Ryvita Crackers – Just how healthy are they?

ryvita crackers

Ryvita crackers have been produced for over ninety years and were one of the first packaged goods to be available in the UK. Whilst the range has broadened in this time with the addition of Ryvita Crackerbreads and Ryvita Thins as well as the traditional selection of Rye Breads, the original recipe has changed very little. But is this a good thing? Are Ryvita crackers good for you and how healthy are Ryvita?

Ryvita have a heritage of promoting healthy eating, but we wanted to take a closer look at the popular biscuit brand to learn more about the ingredients and nutritional values the crackers provide and to discover if Ryvita Crackers are good for you.

Ryvita ingredients

As the brand name suggests, the main ingredient found in the vast majority of Ryvita products is rye although wheat is also used in some of their products. Rye is one of the most extensively grown cereal crops across the globe and used in a variety of crackers and breads.

The classic, original Ryvita Rye Bread contains only three ingredients, rye, water and a small pinch of salt. However, some of the of other varieties contain other ingredients – here are a few examples:

TypeOriginal Rye BreadMultigrain Rye BreadOriginal CrackerbreadRosemary & Sea Salt Thins
Rye FlourYesYesYes
WaterYes
SaltYesYesYesYes
GrainsBuckwheat, Brown linseed, Kibbled soya Sesame seeds Kibbled rye
Wheat FlourYesYes
Rapeseed OilYes
SugarYes
Sugar Beet FibreYes
Dried Rosemary / Rosemary FlavouringYes
Olive OilYes

Ryvita nutrition

The nutritional values of Ryvita crackers depend on variety and flavour and some are healthier than others.

Keep in mind that those products containing whole grains will generally have more fibre than products made mostly of processed wheat flour. That’s because when the outer layer of grain is removed, this also removes most of the fibre, not to mention many of its vitamins and minerals.

However, Ryvita adds sugar beet fibre to their more processed products (Original Crackerbread, for example) to make them healthier. Still, the fibre content of Original Crackerbread is only 2.5g per 100g while you will find 16.5g of fibre in Crunchy Rye Bread. Which one do you think it’s healthier? The Original Crackerbread also contains added sugar which is something that Crunchy Rye Bread doesn’t have. We think it’s quite obvious which option is healthier.

Here is more nutritional information about Ryvita products:

Carb content of Ryvita crackers

The Original Rye Bread crackers deliver 6.7g of carbohydrates per biscuit, of which 0.3g is sugar. That’s 77.5g of carbs per 100g which makes these crackers quite high in carbs and not suitable for a keto or low-carb diet. But not all Ryvita crackers contain that many carbs. Pumpkin Seed and Oat Crunchy Rye Bread, for example, contains 54.7g of carbs per 100g while Ryvita Protein Chia & Buckwheat contains 56.9g of carbs per 100g.

It’s important to know that we should consume carbs as part of a balanced diet, as carbs provide our main source of energy (they are not all bad!). The Eatwell Guide, recommends that good carbohydrates should make up a third of the food we consume, including brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and cereals, however, this does not include the bad carbs, such as sugar.

Out of all Ryvita crackers, we recommend you pick the ones containing mainly good carbs (whole grains) and no added sugar.

Glycemic Index (GI) of Ryvita Crackers

Ryvita crackers (Original Multigrain, Rye, Sesame and Rye Crispbread) are classed as medium GI foods with a GI range of 56-69. This means that they are broken down by your body more slowly, resulting in a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time. This will help you stay fuller for longer and could help you control your appetite a little bit better.

How much fibre do Ryvita crackers contain?

Fibre is an important nutrient found in plant sources that contributes to healthy bowel functions. There are two types of fibre and both should form part of a healthy diet:

  • Insoluble fibre: This type of fibre is not digestible. Seeds and nuts contain insoluble fibre, for example.
  • Soluble fibre: This form of fibre is digestible and can be found in grains such as rye and oats, as well as fruits and vegetables.

Ryvita Rye Breads have between 12.6g and 18.5g of fibre per 100g, depending on the flavour. This makes these crackers pretty high in fibre.

If getting enough fibre per day is important to you, try and avoid Ryvita Crackerbreads as these all contain less than 10g of fibre per 100g with Original Crackerbread being the lowest in fibre (2.5g per 100g).

