7 Best Crispbreads, Recommended by a Nutritionist
While many Americans aren't as familiar with crispbread as they are with crackers, one thing is for sure: crispbreads enjoy a substantial reputation as a health food. They are a dry, flat, cracker-like snack made of mostly rye flour. They have been a staple of Nordic cuisine for hundreds of years, but have more recently been embraced for their notable fiber content by the diet and wellness communities.
The higher fiber content comes from whole grains, which are usually the main ingredient in a good crispbread. Fiber increases the feeling of satiety and helps with digestion. Crispbreads are a favorite among those that are trying to stick to a low carb diet, and are tracking their net carb intake (total carbohydrates minus fiber).
Generally, crispbreads are an awesome snack to have on hand. They can stand up to a variety of toppings, from cream cheese and fish, to butter and jam, but they can also be crushed or dipped into yogurt. With that said, being mindful about what you're putting on this healthy low-carb snack is imperative. While you may be opting for the 'best' crispbread, if it comes with a hearty slather of butter and jam, it won't be nearly as healthy (but it will probably be delicious).
How to choose the best crispbread
Don't let the 'crispbread' label fool you into thinking all products with that name are uniformly healthy. Some of them may taste good because they're just a junk food cracker shaped like a crispbread, containing high amounts of sugar, sodium, and fat.
Here's how to spot the healthiest crispbread:
- Look for a short ingredient list, made up of basics like whole grain rye flour, yeast, water, and salt.
- Look for natural flavor additions like seeds, spices, and herbs, instead of fat or non–whole grain flours.
- Look for highest amounts of fiber per serving. If a package boasts high fiber, compare it to other brands to make sure it truly is the optimal choice.
- Take note of the serving size. Some crispbreads come with serving sizes smaller than one whole crispbread, and some allow for several pieces per serving, so make sure you're not comparing apples to oranges.
The seven healthiest crispbreads you can buy
1. GG Scandinavian Fiber Crispbread
GG Scandinavian Fiber Crispbreads are produced in Norway and have garnered a cult following among celebs and wellness communities. They walk the walk with a short ingredient list featuring very basic ingredients: wheat bran, whole grain rye flour, and salt. One piece has only six grams of carbs, four of which are fiber, and zero fat. The producer compares the amount of fiber in five GG crispbreads to 3 cups of bran flakes or 8 cups of raw broccoli. Impressive!
2. Finn Crisp Original Sourdough Rye Thins
Finn Crisp from Finland beats out other brands when it comes to flavor variety—with options like coriander, caraway, garlic, and even sourdough. A rich rye taste with an equally rich crunch, this high fiber crisp is made of 100 percent whole grains. But it's their Thins, the line of lighter, thinner crispbreads, that is truly a winner in our book. Finn Crisp Thins contain more whole grain rye flour than standard rye flour, and make the perfect choice for those who like to eat several crispbreads in one sitting (just make sure you don't go overboard with the toppings). They're also lighter on the carbs than their regular counterparts, which makes them ideal for those tracking their macros closely.
3. Leksands Swedish Rye Crispbread
Leksands has perfected a family recipe used since the 1920s, and they use Swedish whole grain rye flour, yeast, salt, and water from their own spring—proving once again that best things are ones made with the simplest ingredients. In fact, this product has the Svenskt Sigill certification, which means that its ingredients and production methods comply with the highest food quality standards in Sweden. With special efforts being put into sustainability and energy-efficient manufacturing and transport, it's a brand you can feel good about supporting.
4. Finn Crisp Siljans Traditional Whole Rye Crisp Bread
We had to include Finn Crisp's Traditional Whole Rye Crispbread on this list, too. Based on customer reviews, this crispbread is closer to the crispbreads of their Scandinavian childhoods—and for only a few extra grams of fiber compared to the Thins. While the calorie count is a bit higher than with other rye crisps, the superior taste is totally worth it. Made with four simple ingredients and no added sugar, this is a great choice for those who are looking for a tasty crispbread that's still a healthier option than most crackers.
One thing to keep in mind with this one is that it comes in big rounds, and the serving size is one sixth of that—it's easy to end up snacking on the whole round without keeping track of the servings you've consumed.
5. Ryvita Protein Chia Seed & Buckwheat
Ryvita crispbreads are made with 100 percent whole grain rye flour, seeds, salt, and most importantly, pea protein. They're still high in fiber but each crunchy piece is also higher in protein than most other crispbreads. Now, don't get me wrong, the protein protein amount isn't insanely high, but if you're looking for a boost, this is a really solid pick. You may be better off adding an extra slice of salmon on top of another bread, but if it's hard for you to reach your protein goals, this may be the product for you.
6. Wasa Multigrain Crispbread
Wasa's crispbread contains similar amounts of calories and carbs in a gram-for-gram comparison to other brands, but it contains substantially less fiber. However, if you're looking for a lighter crispbread that doesn't have a dense texture like the rest, this is it. A longer ingredient list reveals a good variety of whole grains that add to the flavor profile, including whole grain rye, wheat, oat, and barley flours, rather than a lengthy list of fillers.
7. Trader Joe's Gluten Free Crispbread
Loved for it's in-between texture (not the ultra light crispbread, but not the dense chewy health bread) this Trader Joe's product is coarse and crumbly but still crunchy. It's made with sunflower seeds, oat flakes, sesame and flax seeds, and the seeds account for its higher caloric value per serving. With a much higher protein amount than most crispbreads (4 grams) and 3 grams of fiber per cracker, this is a decent stand-alone nutrition panel.
If a short ingredient list matters to you, keep in mind that the list is always longer with gluten-free products, where additional ingredients are included to replicate the non gluten-free texture.
The less-than-healthy crispbreads
1. Back to Nature Pink Himalayan Salt Multigrain Flatbread
While there's nothing wrong with a hint of brown rice syrup or sugar in a product, make sure you're not getting fooled by the brand name. It is all natural, but it's definitely not the healthiest of the bunch. With two kinds of sweetener (brown rice syrup and cane sugar) as well as safflower oil and two kinds of starch, the ingredient list isn't the short-and-sweet kind we see from Scandinavian brands.
Take note that the first ingredient is wheat flour, while whole wheat flour is second, meaning that the whole grains are not the main ingredient, which is a pretty important feature of a healthy crispbread.
2. Aldi Specially Selected Organic Four Seed Artisan Crispbread
Similar to the Trader Joe's gluten free crispbreads, these seedy snacks are more substantial than standard rye crisps. They're bulked up with chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax, and sunflower seeds, along with whole wheat and standard flour. The ingredient list also (unfortunately) contains palm oil. With 110 calories per crispbread and 14 grams of carbs, you are better off with some slices of standard whole grain bread.
3. Primizie Flatbread Crisps, Simply Salted
Not everything is about the nutrition label, but these flatbread crisps are definitely built for taste, not for health. With a higher calorie count per serving, as well as more fat, these crispbreads are perfect for the charcuterie board, and not so much as a healthy base for a meal.