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Cracker or sandwich: which is slimmer?

  1. Many people who want to lose weight, exchange the brown sandwich for a lightweight cracker. But is crispbread really better for your diet than regular bread?

  1. Knäckebrod (Swedish for crusty bread) has been in Dutch shops since the 1960s. The crackers are a popular alternative to bread, especially among dieters. The basic recipe contains rye flour, salt and water. There are also variants where other ingredients have been added. Thanks to its low moisture content, crispbread has a much longer shelf life than bread, up to 10 months. It is therefore always handy to have at home.

Calories

  1. A crispbread contains around 40 kilocalories. There are about twice as many in a slice of bread. So that sounds super slim, such a cracker. But usually you eat two crackers instead of one sandwich and then you are on an equal amount of calories. The amount of energy differs per type of cracker or crispbread. Check the label to find out exactly how many calories are in your crackers. One potential pitfall for dieters is siege. You will soon use more cheese, jam or meat products on two crackers than you would on one sandwich. For example, a lunch consisting of two pieces of crispbread with toppings can still be higher in calories than a sandwich.

Fibers

  1. Besides the calories, it is also smart to look at the amount of fiber. Fiber ensures a satiated feeling, so that you are less hungry again after eating. In addition, fiber is important for your health. If you opt for wholemeal bread, you're in the right place anyway. Bread may only be called whole grain according to the commodity law if it is made entirely from whole wheat flour. For wholemeal flour, the whole grain is ground, making it very rich in fiber. However, the commodities law says nothing about wholemeal crackers. Manufacturers are allowed to put whole grain on the package, even if the crackers are actually made partly of white flour. A dark color is meaningless. Both bread and crackers can be colored dark brown with malt extract or caramelised sugar. Research by the Consumers' Association shows that many 'wholemeal crackers' consist to a large extent of flour. Crispbread, which deserves the name wholemeal, contains about 1.5 grams of fiber each. In comparison, a slice of whole grain bread contains 2.3 grams of fiber. With two whole grain crackers you get more fiber than with one sandwich, provided they are 'real' whole grain crackers.

Salt and iodine

  1. A wholemeal sandwich contains 0.37 grams of salt on average. Crispbread performs much better in that respect: a cracker contains on average only 0.1 gram of salt. A downside of crispbread is that it is usually not made with baker's salt, but bread is. Baker's salt contains iodine, a trace element that you need for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Because it is naturally so rare in food, it is added to bread, some bread substitutes and table salt in the Netherlands. If you never eat bread, but only crispbread, you can be short of iodine.

So what to have lunch with?

  1. Whole wheat crispbread is a good alternative to bread. It is low in calories and salt and can be rich in healthy fiber. Check the packaging of your favorite crackers to see how much fiber they really contain and whether they secretly contain no sugar or a lot of saturated fat. Just be careful not to double up your crackers if you want to watch your weight a bit, and make sure you get enough iodine.

  2. Whole grain crispbread is a good alternative to bread. It is low in calories and salt and can be rich in healthy fiber. Take a look at the packaging of your favorite crackers to see how much fiber they really contain and whether they secretly contain sugar or a lot of saturated fat. Just be careful not to double up your crackers if you want to watch your weight a bit, and make sure you get enough iodine.



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