3 Reasons to Avoid Ritz Crackers

January 27, 2010   68 Comments

I'm locking my doors tonight in case the people from Nabsico try to take their revenge. Why, Snack-Girl, do you need to mess with an American icon?

Ritz Crackers

Ritz crackers are as American as apple pie, the Simpsons, and Chevrolet (are they still in business?). I remember my parents buying boxes of them. Their lovely red box with the blue and yellow - and the crackers - yum!

At a certain point, my parents stopped buying them and started serving "Stoned Wheat" crackers. The name made me laugh and Ritz seemed to just disappear from the house.

What is wrong with Ritz?

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup is one of the ingredients. Why do you need sugar in a cracker? It seems totally unnecessary and just adds hidden calories to the food.
  • There is 5% of your daily allowance of saturated fat in each serving. Again, added fat in a cracker makes no sense. A cracker should be just flour, water, and salt. And saturated fat! Didn't they get the memo?
  • Zero fiber per serving - One of the benefits of eating bread or crackers is fiber. Don't look for any in a Ritz cracker.

This cracker will melt into pure sugar once it hits your digestive juices. Have you ever noticed that as you chew a Ritz that it starts to taste really sweet? Your saliva is already getting to work on breaking down the carbohydrates into sugar).

This is junk food. Nabisco uses white flour, corn syrup, and fat to destroy a perfectly healthy snack - a cracker.

There are SO many better choices out there than Ritz. I will be featuring more healthy crackers as I find them (yes, I am looking at you, Kashi).

Do you have a favorite cracker? What do you eat it with? Please share below.

Want to read about more snacks?
A Whole Food Snack of Salty Deliciousness and A Winner!
A Habit That May Be Costing You 500 Calories per Day
A Dip that Won't Kill You

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At the moment I am loving Wheat Thins Fiber Selects Garden Vegetable. 15 Crackers have 4 g of fat and 5 g of fiber. New favorite snack is some of these with a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Cheese.

These all have 20%-35% Fiber/Total Carb ratio:

Dr. Kracker
Ry Krisp

I love Triscuits. Especially the flavored ones like fire roasted tomato and cracked pepper. I know they aren't the healthiest in the world but not as bad as Ritz for sure!

I avoid all processed foods. Ritz crackers aren't any exception to that rule. In fact, I wouldn't endorse Kashi either. It's owned by Kellogg's and likes to hide the true content of sugar in its products by using different types. Then it doesn't have to list "sugar" as the first ingredient.

Well, there goes my love for Ritz. I feed them to my children but not anymore! I am trying to become more of a label reader. I am finding that a lot of the foods I love have HFCS! a real disappointment. Thank you for this.

Back to Nature's Multigrain Flax Flatbread Crackers are my new fave. I love them with Tomato Soup.

I don't care for crackers, but my family does. They like All-Bran crakers but that too has some corn syrup, just not the HFCS, but I still need better cracker for them.

It really is a a disgusting disgrace that the food industry knowingly makes products that are bad for their own customers' health. As a small business owner, I can't imagine producing and selling a dangerous product!

I'm sad to learn this about Ritz, but really appreciate the info! In our household, we really enjoy: Stacy's whole wheat Pita chips, Dr. Kracker (good fiber and protein in the pumpkin seed cheddar) and Orbello's flat bread crackers with Rosemary (sometimes hard to find as its from Italy, but i see at World Market and Big Lots).

I am in love with Mary's Gone Crackers! Gluten-free, dairy-free, certified organic, no sugar, no transfat or hydrogenated oils. Delicious and crunchy.

I have actually compared a few brands and I chose Triscuit's. My favorite is the garden herb with some cheese. They are made with very few ingredients, and I feel that is important. If someone feels my choice is bad please let me know, I would appreciate it.

im glad to see someone else likes marys gone crackers! they're amazing in health and taste. wasa is great too and they have a high fibe3r version. wheat thins dont use entirely whole wheat and they have msg so watch out. its true most crackers are junk food! better stick with carrots n celery for dipping

Why do Ritz crackers have all those "evil" things you mention? To make them taste so good -- duh!!

You make some very valid points, but I'm not going to give up something that tastes that good when virtually all of the suggested alternatives are about as flavorful as cardboard.

