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.