Crackers can be a healthy snack, if you choose wisely
The simple cracker sure has come a long way in the last few years. Now there are lots of choices and a variety of flavors.
“A lot of manufacturers are using uncommon ingredients like chickpeas, hemp seeds, and millet, and these things can really boost the fiber and the flavor of these crackers and make them a really nutritious choice,” said Julia Calderon, an associate editor at Consumer Reports.
Calderon says some crackers have more fiber than pretzels or chips, making them a more filling snack.
Whole grain crackers have the most fiber and nutrients. If that’s what you want, don’t rely on front-of-the package claims. Check the ingredient list and see if a whole grain, such as wheat, brown rice or farro is the first ingredient.
Remember, multi-grain is not the same as whole grain.
Multi-grain sounds really healthy, but it's not synonymous with whole grain,” Calderon said. “So if something is multi-grain you should really look at the ingredients list and make sure that white flour is not at the top of the list and make sure that a whole grain is at the top of the list.”
Most crackers don't have a lot of sugar, but you do want to focus on sodium.
Consumer Reports says a healthy cracker should have no more than 140mg of sodium per serving.