They’re a popular option for snacking, but are Cheez-It crackers healthy? This Cheez-It dietitian review will help you decide if Cheez-Its are a healthy addition to your grocery cart. Read on for our dietitian review of taste, nutritional properties, ingredients, use, and cost before you buy.
About Cheez-It Crackers
Cheez-It crackers are available in Canada and the United States. They are cheese-flavored baked crackers.
American Food or Nutrient Claims:
The American version is advertised as “made with 100% real cheese” on the front of the packaging. In the U.S. this type of claim is allowed as long as it is not deceitful or misleading. In the case of Cheez-It crackers, this is an acceptable claim as “cheese made with skim milk” is used as the third ingredient.
Canadian Food or Nutrient Claims:
The Canadian version has a similar claim on the front of the package, “made with real cheese”. In Canada, a claim related to including a “real” ingredient is allowed as long as the named ingredient, in this case cheese, is present in the food, regardless of what form (frozen, powdered, ground, etc.). In the case of Cheez-It crackers, this is an acceptable claim as ‘cheese made with skim milk’ is listed in the ingredients.
Taste & Texture
Cheez-It crackers have a crunchy texture and cheesy flavor. They are salty, but the salt content is not overpowering.
|Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, vitamin B1 [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin B2 [riboflavin], folic acid), vegetable oil (high oleic soybean, soybean, palm, and/or canola oil with TBHQ for freshness), cheese made with skim milk (skim milk, whey protein, salt, cheese cultures, enzymes, annatto extract color). Contains 2% or less of salt, paprika, yeast, paprika extract color, soy lecithin.
Enriched flour: flour made by stripping the outer layers of a whole grain (called the bran and germ), leaving a white flour. This flour is enriched by adding back vitamins and minerals that were removed in the outer layers of the grain.
High oleic soybean oil: soybean oil that is higher in monounsaturated fats (omega-6). It has a neutral flavour that is stable when used in food products.
Soybean oil: oil rich in polyunsaturated (omega-6) and monounsaturated (omega-9) oils.
Palm and/or canola oil with TBHQ used for freshness: palm oil is a source of saturated fats, while canola oil is rich in monounsaturated fats (omega-9). TBHQ (tert-butyl hydroquinone) is a synthetic antioxidant used as a stabilizer in foods such as vegetable oils to help increase shelf life.
Is TBHQ Bad For You?
While this antioxidant is approved for use in foods in both the U. S and Canada, a review of in vitro and animal studies reports that it may have the potential to cause DNA damage and increase the risk of cancer at high doses.
The World Health Organization has identified the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI, or the amount of a food that can be consumed daily over a lifetime without presenting a health risk) of TBHQ to be 0.8mg/kg body weight. They estimate that the potential exists for consumers to consume high levels of TBHQ, but they have not had data to show that this is the case. early studies have shown TBHQ may be harmful in high doses, but we have no data to suggest that we are consuming TBHQ at levels that would cause harm.
Cheese: made with skin milk, whey protein, salt, cheese cultures, enzymes, and anatto extract for color.
Salt: form of added sodium used as a flavor enhancer and preservative.
Paprika/paprika extract color: a spice that adds a subtle flavor and colour to the crackers.
Yeast: used to help baked goods rise.
Soy lecithin: used as an emulsifier to stabilize ingredients and a flavor protector. Read more about lecithin in our Lecithin Ingredient Review here.
Are Cheez-It Crackers Healthy? Dietitian Review Continued:
Cheez-It Nutrition Facts
|Saturated fat (g)
The nutrition facts below reflect a 30g serving of Cheez-It crackers. Always check the product label for the most up-to-date information related to nutrition facts and ingredients before consuming.
Fat: 8g (from vegetable oils).
Saturated fat: 1.5g (from palm oil).
Carbohydrate: 18g (from enriched flour).
Fiber: 1g (from enriched flour).
Protein: 3g (from flour and cheese).
Sodium: 230mg (from cheese and salt).
Potassium: 40mg (from flour and cheese).
Calcium: 30mg (from cheese).
Iron: 1mg (from enriched flour).
Priority allergens in Cheez-It Crackers
Cheez-It Crackers contain milk, soy, and wheat. Always check the product label for the most up-to-date information related to nutrition facts and ingredients before consuming.
Cheez-It crackers can be purchased for $3.27 (CAD) per 200g box or $3.78 (USD) per 12oz box.
Are Cheez-It Crackers Healthy?
We gave Cheez-It Original crackers a score of 25 out of 100. The poor nutritional value of Cheez-Its is less related to what they contain and more related to what they don’t. Cheez-its are made from refined flour and are low in fibre, an important nutrient found in whole grains. By choosing a low-fiber cracker option, you’re missing out on an important opportunity to increase your fiber intake. In addition, low-fiber crackers digest faster than high-fiber crackers made with whole grains, meaning they won’t keep you full as long.
If you enjoy the taste of Cheez-It crackers, consuming them on occasion won’t be harmful. However, I suggest choosing a high-fibre, whole-grain cracker to use as part of your regular routine to increase the overall nutrient value of your snack. Check out our list of 13 High Fiber Crackers at the Grocery Store for some better-for-you alternatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Cheez-It crackers vegan?
No, Cheez-It crackers contain dairy and are not considered vegan.
Are Cheez-Its gluten-free?
Cheez-It crackers are not gluten-free. They are made from enriched wheat which is a source of gluten.
Are Cheez-Its nut-free?
Cheez-It crackers do not list nuts as an allergen on their food label. Always check the food label for the most up-to-date information about ingredients and allergens.
Are Cheez-Its keto?
No, Cheez-Its contain 18g of carbohydrates from enriched wheat flour and are not considered keto.
Are Cheez-Its low carb?
No, Cheez-It crackers have a comparable amount of total carbohydrates per 30g crackers as other crackers on the market.