Wading through fields of whole-wheat crackers to find a truly healthy option can prove daunting. Trans fats may lurk in an otherwise terrific choice, and fiber may be all but invisible in a “whole-grain” cracker.
When you pick up your next box of crackers, look at the label and keep a few tips in mind:
* Serving sizes: These vary from 15 grams to 30. When comparing labels, be sure that the portion size is similar, and one that you’re apt to eat. We used a 30-gram serving size below.
* Flour: Make sure that the first ingredient listed on the label is whole wheat. Color can be deceptive: some brown crackers owe their hue to caramel or molasses, not whole grains.
* Fat: Many crackers use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil for a crispy texture and longer shelf life. But hydrogenation creates trans fats, which cause (bad) LDL cholesterol to rise and (good) HDL cholesterol to decline. They also increase triglycerides, which are linked to cardiac disease and type 2 diabetes. Just 16 Nabisco Original Wheat Thins provide 2 grams of trans fats (5 daily grams have been linked to serious health problems).
Some crackers we like: