The cracker aisle at the grocery store can be overwhelming. But hold on. It needn’t be difficult. The truth of the matter is that most commercial crackers simply aren’t worth it. Most are made with more refined grains than whole grains. Many have no whole grains. To succeed with weight loss and maintaining your weight when you reach your goal you want to AVOID refined grains.
Tips for finding the best whole grain crackers
First of all look for whole grain to be listed first on the ingredient list! I’ve seen far too many grain products with Whole Grain printed on the front of the package when in fact the product only has a little whole grain. What you want ideally is 100% whole grain.
Second, be attentive to what constitutes a serving size. Is it 14 crackers or 8 or maybe only 2? What a difference! If you are tracking calories this matters.
Third, whole grain crackers can be a healthy choice but the benefits of whole grains can be lost if you are choosing to top the crackers with unhealthy foods (high calorie dips, sauces, spreads, etc.)
Fourth, avoid crackers with excessive sodium or saturated fat. A good rule of thumb might be to limit sodium to approximately 100 mg or less per oz. Limit saturated fat to no more than 1 gram per oz.
What type of crackers do you want?
It seems to me there are 3-4 basic categories of crackers. There are what might be called the “woven” crackers, the “crisp bread” crackers, the “thin” crackers, and other more standard crackers that don’t fit in one of the first 3 categories. There are different crackers for different needs.
These crackers are crisp and chewy and of course woven. From what I understand the Triscuit became so popular other companies came up with their own version.
Of the many woven wheat crackers on the market, Nabisco Triscuit – Hint of Salt may be your best bet. One ounce of crackers (about 6) has only 120 calories and 3 grams of dietary fiber with only 50 mg of sodium and 1 gram of saturated fat.
3 grams dietary fiber
50 mg sodium
1 saturated fat
Crispbreads tend to be airy as well as light and/or crunchy. What’s nice about these crackers is that they’re large enough to hold almost any kind of sandwich fixing and make a nice substitute for bread. I recommend keeping a box in your pantry for those moments when you want a sandwich but you don’t have any fresh bread on hand.
Kavli crispbreads are an excellent choice. The Kavli Golden Rye has 90 calories and 5 grams of dietary fiber per ounce with only 70 mg of sodium and no saturated fat.
5 grams dietary fiber
70 mg sodium
0 saturated fat
Thin crackers are common these days. Ounce for ounce you can typically eat more thin crackers per serving than either the crisp breads or woven crackers. But the calorie count may or may not be less. Read the nutrition label.
Also, don’t be fooled by all the fancy names such as “baked with vegetables”, or “made with cracked wheat and rye”, or “stone-ground”. None of these guarantee you will be getting more than 50% whole grain or important nutrients. Most have more white refined flour than whole grain. And please don’t look to crackers to meet your vegetable needs!
A good choice with thin crackers might be Nabisco Wheat Thins, Hint of Salt. These crackers have 150 calories and 2 grams of dietary fiber with only 60 mg of sodium and 1 gram of saturated fat.
2 grams dietary fiber
60 mg sodium
1 gram saturated fat
More Crackers: Other Brands
Other brands of crackers besides Kavli and Nabisco to take a look at include:
Not all the crackers within ANY brand are good choices. Read the labels!!
Hope you’ll find it just a bit easier to pick the best choice of whole grain crackers for you.