I just won't scarf down as many of them as I used to before reading this!

You forgot, they can also be a bit addictive.But so can "All Bran" crackers they too are really good and all my kids love them. Ritz has come out with new flavors.At Christmas they had some dipped in chocolate..sooo good. Like pretzels dipped in chocolate.ok ok no I don't work for Nabisco, but try the "All Bran" they have to flavors and the ones in the brown box are really good. :)

Great blog you have!!!

I just bought a box bec they were on sale. After eating only whole wheat crackers for years, these taste just like cookies. When I need a quick little sugar fix, I grab a couple. My 3yo son won't eat them. He says, "they're not whole wheat and I don't like them." Way to go kiddo! I'm going to have my husband take them to work and put them on the lunch table.

I like the low salt triscuits. There is just enough salt for me. The regular triscuits are too salty. I end up eating too many so my original intention of eating a more healthy snack kind of goes out the door!

What about the Whole Wheat Ritz? My husband and I think they taste better than the original. But, like any processed snacks, they are consumed in moderation...

My favorite cracker is Triscuit with Rosemary & Olive Oil.

@Stephanie, my kids devour the Whole Wheat Ritz, but they do list hfcs on the ingredients... just checked.

I recently discovered your blog, and I love it. My poor husband is having all his illusions shattered regularly now.

Anyway, about Ritz Crackers being "as American as apple pie". When I was a kid, my mom made "apple" pie from Ritz crackers. It tasted remarkably apple-like, but the filling was all Ritz crackers. She only did it once - we all felt cheated when she told us the truth - but I remember it vividly. And there's got to be something wrong with a cracker that you can use for pie filling, wouldn't you agree?

My favorite cracker is Ryvita Sesame/Rye (more like a dry toast or flat bread). They offer 4 grams of fiber per serving, lots of yummy seeds and just a hint of salt. I add a slice of monster cheese (OK, Muenster cheese), a few slices of cherry tomato, a bit of wholegrain mustard and I have a quick lunch for under 180 calories! If I add a small salad, I'm satiated :)

I think my favorite cracker would have to be Wasa. I like the oats and sesame one.

Add some laughing cow cheese, sliced tomato and pepper - yum!

If you're truly concerned about your health—which you should be if you visit this website—then why do you even eat crackers? Flirting w/disaster!

I for one can not give up Ritz Crackers! And the one really yummy treat, Ritz w/ peanut butter and dipped in rich dark chocolate! The best snack ever

I feel so enlightened. And a little sick since I just over ate some WW Ritz.

RITZ crackers are very addictive. I'm gonna have to avoid this altogether because I can not eat just 1. I'll inhale the entire row.

The worst part of it is what I call the trans fat lie. The label states zero trans fats. If fact, like many other processed foods, these crackers have trans fats in 'em.

More about the trans fat lie at ...

I love my Wasa. They are amazing. I mix chopped black olives, sundried tomatoes, Italian seasoning and a little honey with low-fat cream cheese and spread it on Wasa....amazing!!

Oh stop with the trans fat hysteria, already. It has a minuscule amount, sure, but trans fat won't kill you.

Too much fat (of almost any kind) and too little exercise will kill you. Eat whatever you want in moderation, but walk it off!

It's not really hysteria. Hydrogenated oils are actually slightly toxic. They do occur naturally, but in much smaller amounts that are consumed by people even in products that contain them at a level low enough to be able to say '0' on the Nutrition Facts label - 0.5g or less. Eat enough of those servings, and you're hardly at '0' any more. And in Ritz Crackers, partially hydrogenated soybean oil appears second on the label.

But I do think that we're still stuck on the fat consumption hysteria in general. Bleached carbs, like Ritz crackers, are what are really fattening us up and malnourishing us. Generally, the more fiber a carbohydate-centric product has, the more likely you are getting a some whole grain. Ritz Crackers have no measurable fiber.

The reality is that for a high percentage of people, almost totally eliminating bleached carbs and useless/toxic fats is the only way they can stay disciplined enough to maintain an improved diet.

