Graham Crackers is one of the snack foods which is known by every foodie worldwide. The Grahams are made out of whole-grain wheat flour, enriched wheat flour, canola or palm oil, sugar, salty and baking soda. As per the brand, Graham Crackers may contain ingredients such as honey, chocolate, cinnamon, molasses or soy lecithin for flavors. Graham Crackers are not gluten-free as they are made from wheat flour but they are vegan, leaving apart those with honey as many vegans do not consume honey.
The nutritional profile of graham crackers
About an ounce or 28 grams of graham crackers which roughly makes up to two full cracker sheets contains:
Sugar: 7 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Total fat: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 22 grams
Fiber: <1 grams
Sodium: 146 mg
Selenium: 11% DV
Niacin: 27% DV
The above figures or the nutritional content may vary according to the brand or whole-grain content. Overall, Graham Crackers contains very less calories, fat, fiber and protein making them a perfect snack for health-conscious people. Although they do not have cholesterol, artificial sweeteners added for flavors nowadays may not be good for huge intake.
Is Graham Cracker good for heart health and diabetes?
Low sugar, high fiber and no cholesterol can prove to be the healthiest food for your heart. Thus, doctors recommend consuming Graham Crackers along with fruits and vegetables. But this certainly does not mean that we must consume Graham’s in large quantities since they contain added sugars for flavors. For best results, enjoy your Graham in moderation and pair them up with healthy food rich in protein and fiber with healthy fats, fruits, Greek yogurt or nut butter. Similarly, diabetic patients can consume Graham Crackers but only one serving, 22 grams. Just stick to a single serving and pair it with other food items rich in protein and fiber for balance. But, always take advice from your physical practitioner before consuming to avoid issues.
Who created Graham Crackers?
Graham Crackers is made from Graham flour which is named after a minister named Sylvester Graham. In the 18th century, he used to preach and support vegetarianism and advised people to abstain from alcohol and animal-based food. He promoted healthy eating habits and opposed white bread since he thought it was unhealthy as it uses just one part of the wheat grain. To create healthy food, he made Graham flour that contained whole wheat grain including endosperm, bran and germ.
However, since Graham Cracker’s base ingredient is wheat flour, it is not gluten-free. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you must avoid Graham flour products. Apart from Graham Crackers, Graham flour is used in some pieces of bread and cereals these days. Though, many gluten-free Graham Crackers can also be found on the market.
Graham Crackers and the Sex Crusade
The creation of the Graham Cracker snack, Sylvester Graham hated sex as he believed that sexual urges make a person weak physically, mentally and spiritually. He preached that ‘carnal desire’ can cause epilepsy, headache and insanity. To ensure that his followers remained healthy, he invented a naturally raw biscuit-like cracker that could diminish masturbation and sex-like urges in 1829.
Sylvester Graham was obsessed with health as he himself looked sick and frail. He studied the human body at Amherst College but dropped out eventually. He worked on farms and alongside a teacher. Thereafter, he climbed the church ranks, preaching that sex, gluttony and materialism made humans ill. Among all, he said that masturbation was the worst as it “inflames the brain more than natural arousal” and amounts to “self-abuse.”
Potential side effects of Graham Crackers
Eating Graham Crackers can be tempting simply because it is a sweet snack that is not as unhealthy as a cake or a cookie. But they cannot be claimed completely healthy either. Modern-day Graham Crackers contains a much smaller number of vitamins and minerals with a moderate amount of sugar and sodium. Some Graham Crackers contain GMOs and artificial flavors along with additives that can affect our health adversely when consumed in large quantities. So, if you want to have Graham Crackers, just stick to small portions and buy the ones which use organic products with fewer flavors.
Graham Cracker which was intended to serve as a healthy food in the mid-1800s, still hold a special place in people’s heart. Since they contain less sugar and additives as compared to cakes and cookies, people living with diabetes or heart issues can consume Graham Crackers, but in moderation. Just pair them with fruits, vegetables or any of your bake recipes as a treat but do not add them into your daily snack rotation.