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Are Ritz Crackers Healthy?

by
author image Adam Cloe
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
Are Ritz Crackers Healthy?
Close-up of Ritz cracker boxes. Photo Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Even if you are vigilantly following a diet, you may feel the need to snack from time to time. Crackers, such as Ritz crackers, are a popular snack item due to their convenience and taste. If you like to add Ritz crackers to your diet throughout the day, you should understand their nutritional value and how they will affect your overall dietary plan.

Calories

One serving of Ritz crackers, which is 16 g and consists of approximately five crackers, contains 80 calories. Of these 80 calories, 40 come from fat, according to the NabiscoWorld website. One g of protein provides 4 additional calories. The remaining calories come from the 10 g of carbohydrates contained in each serving of Ritz crackers. Based on the standard 2,000-calorie diet, one serving of Ritz crackers provides 4 percent of your recommended calorie intake.

Vitamins And Other Nutrients

Ritz crackers contain little in the way of vitamins and nutrients. One serving contains 2 percent of your recommended daily intake of calcium and iron. Each serving contains no significant amounts of vitamin A, C, or any other vitamins and minerals. Ritz crackers are also somewhat high in sodium with 135 mg of sodium per serving, which represents 6 percent of your maximum daily intake. Ritz crackers also contain 1 g of saturated fat, representing 5 percent of the recommended daily allowance but contain no cholesterol.

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Calorie Breakdown

Based on their overall contribution to the caloric content of Ritz crackers, 50 percent of the calories come from fat, 45 percent from carbohydrates and 5 percent from protein. Because an ideal diet gets approximately 30 percent of its calories from fat, Ritz crackers are a little high in fat and low in protein compared to an optimal snack. Overall, each serving of Ritz crackers provides you with 7 percent of your recommended daily fat intake and 3 percent of your recommended daily amount of carbohydrates.

Considerations

Ritz crackers may not be a healthy snack choice for people with carbohydrate restrictions due to a low-carbohydrate diet or diabetes. Although Ritz crackers only contain a modest amount of carbohydrates, their low overall nutritional value means that they do not provide much value to the diet. When evaluated in terms of a diabetes exchange diet, which reduces common foods to their nutritional value, seven diabetes crackers represents one starch and one fat exchange, Diabetic-Lifestyle.com.

Suggestions

One way in which you can make Ritz crackers a healthier snack is to add other food items to them. For example, adding fresh fruit such as sliced apples can allow you to add a serving of fruit to your snack, which gives it more fiber and vitamins. You can also add protein to Ritz crackers by adding small amounts of low-fat cheese or lean meats, such as sliced turkey or chicken breast.

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References

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