Sorry, Ritz - you're a loser all around. Wasa, Dr. Kracker, you win. ;-)

I LOVE wheat thins, sundried tomato basil. I eat them with the laughing cow cheese, its a great snack and keeps me full for a while =)

Um...I love sugar. Sweet teeth run in the family and I've got'm. Dear Ritz, never mind those puttn' it on. I love you.


I had not purchased Ritz Crackers for many years, did not want to consume much salt. However, last week Purchased some of the expensive Ritz Crackers. What a terrible disappointment. There is no trace of the incredibly delicious Ritz that I remebered. I could not believe the bland cracker could be a "real" Ritz and I went to check the box for something that indicated that it was really a fake! But It's still Nabisco in every way except taste and smell.

My cracker of choice is Club. Delicious..which is all I require for a $4.00 box of crackers. Ritz lost its flavor somewhere along the line. Sorry Ritz.

Who cares about nutritional value? Put the food in your mouth now and worry about the effects later.

I eat Wheat Thins or Triscuit's. Mostly Wheat Thins though. (Actually eating Wheat Thins right now haha) I know theres alot more healthier choices, but come on, Kashi's super expensive.

Anyone else think its okay to be eating Wheat Thins?? I eat the 100% Whole Grain.

Normally I eat stuff that has a lot more fiber etc. but I've found reduced fat Ritz crackers VERY useful for one particular reason (and I will only need one serving of five crackers for this--or sometimes less like three...)

I get allergy related postnasal drip and sometimes I wake up nauseated. I've tried various things for this (including classic saltines) but there is something about the lower fat Ritz crackers that settles my stomach. I can actually eat a decent breakfast half to a full hour later!

Thanks to a friend's suggestion, I finally found a tasty, accurate alternative to RITZ, since NABISCO insists on using High Fructose Corn Syrup, not to mention enriched flour & partially hydrogenated oils in their crackers.…

I like Ak-mak (whole wheat crackers w/ sesame seeds -- even my teenage son will eat these with tuna salad or peanut butter), and various kinds of Triscuits.

As a treat, my mom used to give us Ritz, with peanut butter and a slice of banana on top. Pretty much "cupcake like" in sweetness.

ak-mak 100%! whole of the wheat stone ground sesame crackers. My hippie community decided this was the ultimate cracker. I am still a die hard fan and introduce this yummy cracker to everyone!

Great, currently giving the box of Ritz crackers i bought yesterday the *side eye*.

Give me a break. I eat Ritz with full fat cheese and I love it. I also eat real butter, and the list goes on. I also run 10-15 miles a week and and in great shape. If everyone got off of their asses and exercised more, they wouldn't have to worry about eating Ritz. Simple as that.

I love Wasa Crispbreads and Finn Crisps. They are both low in fat and have tons of fiber. They are also hearty, crunchy and hold up well when you pile tons of fruit or cheese on them.

Ritz crackers like all store bought crackers also contain BHT a preservative that is speculated to cause cancer.

I have found the comments more informative than the actual blog. My son has celiac and is on a Gluten free diet. One of his favorite meals use to be chicken casserole with, "da,da,da,da ritz crackers" which he can no longer have. But what he would give to stick one of those buttery, fatty, sugary goodies in his mouth.

With that being said, i am going to try to research the Mary's gone crackers. Are they similar to ritz as I would love for him to be able to devour some chicken casserole again.

I stick with Ak-mak crackers, only 4 ingredients..and whole wheat.

Just a note to those who mentioned triscuits as healthier: make sure to read the ingredient list. SOME of the flavored ones have msg.

Regular triscuits only have 3 ingredients, so they're a better choice. I love anything Kashi. They have wheat thin-type crackers, cheese crackers, pita crackers.

my children get so angry when i ask them to read the ingredents, they dont even bother because they know what is in it and i wont let them have it. that hfcs is bad news, it is chemicaly processed 29 more times more then corn syrup!! crazy and scary! is it any wonder that the obesity rate jumped 4X when it was invented! invented! that should be your first clue!

They also have hidden trans fat... look at the ingredients! I switched my VERY picky husband over to Late July brand (see my link). No trans fat or corn syrup and I can pronounce all the ingredients! Organic is a plus too. I won't say they're the healthiest thing out there (yes, cane syrup is still a sugar), but if you want a Ritz fix, they're definitely worth a shot.

