Choosing good crackers
Let’s be honest, choosing good crackers at the grocery is a real challenge. Through all the publicity and the labels claiming all sorts of nutritional qualities, it’s not surprising how confusing things can get!
However, even if it is written “multigrain” on a box of crackers, oftentimes the product does not contain any more fiber than the original version. Indeed, “multigrain” only means that the product was made out of many different grains, for example rye, barley, or oats, instead of only wheat. Most crackers on the market can be more easily likened to buttered and salted white bread than to a healthy side dish. So, how can we make a healthy choice, will you ask me?
We need to use our critical mind, take the box in our hands, and… read the ingredients list, and then the nutritional chart. It is essential to know that the ingredients list is written in descending order of weight. This means that the first ingredient is the one present in most quantity. Look for products that contain whole grains, ideally as a first ingredient. Their presence means a higher nutritional value, because whole grains provide more fiber, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. This will also make the cracker more filling.
On the nutritional chart, we have to check the fat content to avoid a product with too much of it, the sodium content to limit the salt, as well as the fibers content.
Fats: less than 3 g
Saturated fat: less than 1,5 g
Trans fat: 0g
Sodium: less than 150 mg
Fiber: more than 2 g
For example, a product with this label would pass the test.
Some examples of good choices would be Ryvita, Melba 12 grains, Kavli, Kashi, and “Bon Grains”, among others.
And you, what are your favourite crackers?
By Marilyne Petitclerc