Saturday, September 12, 2020

Elevation Protein & Probiotic Mini Cookies (Aldi)

Extra protein in standard mini-cookie form? I'm in!
I like cookies, and I don't think I'm alone in that sentiment. So it makes sense that a good way for me to eat “healthy” is to pack some necessary nutrients in cookie form, which is exactly what those good folks at Elevation (as they are now known; they've dropped the “by Millville” from their moniker) have gone and done.

So what is the point of these mythical, magical cookies, and what exactly makes them “health”-oriented? Well it says so right on the front, in the name of the product: they contain protein and probiotics. What are probiotics, a question I myself had to look up despite hearing the word dozens of times before? Really, they seem to be more of a modern marketing “keyword”: according to the U.S. government website I visited, the benefits of them are still being studied, with very little actual benefits proven. And yet, they're on products everywhere in the supermarket these days, generally touting their improvements to digestive health, or similar statements.

I can't really pretend to care about the benefits of probiotics, but if I can get some protein in cookie, why not? I need all the vitamins and nutrients I can get. Especially since I've noticed that my health and activity has significantly dropped when compared to last year, thanks to reduced work hours, where I did a majority of my daily steps and the occasional heavy lifting.

These are actually pretty good. And by “pretty good” I mean that they taste like any other hard mini-cookie that I've ever had. The cookie itself is pretty bland, with a slightly sweet flavor that doesn't really do much, but the chocolate really shines through, giving you that sweet, familiar taste that we all know and love. Since there are a generous helping of chocolate in each one, it helps to make these go down easy.

The one thing I do tend to get concerned about is sugar content: if I get a ton of sugar, I feel drowsy and sluggish and my brain just gets in a fog. It's why I can't drink sugared energy drinks anymore, and tend to stay away from sodas altogether. I'm not sure about the typical sugar content in cookies, but these pack about 1g per cookie, which doesn't seem like that much to me (a nine-cookie serving has 8g), especially when there's 7g of protein in that same serving. Granted, I don't generally eat nine cookies at once, so I'm getting less protein, but also less sugar. Sodium is relatively high at 190mg, which sucks, and there's a rather alarming amount of saturated fat (7g) which kind of lessens the impact, especially since I already have borderline high cholesterol.

The only big remaining question is how's the value? I was particularly concerned with that here, since most items in the Elevation brand are pretty expensive, seeing as how they are usually knock-offs of “premium” protein bars. Honestly, I think the $2.99 price tag is actually fairly reasonable, considering each bag contains roughly 32 cookies. That's 3.5 servings of increased protein for $3. Granted, you can get five or six-packs of protein bars from the same line for around $5, but if you don't like the taste of those, these provide a good alternative at a similar per-serving price.

Overall: 6.5/10. The taste is nothing spectacular, as they taste like every other hard mini-cookie on the market, but considering there's a good amount of protein in there, that makes it a slightly better accomplishment. The $2.99 asking price (for 3.5 servings) is also pretty decent, putting it on par with other bars in the Elevation line. However, the biggest drawbacks are what you have to put up with to get the probiotics and protein: namely 7g of saturated fat and 190mg of sodium, which seems fairly high for a serving of cookies. Either way, these are a pretty good entry into the overall excellent Elevation line.

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