerance), Quest Cookies don’t belong on the menu. They simply have too many carbs to align with the keto diet. Instead, you might want to check out Perfect Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies, a keto-friendly sweet with just 4 net carbs and a super clean ingredient list.

If you’re going to opt for dessert alternatives, always choose the cleanest option and do what’s right for your body.

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