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FITNESS Healthy Food Awards 2013: Sweet Treats

Some treats cram in more calories than a stick of butter, but that's not the way all cookies have to crumble. To prove it, we asked our nutritionists to review nearly 70 better-for-you goodies, then we taste-tested the ones that met their requirements: no more than 140 calories, less than three grams of saturated fat, and no trans fat. The winning eight will satisfy your sweet tooth without activating your guilt reflex.

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Assorted Sweet Treats
Brian Klutch
Lucy's
Newman's
Vitalicious
Nonni's
365 Everyday Value
Fiber One
Sheila G's
Udi's
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What Makes a Winner

Companies submitted 69 new baked goods to FITNESS. Our experts -- Anar Allidina, RD. a dietitian in private practice in Toronto; Keri Gans, RD, the author of The Small Change Diet; and Stephanie Middleberg, RD, the founder of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City -- helped us determine which ones should move on to the next round. Those finalists were sampled and voted on by FITNESS staffers.

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Lucy's Chocolate Chip Snack 'n Go Packs

These cookies are made with olive oil and oat flour but no nuts, wheat, milk, or eggs, so they're safe for people with food allergies. And because they come in what one fan called "perfectly portioned packages," they're binge-proof too. (130 calories per pack)

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Newman's Own Organics Spelt Ginger Snaps

"Zingy ginger and strong hints of molasses make these hard to eat mindlessly," one tester said. And yes, they really do snap. In fact, these sweets are sturdy enough to stand up to dunking in milk or even vanilla yogurt. (140 calories for five)

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Vitalicious Chocolate Raspberry Mini VitaCakes

"Heat up one of these in the microwave and you would swear you were eating molten chocolate cake," a tester said. Unlike the fudgy dessert, these are made with white whole wheat flour, egg whites, and real raspberries. (50 calories for one)

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Nonni's Thinaddictives Cranberry Almond Thins

Because these are superthin, you get three for about the same number of calories as one regular-size biscotti. Staffers loved the "not-too-sweet cinnamon flavor" and the "short and 'clean'" ingredients list. (100 calories per pack)

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365 Everyday Value Organic Chocolate Sandwich Cremes

The combo of crunchy chocolate cookies and creamy vanilla frosting reminded testers of the real thing "but without the high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors." Plus, sugar is the third ingredient, not the first. (130 calories for two)

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Fiber One 90 Calorie Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Have your cake and eat it too with this icing-drizzled treat. "Moist and decadent tasting" enough for dessert, it packs five grams of fiber (that's 20 percent of your daily requirement), so there's no shame in enjoying it as a midmorning snack. (90 calories for one)

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Sheila G's Salted Caramel Brownie Brittle

If you always go for the brownie edges instead of a gooey center square, you'll love these crispy treats, which contain 20 fewer grams of fat than the bakery type and have a salty-sweet flavor that "kills two cravings at once." (120 calories for one ounce)

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Udi's Gluten Free Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip Soft-Baked Cookies

Love chocolate chip pancakes with syrup? Sink your teeth into these. "Definitely the best store-bought cookies I've ever had," a staffer said. "The chocolate melted in my mouth as if they were fresh out of the oven." (100 calories for one)

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2013.

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