Crackers are one of the essential snacks you can have in your household, and Ritz crackers are one of the best simple crackers you can get. However, as science has made us more aware of what we should be putting in our bodies, you should question – are Ritz crackers healthy?
Although Ritz crackers are a small snack, all the calories eventually add up quite quickly. That is why we’re here today to help you understand whether you can sneak in some Ritz crackers into a healthy lifestyle and diet.
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Are Ritz Crackers Healthy?
Since each person has slightly different dietary needs, it is difficult to say whether Ritz crackers are healthy for you or not. However, overall, Ritz crackers aren’t too bad for snacks and generally aren’t something that you need to worry about.
Each serving of this snack contains 5 crackers which is a decent portion, and there are 80 calories in them, which isn’t too high. However, you shouldn’t base your understanding of how healthy Ritz crackers are based on the number of calories; getting a good look at other nutritional values is also crucial.
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What You Need to Know About Carbs in Ritz Crackers
Although the company says they use unbleached enriched flour for their crackers, it is still processed and doesn’t have any fiber at all. So, there are 0g of fiber in Ritz crackers, and it won’t keep you full for long.
Actually, this cracker is considered to be a high glycemic food, which means the carbs from this food can be very quickly digested, thus keeping you full for a short time.
Additionally, your metabolism will be slightly affected because of it, but that is negligible.
The original Ritz crackers have about 10 g of carbs per serving, which is not a whole lot. However, if you’re trying to put off some weight, then having this snack frequently may not be good for you.
In whole wheat foods, the carbs are complex and are better for you, but these cracks have simple carbohydrates which are easily broken down. Furthermore, too much consumption of such snacks can ultimately lead to type 2 diabetes.
What Are the Fats in Ritz Crackers?
Most crackers are made by using several oils, including canola oil and palm oil, and so are the Ritz crackers. However, the main issue with Ritz crackers is that they contain partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil.
This oil adds a bit of trans fat to these crackers, which is a horrible fat for your heart health. In fact, it is the most dangerous fat for people with existing heart conditions and can even put people at risk of having heart problems. Due to these small trans fats in Ritz crackers, they are banned in quite a few European countries.
The overall fat content of this snack isn’t much. There’s about 3.8 g of fat in each serving. Anyone with heart disease or high cholesterol shouldn’t munch on too many of these crackers because they contain some saturated and trans fats.
Do Ritz Crackers Have Added Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup?
From reading the nutritional facts table on the box, you’ll see that Ritz crackers don’t have much sugar at all. There’s only 1 g of total sugar in each serving of this snack. However, this is made for advertisement because they do have high fructose corn syrup.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has a 65% fructose level and carries a lot of the side effects that added sugar has. In this case, you don’t have to sweat about it because the amount of HFCS isn’t much in these crackers.
For people who are very calculative about what they eat, you should know that because of the HFCS, these crackers will have some empty calories.
Sodium Content of Ritz Crackers
If you look into the nutritional values of popular crackers in the market, you will notice that most of them have a high amount of sodium.
On the other hand, Ritz crackers have a moderate amount of sodium in them, with around 105 mg in every serving. This is approximately 4 percent of your suggested daily intake, so it’s not bad for a snack.
It is known that sodium causes numerous health issues, both long-term (heart disease) and short-term (bloating). So, people with fluctuating blood pressure may also be able to munch on some of these crackers without causing any harm to their health.
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Do Ritz Crackers Have Good Nutritional Value?
Besides what we have discussed above, this item has very little nutritional value. You will get 1g of protein per serving, but that is so little you might as well not count it.
Coming to vitamins and minerals, you won’t be getting any of these from eating Ritz crackers. As we have said before, these crackers are said to be empty calories because of their poor nutritional value. To be frank, most crackers in the same category aren’t very nutritionally rich either.
Are These Crackers Better for You Than Chips?
Neither chips nor Ritz crackers are particularly healthy snack options. They have very similar nutrients in them and have nearly the same number of calories. However, we must highlight that Ritz crackers do have much lower sodium than most popular chips.
One aspect in which some chips might be better than Ritz crackers is that they have a higher amount of fiber compared to 0g of fiber in the latter.
So, after all this discussion, what have we come down to? Are Ritz crackers healthy? We have concluded that Ritz crackers aren’t particularly healthy snacks. However, they won’t ruin your diet.
So, as long as you have them in some moderation, you should be fine. The only main concern you should have if you have these crackers is that they’re mostly empty calories, meaning they won’t add any nutritional value to your diet.