It’s worth mentioning though that the company are really passionate in promoting the importance of fibre in a balanced diet with the launch of their FibreFit campaign to help adults increase their fibre intake reach the recommended 30g of fibre a day.  They’ve even devised a short quiz to help you determine if you’re getting enough fibre in your diet.

Protein

If you’re looking for a protein boost, then we suggest checking out the Protein Crunch Rye Bread range. They all contain pea protein, which is extracted from green and yellow split peas which are naturally high in protein.

Flavours and protein counts per cracker:

  • Protein Rye Chia Seed & Buckwheat: 2.1g
  • Protein Rye Red Quinoa & Sesame: 2.2g
  • Protein Rye Linseed & Nigella Seed: 2.2g
  • Dark Rye Crunchy Breads: 0.9g
  • Three Cheese Thins: 1.2g



Fat content

Ryvita crackers are a low-fat food. Of all the varieties we looked at, the fat content is less than 0.3g per serving. Of course, while the crackers are low in fat, the fat content will increase depending on the topping you choose to have.

Ryvita calorie count

You’d be very unlikely to consume Ryvita without a topping and this will increase the calorie count of your snack. So, here’s a handy calorie count of popular flavours when topped with a 10g serving of butter (and without, for comparison):

FlavourCalories per cracker (including 10g butter)Calories per cracker (without butter)
Original Crunchy Rye Bread110 calories 35 calories
Simply Sesame Rye Bread115 calories 40 calories
Fruit Crunch Ryvita120 calories 45 calories
Multi Seed Thins115 calories 40 calories
Multigrain Rye Cakes98 calories 23 calories
Original Crackerbread95 calories 20 calories

Making healthy topping choices

There are several toppings you could choose that are both healthy and tasty. Our favourites are cottage cheese with pineapple (Trust us – it’s delicious), hummus, nut butter and marmite.

If you really can’t decide which topping to choose, try this fun Ryvita topping generator to discover some new flavour combinations.

Ryvita health benefits

By choosing a healthy topping Ryvita can bring many health benefits – we recommend sliced bananas and hazelnuts for a virtuous and tasty snack. They are low in calories which can help with weight loss or to maintain healthy eating habits.

There is a high amount of B vitamins in the rye used to make Ryvita crackers, namely folic acid, thiamine and riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6, which all help to promote nerve health. The crackers also contain zinc, which is essential to maintain healthy skin, nails and hair.


Quick questions about Ryvita

Is Ryvita good for diabetics?

All carbohydrates affect the blood sugar levels, and diabetics must manage their blood glucose levels very carefully.  If you choose to eat Ryvita as a diabetic, be mindful of how many you consume.

How many Syns are there in Ryvita crackers?

This varies depending on the type of cracker. An Original Crackerbread has 1 Syn. An Original Crispbread has 1.5 Syns, whilst a 30g bag of Ryvita Minis has 5.5 Syns.

Is Ryvita healthier than bread?

For a healthy snack, we’d opt for Ryvita with a healthy topping rather than a sandwich. Ryvita rye crackers are better than white bread since they are more nutritious. If you opt to eat bread instead, choosing a wholemeal or multigrain variety is better for you than white bread.

Can Ryvita cause bloating?

Consumed sensibly, Ryvita should not cause any bloating or discomfort. However, if you suffer from IBS, then it may be more beneficial to switch to refined cereals during a ‘flare-up’ to ease the symptoms of a bloated stomach.

Our conclusion – Is Ryvita good for you?

As part of a healthy balanced diet, Ryvita makes a tasty and healthy snack or light lunch. The biscuits are low in calorie, high in fibre (most of them) and they are suitable for vegetarians too.

Ryvita can, of course, be made unhealthy if loaded with toppings such as full-fat cream cheese or chocolate spread, but if you choose wisely and add fruit or hummus as a topping it can be both healthy and most importantly, delicious.

Author Bio
Kerry Garner has an interest in nutrition and is always on the look-out for new, healthy and exciting snacks for her son’s packed lunch to ensure he gets a balanced diet that’s not boring. She is a keen home-cook and loves nothing more than experimenting in the kitchen and inventing nutritious, yet tasty meals for her family to enjoy.