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Low Carb Cracker Review

February 20, 2013 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

Every few weeks or so, a favorite hobby of mine is to slowly make my way down each and every aisle of a local health food store. I glance over the countless shelves waiting for specific items to grab my attention. On a recent visit to Whole Foods, in Venice, California, I spotted a line of crackers that go by the name of Skinny Crisps. Usually, I’d keep on moving since most crackers can’t exactly be classified as health foods. But, something about the simple, yet eye-catching package and label claim of “Low Carb & Gluten Free” slowed me down long enough to study the little white bags in more detail.

The Skinny Crisp line of products features both savory and sweet options, including plain crackers (Plain Jane), naturally-flavored crackers (Say Cheese, Toasty Onion, The Whole Shebang) and lightly sweetened treats (Cinnamon Crisps and Chocolate Brownie Crisps). Almost all of the product line is suitable for low carbohydrate dieters and devotees. The one exception is the Chocolate Brownie Crisps, which are still relatively low in sugar, but contain more added carbohydrates (dehydrated cane juice) than I’m comfortable eating on a regular basis. Sugar aside, these crunchy, delicious crackers are relatively low in calories (about 70 calories per serving), 100% natural and contribute a reasonable amount of antioxidants, dietary fiber and protein. The entire line of crackers is also egg, gluten and soy free. In addition, most of the flavors are vegan friendly.

The primary ingredients in Skinny Crisp Crackers are: almonds, chickpea flour, golden flax meal, psyllium husks and olive oil. A current review of the medical literature reports that: 1) Almond intake reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, especially in those with high blood sugar; 2) Chickpeas “could have beneficial effects on some important human diseases such as CVD (cardiovascular disease), type 2 diabetes, digestive diseases and some cancers”; 3) Consuming flax seeds frequently may reduce breast cancer risk; 4) Eating or supplementing with psyllium fiber decreases several risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome including high blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides; 5) Regular olive oil use appears to increase the likelihood of a healthier psychological outlook or “positive affect”. I applaud the makers of these crackers for selecting their ingredients wisely. I now have a few bags of Skinny Crisps in my pantry. And, if you enjoy crackers, you now have a healthier option available at select health food stores and online.

Note: I’ve not been compensated in any way for this review. I purchased these crackers with my own money and have not been in contact with the manufacturer.

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 - The Effect of Almonds on Inflammation and Oxidative Stress (link)

Study 2 - Nutritional Quality and Health Benefits of Chickpea (link)

Study 3 - Consumption of Flaxseed, A Rich Source of Lignans, Is Associated(link)

Study 4 - Effects of Psyllium on Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors (link)

Study 5 – Intake of Mediterranean Foods Associated with Positive Affect (link)

Chickpeas Have a Low Glycemic Load (GL)

(A) White Bread (B) Fruit Bread (D) Potato (E) Chickpeas

Source: J Nutr. 2006 May;136(5):1377-81. (link)


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3 Comments & Updates to “Low Carb Cracker Review”

  1. Fiona Jesse Giffords Says:

    The low crab crackers are healthy and can be good option for healthy snacks at working hours. We often end up with eating unhealthy foods like chips, fries at our desks, replacing them with skinny crisp crackers is excellent.

  2. JP Says:

    I agree, Fiona. They certainly satisfy cravings for a crunchy, flavorful snack. I’ll sometimes have them as part of a meal as well. For instance, alongside salmon or tuna salad with a side of avocado slices.

    Be well!

    JP

  3. JP Says:

    Update: Chickpea flour helps to moderate increases in post-meal blood sugar …

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9446828&fileId=S0007114514003031

    Br J Nutr. 2014 Dec;112(12):1966-73.

    The acute effect of commercially available pulse powders on postprandial glycaemic response in healthy young men.

    Whole pulses (beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils) elicit low postprandial blood glucose (BG) responses in adults; however, their consumption in North America is low. One potential strategy to increase the dietary intake of pulses is the utilisation of commercial pulse powders in food products; however, it is unclear whether they retain the biological benefits observed with whole pulses. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of commercially prepared pulse powders on BG response before and after a subsequent meal in healthy young men. Overall, three randomised, within-subject experiments were conducted. In each experiment, participants received whole, puréed and powdered pulses (navy beans in Expt 1; lentils in Expt 2; chickpeas in Expt 3) and whole-wheat flour as the control. All treatments were controlled for available carbohydrate content. A fixed-energy pizza meal (50·2 kJ/kg body weight) was provided at 120 min. BG concentration was measured before (0-120 min) and after (140-200 min) the pizza meal. BG concentration peaked at 30 min in all experiments, and pulse forms did not predict their effect on BG response. Compared with the whole-wheat flour control, navy bean treatments lowered peak BG concentrations (Expt 1, P< 0.05), but not the mean BG concentration over 120 min. The mean BG concentration was lower for all lentil (Expt 2, P= 0.008) and chickpea (Expt 3, P= 0.002) treatments over 120 min. Processing pulses to powdered form does not eliminate the benefits of whole pulses on BG response, lending support to the use of pulse powders as value-added food ingredients to moderate postprandial glycaemic response.

    Be well!

    JP

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