Crackers are a great snack that come in a variety and can be made from a selection of base ingredients like wheat, rye, and cheese.

However, while they may taste great and are easy to munch on, they aren’t exactly the ideal food for keto since they do contain carbs.

So does this mean you can never enjoy a cracker again?

In this article, we’re going to closely examine this tasty snack to see if it has any place in the keto diet.

The Flour Issue

While most people may look at crackers as a harmless snack suitable for most diets, the truth is most crackers are often made from high-carb flour which could negatively impact your body’s state of ketosis if not consumed in moderation.

A two-gram, flour-based cracker contains 1.3 grams of carbs, which we know is a relatively high-carb ratio if you’re trying to keep your carb consumption low.

Another downside in eating floury crackers is that while they have high-carb levels, they don’t have much fiber to offer—there are only 0.6 grams of fiber in a half-ounce serving, which isn’t really enough to help towards a healthy digestive system.

The fat in a half-ounce serving of crackers isn’t too bad though, with 2.9 grams of total fat with just over half of that being monounsaturated or ‘good’ fats, which can be suitable for a keto-based meal structure.

Though crackers aren’t really abundant in vitamins and minerals, you can find a source of manganese in them which is good for your brain function, nervous system, and enzymes. Crackers are also low in cholesterol which is good for the overall health of your heart.

Another reason why crackers aren’t an ideal snack on keto is their low protein count—with a 14-gram serving only having 1.2 grams of protein.

As far as snacks go, you can definitely find better alternatives.

When To Avoid vs. When It’s Acceptable

For people aiming for ketosis, crackers may need to be cut out from your diet if you aren’t careful as the high-carb levels will get in the way of your body’s progress to naturally burn fat for energy.

The size of your cracker portion is crucial as even adding an extra cracker or two could easily exceed your daily carb limit.

The carb content of just 5 crackers is 6.5 grams and, generally, most keto-diets only allow between 20 and 50 grams of carbs per day, so you might want to watch how frequently you’re eating them.

Targeted Ketosis

With that said,

There is a way to still enjoy crackers on your diet—by applying two different approaches to your food plan. The first method is known as Targeted Ketosis.

This means you can eat carbs while on keto, but you can only eat them between thirty and forty-five minutes before intense exercise. The reason for the specific timing is to ensure that your body uses the carbs as energy for your workout and you won’t be storing them.

Cyclical Ketosis

Another useful diet strategy is called Cyclical Ketosis, also known as Keto Cycling.

This involves eating for five days a week on your standard keto diet and eating a sensible amount of carbs on the following two days.

This method has become more popular in recent times and could be the perfect fit for those of you who have a hard time limiting your carbs so drastically.

Basically, crackers should be avoided most of the time, but they can be enjoyed when you’re on specific keto diets.

Cracker Alternatives

You don’t necessarily need to worry about missing crackers on the keto diet. There are actually some great, nutritious alternatives for you to try out!

Almonds

Did you know that crackers can also be made from a variety of nuts and seeds?

Almond flour is probably the popular choice.

It tastes good and has some sweet health benefits due to almonds being packed with Vitamin E, magnesium and other great antioxidants. They also pack a high-protein punch with a single ounce serving containing 6.2 grams of protein.

Almond crackers are pretty simple to make too and only requiring almond flour, one egg, and a pinch of sea salt as its ingredients.

Just be careful when consuming almond flour in large quantities since it’s one the highest phytic acid foods which could be detrimental to your body’s ability to absorb other nutrients [1] such as iron, zinc, and calcium.

Chia seeds

Using chia seeds can be another creative way to make low-carb crackers.

All you have to do is grind them up into a mixture of butter, cheese, and egg. Chia seeds are known for holding a high-fiber content, with a one-ounce serving containing:

  • 12.3 grams of carbs—10.6 grams being dietary fiber

Therefore, chia seeds can be an excellent substitute for flour-based crackers as the net carbs are only 1.7 grams.

Additionally,

Their high-fiber levels can help promote a healthier digestive system and even help you lose weight by making you feel fuller. This is because chia seeds are water-soluble and expand in your stomach [2].

Cheese

You might also want to look into swapping wheat crackers out for cheese crackers.

They contain fewer carbs than regular crackers and we know that cheese can be implemented into a keto-diet due to their healthy fats.

Conclusion

When considering everything, from the high-carb content of floury crackers to the different nutritious cracker substitutes available, we can say that flour-based crackers probably aren’t too keto-friendly and they should be consumed only in tiny portions.

Those of you who are following a targeted or cyclical keto-diet may indeed be able to get away with consuming these carb-licious snacks, but for the rest of us, we’ll have to opt for a healthier keto alternative.

Related: Crunch Flaxseed Crackers Keto Recipe

References:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19774556 Schlemmer U, Frølich W, Prieto RM, Grases F. Phytate in foods and significance for humans: food sources, intake, processing, bioavailability, protective role and analysis. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Sep;53 Suppl 2:S330-75. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200900099.

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643808001345 Vázquez-Ovando, Alfredo Rosado-Rubio, Gabriel Chel-Guerrero, Luis Betancur-Ancona, David. Physicochemical properties of a fibrous fraction from chia (Salvia hispanica L.). Science Direct.

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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