If you live on Instagram (guilty), you’ve probably scrolled across several images of GG Bran Crispbread Crackers ($6). Perhaps you’ve seen them smothered in the avocado mash, transformed into a mini pizza crust, or simply on the side of a salad. But what exactly are GG Bran Crispbread Crackers, and why is everyone so obsessed with them?
GG Scandinavian Bran Crispbreads have actually been around since 1935 when Norwegian skier Gunder Gunderson (AKA GG) created them to help his digestive health issues. Gunder needed more fiber in his diet, so he combined bran, rye flour, a little salt, and fresh Norwegian spring water, and then slowly baked the cracker for over 12 hours for crunch.
why instagram can’t get enough of gg crackers
Today GG Crackers are a favorite of dieters, as they’re packed with fiber to help you feel full despite the low net carb count. Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, NYC-based registered dietitian, bestselling author, and founder of The F-Factor Diet, discovered them about 15 years ago when she was looking for high-fiber products to recommend to her clients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. GG Crackers were exactly what she was looking for.
Zuckerbrot then included GG Crackers in her signature F-Factor Diet, which encourages dieters to eat high-fiber carbs to boost their metabolism and decrease fat. “Often when people want to lose weight they cut out carbs,” Zuckerbrot tells us. “This is a mistake, because our bodies need carbs [for] fuel. Cutting out carbs leads us to feel tired, cranky, and lethargic. This can trigger excess snacking and feeling deprived, which is not consistent with weight loss.”
F-Factor followers use GGs in place of bread and grains so they can meet their daily fiber needs (vital to keeping you feeling full and decreasing inflammation) and still stay under their allotted carbohydrates for the day. That’s why you’ll see these crackers in place of bread or even as cereal. “I use them to make delicious comfort food dishes like meatballs and eggplant parm, as well as muffins, pancakes, and waffles,” Zuckerbrot says.
but Are They Any Good?
To be completely honest, on their own, GG Crackers kind of taste like cardboard. This may explain why the classic breakfast GG is the cracker loaded with plenty of cream cheese and smoked salmon. Or why a lot of GG fans even top the cracker with Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, as they don’t have a ton of flavor by themselves. (Whoever said eating healthy was easy?)
Speaking of Trader Joe’s, the supermarket has its own version of GG Crackers called Gluten-Free Norwegian Crispbread ($4), and they’re delicious and full of flavor. But according to Emma Frelinghuysen, vice president of Cultivate Ventures, the parent company of GG Crackers, nothing compares to the OG GG, nutrition-wise. “We pride ourselves on our nutritional value. Not only are we the highest in fiber, but we are lowest in net carbs, calories, and sodium. We know we may not be the tastiest cracker out there, but paired with delicious toppings, you’ll never notice the difference!”
She is right about the nutritional value. The ingredients in GG crackers are much simpler than Trader Joe’s Crispbread. GG crackers only have three ingredients: wheat bran, whole grain rye flour, and salt, while TJ’s Crispbread contains 10 ingredients: sunflower seeds, oat flakes, sesame seeds, flax seeds, rice bran, honey, potato fiber, rapeseed oil, salt, beet sugar fiber, and water.
TJ’s Crispbread has 130 calories a cracker, compared to GG’s 20 calories a cracker. While there is more protein in Trader Joe’s Crispbread (four grams compared to GG’s one gram), there’s also more fat (nine grams of fat compared to GG’s zero grams of fat). There’s significantly more sodium in TJ’s Crispbread, which might explain the flavor. One cracker has 170 milligrams of sodium, while GG Crackers have only 25 milligrams. When it comes to fiber, Trader Joe’s three grams of fiber almost matches GG’s four grams.
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(Photos via GG Bran Crispbread Crackers)