Fortunately, a Graham cracker is a relatively healthful snack choice if we’re talking about the original Graham cracker, which was created by Sylvester Graham. However, the question of whether or not a Graham cracker is healthy does not offer as clear cut of an answer as you may think – several factors are considered when labeling a food as healthy for consumption.
The Graham cracker of today continues to comprise a fraction of the initial Graham flour with which it was first made, but it is still not as nutritive as the first Graham cracker was. This cracker was originally intended to be a part of a high-fiber, vegetarian regimen known as the Graham Diet. Are the modern-day Graham crackers that are sold in markets still relatively healthy, or has this initially healthy, wholesome snack become more of a dessert? Let’s first consider several noteworthy facts before deciding.
The Graham Cracker’s History
Those who are partial to historical facts will be interested to know that a number of infamous, modern-day breakfasts have come about due to a religious movement that was trying to alter people’s eating habits in hopes of helping to decrease their sexual urges.
In the 19th century, common breakfast foods involved of coffee, eggs, sausage, fried potatoes, biscuits, pancakes, and/or ham. Such food was considered by many (including Sylvester Graham) to be too high in fat and rich-tasting, which is why the Graham cracker (as well as dry cereal) were invented. Those who believed in the ideas of Sylvester Graham thought that a diet comprised with refined flour, meat, and high in fat (as well as diets without fiber) would instigate ‘impure thoughts’ and boost sexual desire and masturbation.
Graham crackers were first produced in the mid-19th century as a healthy snack choice that, if consumed with Sylvester Graham’s vegetarian diet in mind, would aid in curbing these negative inclinations in those who eat it. Sylvester Graham deliberately designed this snack cracker to be healthy and not especially flavorful and, even though the Graham was created as a ‘health food,’ is it still thought to be healthy nowadays?
What Exactly is in a Modern-Day Graham Cracker?
This crispy, sweetened snack that is loved by everyone is mostly comprised with unbleached flour that’s been enriched, decreased iron, vitamin additives, Graham flour, sugar, soybean oil, leavening, artificial flavors, lecithin, salt, soy, and honey nowadays. Although the initial formula uses many of these additives, it was also intended to be not as sweet, as opposed to the more modern cinnamon, honey, and chocolate flavors of today. Today’s Graham cracker that we presently delight in is a slightly sweetened snack food that is well-liked by young children, as well as by many adults.
Graham crackers are frequently used for making pie crust as well as countless other desserts, which include a must-have camping addition – the all-time favorite s’mores. Although it only holds about 130 calories per serving and merely three grams of fat, a Graham cracker additionally holds eight grams of sugar and one small gram of fiber. This really won’t help when you’re seeking to boost your fiber intake as Sylvester Graham would have suggested. Conversely, the variations of the calorie/fat content are small when contrasted with an oatmeal raisin cookie. If contrasting a Graham cracker with a cracker that holds 90 calories for every five-cracker serving size and five grams of fat, you would see that the Graham cracker falls someplace in the middle of a cookie and a cracker on this spectrum. However, there more to this. The way in which our bodies use and break down foods is dependent upon more than just the fat/calories and they contain.
The Graham Cracker and the Glycemic Index
Comprehending the nutritional value of foods holds great importance. Due to continuous studies, we now know more about how the body reacts to a given type of food intake. We are also becoming more conscious of the way particular foods will raise the chances of acquiring heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers. As current diet fads continue ebb and flow, the fact still remains that the way in which our bodies break down foods, use foods, and retain certain foods will alter the complete condition of our body. Today, it seems that all foods are criticized by specialists and medical professionals who continuously research the properties of foods and their influence on one’s disposition, as well as how it increases our vulnerability to specific types of illnesses and conditions.
Knowing where foods fall on the Glycemic Index scale might make it easier to make wiser decisions when choosing which foods to eat. Selecting foods with a low glycemic load will allow us to stabilize our blood sugar level and drop that unwelcome weight. Graham cracker exhibit a glycemic load of 14, which is not deemed as being too high but, at the same time, is not deemed as being low. Food with a high Glycemic load rapidly increase the blood sugar level and the production of insulin, which prompts our body to stow away this extra sugar as fat content. Consuming food with a high glycemic load daily may bring about diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Artificial Flavorings of the Graham Cracker
All people do not choose to follow a planned diet, but many are selecting food products that tend to be less processed and that are comprised with less added content and synthetic flavorings. When consuming healthy food that is modestly processed, people may consume fewer of those unwelcome chemicals. Some even believe that certain ingredients (like food coloring) might bring on negative side effects, such as magnifying a child’s ADHD behaviors.
Synthetic flavorings, which are commonly found in many types of food we consume daily, are not greatly tested or regulated. Therefore, the true effects they may pose to our health are not known. A single synthetic flavor can be a blend of several chemicals, which may cause you to wonder precisely what you’re consuming when the only thing listed in the product’s ingredients is simply synthetic flavoring. When this arises, opting for foods that do not have synthetic coloring or flavoring is always a better choice.
Graham crackers do not hold any synthetic food dyes or colors, but they do hold some synthetic flavorings. As for people who would rather their food be entirely exempt of any type of additive, we would recommend concocting your own, home-made Graham crackers from scratch. This guarantees that your Graham crackers will be as healthy as possible and that they will not have any undesirable chemicals that may be harmful to your health.
Making Nutritious Good Choices
Graham crackers are found in nearly every American’s pantry. Are these crackers truly a wise food choice or might ingesting these crackers cause us to crave additional unhealthful snack items? Although many people believe that this type of cracker may be counted in a generally wholesome diet, some people still think that consuming these crackers as a kid can possibly bring about poor eating habits as an adult. Childhood obesity is concerning due to its association with negative health issues (such as diabetes and heart disease) and countless parents are steering clear of food that can be deemed as a ‘gateway snack’ to consuming items like chips, crackers, and cookies, which are typically high in calories, fat, and salt. On the other hand, Graham crackers are often thought of as wise food choices for children. Combining them with other nutritional foods, like applesauce, peanut butter, or dried fruit, can be a wholesome and filling on-the-go snack that children will be sure to enjoy.
Graham crackers are a wholesome snack for diabetic people, as well. In regards to those who are diabetic and are urged to monitor both their sugar intake and their caloric intake of their diet, Graham crackers with a peanut butter spread make a healthful, in-between-meals snack that is both satiating and fulfilling at once.
Back to the question ‘Are Graham crackers healthy?’ The answer – somewhat. Graham crackers, although not exactly a ‘health food,’ may be incorporated into your diet as being an overall healthful addition.
The way in which you use Graham crackers in your daily food regimen will be important for deciding whether or not your diet is a healthy one. Alone, this cracker seems to be a non-fat cookie but, when substituted as a healthier snack, this is often a wiser option. The Graham cracker may simply be morphed into a nutrient-packed snack just by being enhanced with additional foods, such as peanut butter, fruit, and/or honey. However, it has the potential to easily become a sweet treat if covered in sugary syrup and chocolate.
You’re probably heard before ‘Eat in moderation.’ When you make wise choices, you’ll be able to indulge in any type of food you’d like. Keep in mind that making wise choices about how you prepare your food, how it is served, and regulating your portion size is going to determine how healthful your diet truly is.