One of my old trusted favorites is by Wasa - Sourdough flatbread or the Rye. Really hard core natural! I use a half a flat of one of these in place of processed "crackers". Nothing artificial and REALLY whole grain...and they last longer and go farther than the boxed up fake and bakes.

With dismay I have ceased buying every cracker sitting on shelves and calling to me "Eat me... eat me"

My ever diminishing funds after paying for the most basic life necessities has forced me to buy only foods that pack the most nutrition per dollar spent.

Welcome the the "new improved" USA where an ever-growing number of citizens are entering the ranks of the impoverished.

I like to make my own crackers/chips out of whole wheat/high fiber tortillas or sandwich flat breads. It's so easy to do and the nutrition content ends up being better. I'd say that's a win/win!

Thanks for informing everyone.

You should update this article and send it around again.

Wow. I thought I was going to start eating better by cutting out sugar and I was thinking about crackers and how I could eat them so I searched "sugar free ritz" and i found this article. Thanks for the info..ill pick up a box of kashi's 7 grain crackers after work.

One word. M O D E R A T I O N. Now, granted, I'm not a snacker. Nor do I have children for whom crackers is a separate food group. But since I consume a total of about half a box of Ritz crackers per year (OK- maybe a full box), I am not in the least bit worried about my yummy, buttery, salty, favorite spread/dip delivery system.

There was no high fructose corn syrup when I was a kid eating these. Haven't eaten any since they started putting that ingredient in them - yuk - I discovered that it is the thing that makes me itch all over. Once you eliminate it from your diet, you'll understand how bad it is for you. Rather than continue to turn out a superior product, NABISCO just had to get down in the gutter to compete against Keebler and the rest of the cheapo competition for every silly penny. Shame on the NABISCO executives who approved this ingredient. You will be going to a very special place, some day.

Andy, whoa, this is a junk food snack we're talking about here, not baby formula. lol

I'm on this page because over the course of this day (beginning at 4 in the morning until now-8:45 pm) I've managed to totally obliterate 3 entire columns of RITZ Bacon-flavored crackers.

I've always sorta wondered how RITZ Crackers were so soft and flakey.


I had no idea these were butter crackers! Like does that not sound SO unhealthy? So now I'm attempting some research.

Go ahead, call me a pig. Tell me I'm gonna get diabetes or clogged arteries. I honestly don't care about those sorts of comments.

However, if you have any information on the role that butter plays in this whole ordeal concerning the health factors of RITZ crackers, that'd be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!! :)

Oh my God!!!seariously??

O M.G.seariously?i was just about to eat some ritz and a cheese ball.when something told me 2 check for high fruictose corn delima is ...i have a panick disorder.m.s.g. and high fruictose sends me in to a panic attack. I guess we will all have to go organic food.we are all just going to have to stop buying this trash and make their sales go dow.some of us care about our health.and thec health of our children

I solve part of this problem by eating the whole wheat ones. That doesnt help does it? 😞 Help me.

Enjoy life eat and enjoy a cracker. Remember life is a wisp here today gone tomorrow. People who never smoked die of cancer. Eat and pray.

MY big problem with Ritz crackers is that 1) They're now made in Mexico, a country with lax quality and resources. 2) They are under-baked and 3) The so-called Salted variety have almost NO SALT!. If I wanted no salt I would buy the low sodium ones. (I can just imagine what THOSE taste like.

I am never buying RITZ crackers again.

Try the brand Late July. It looks and tastes just like Ritz but made with organic ingredients and no HFCS.

Bloody Hell I grew up eating these at my grandmother's, I don't especially like crackers.

Living with my italian wife I wanted her to try these with a chicken salad we made. She said they are nice, then we read the ingredients. In Italy they do not eat these foods. In usa Kraft has destroyed all the food. Just look at Cadbury, ruined after being England's best. Now made in Poland and Russia. Kraft has become the enemy....

I have to admit I prefer a club cracker to Ritz. But they've been on sale with coupons.

My question is why is there a better aftertaste? I haven't eaten enough Ritz crackers to know what they are supposed to taste like. Though they are fresh I also don't get the butter tast many talk about.

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