Ritz Crackers With Whole Wheat, Sorta but Not Really

Ritz has a new cracker on the market and it’s made with Whole Wheat!

The reason we want whole wheat and whole grains in our diet is:

1. the whole grain contains many more nutrients than a refined grain

2. the celebrity nutrient in whole grains is fiber, something most of us are lacking in our diet.

3. whole grains in a food are an indicator of a less processed product.

So this new Ritz cracker with 5 grams of whole grains sounds healthy right? Let’s take a look…

What you need to know:

We are kind of disappointed to read the nutriton label and discover that the 5 grams of whole grains are translated to less than 1 gram of fiber per serving!

But our disappointment did not end there.

Here is the ingredient list:

unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), whole grain wheat flour, soybean oil, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, leavening (calcium phosphate, and/or baking soda), salt, high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin.

As you can see, the first ingredient in this cracker is refined flour, stripped of its nutrients, only to have some of them added back (hence “enriched”). The whole wheat, referred to boldly in the front of package, is listed only as the second ingredient.

Additionally, this product contains trans-fats – just look at the partially hydrogenated oil listed as an ingredient.

Last but not least, high fructose corn syrup is used here. This usually indicates a low quality, high profit margin processed food.

Bottom line – stay away.

What to do at the supermarket:

If crackers are your thing – choose those with 100% whole wheat, or close to that. Look for 2, 3, or more grams of fiber per serving. And no partially hydrogenated anything.

Please note that the serving size designated on cracker packs is usually very small. For example here, 5 crackers seems like a very small portion. You may need to do some multiplying to figure out the true calorie count you are consuming.

One more thing. Aside from the cracker itself, the toppings count too. Our favorite healthy recommendations include, hummus, avocado, sardines, and low-fat cheese.

What’s your favorite Cracker?

We’re running a short cracker survey to learn what’s important for you when choosing crackers. Please take a minute to answer 3 questions. One lucky respondent will win a $25 gift card of her / his choice. (Expires August 28). Click here for the survey.

UPDATE: Survey is closed. Winner has been notified.

You can also tell us what your favorite cracker is by scanning you favorite cracker and liking it on your Fooducate Android App or iPhone App.

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  • Sketch

    is there a product – that can be mass-produced to feed 350+ million people – whose labels you (fooducate) is NOT disappointed with?? I’ve been following this site for about 6 or 8 months now and I’ve seen almost entirely NEGATIVE posts on products. WTF? why can’t “you people” give us information on GOOD things that we may not necessarily know about? how about some POSITIVE things for a change? hell, I’ll even take NEUTRAL at this point.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Hey Sketch, We’d love to report that all products are tasty, healthy, and cheap. But this blog is a reflection of the sad state of processed food in this country. Perhaps this also explains our obesity epidemic and other food related disease. 
      PS – Please try to be a bit more civil in the discussion. We’ve been following your comments for the past few months as well; you’re about to be sent to the principal’s office…

      • Gnawrly

        This app is intended to do just that: point out the negatives.
        If you want positive or neutral eat a homegrown fruit.

        I love the negativity because it keeps you on the other end of the health spectrum.

    • Fedup007

      I agree, Sketch. This is a blog is all about negative energy to keep foodie shits pumped up on bullshit. You’re going to get banned. I certainly will. Suits me.

      Eat it, you jackass foodie asswipes.

  • Dave

    Sketch, sadly your tone is not uncommon these days. While you do make a great point; it is easy to point out the negative, how about some solutions, the example today  IS very disappointing. Large manufacturers find themselves with well known brands that are losing market share as new tastes and trends are sweeping the nation. These manufacturers have little choice but to try to blend-in and the results are somewhere between shameful and deceptive.  Fooducate needs to point this out day after day because large companies have millions of dollars to get their message out. Anyway, here is a great solution if you are looking for a delicious and healthy cracker. I hope you have the energy to make it.
    http://www.newtaste.com/crispyherblavash.html
     

  • Silly122

    Bottom line, never trust a “packaged food” that touts it’s healthfulness – if it’s packaged it’s not healthy.

    • Crankyunicorn

      You just have to look a little harder for a healthy packaged food. Whole Foods makes a Triscuit like cracker that contains only whole wheat and salt.

  • Jim Cooper

    Partially hydrogenated does not always indicated trans fats. They are pretty much absent from Crisco. And while HFCS may be present in poor foods, you have not proved the converse: that all foods containing HFCS are poor.

    • http://blog.ianbeyer.com Ian B

      Jim, the process of hydrogenation creates the trans fats. If it’s hydrogenated, it’s got trans fat in it. Note that the claim “Zero Grams Trans Fat” is not the same as “Trans-Fat Free”. It’s a loophole the FDA created that allowed you to say that there were “zero grams” as long as a serving contains under 0.5 grams of trans fat. (rounded down to… Zero!)

    • Derp

      Yes it does. It is in fact in the definition of trans fat…

  • Mip

    Such a bummer, I love Ritz crackers :(

  • Jeremiah

    Wow all the man (sketch) is trying to say is that maybe you should suggest healthy alternatives to the foods you report on negatively. Sent to the principals office…LMAO What are we in grade school? Grow up and learn to take criticism, it might just make your site better.

  • Jeremiah

    Oh sorry I just noticed that this may be why the last comments are from 3 years ago. Haaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaha :)