Ancient Grains Gobbledygook

Ancient grains are having their day in the sun…and rightly so: grains like quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, and spelt are being “rediscovered” and lauded for their nutrition benefits and whole grain attributes.

In their pure form, these whole grains are good sources of fiber, B vitamins and other minerals and nutrients. But as with any food fad, ancient grains are being exploited when they’re turned into processed foods.

Case in point: Costco’s Kirkland brand Ancient Grain Crackers.

Jumping on the ancient grains bandwagon, the front packaging of these crackers say they are, “made with millet, amaranth, quinoa and teff”. Great whole grains…if you can get them. The problem is, and not surprisingly, the ancient grains represent only a fraction of the ingredient list.

The ingredients in these crackers are more awful than they are ancient: wheat flour, vegetable oil (including the almost entirely saturated fat laden coconut and palm oils), sugar and salt accompany smaller amounts of actual millet, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, black sesame seeds and teff flakes.

A 3-cracker serving size has 90 calories, 4 grams fat (2.5 of which are saturated fat grams), and less than 1 gram of dietary fiber.

So while the crackers tout that they are “made with 6 whole grains and seeds”, having less than 1 gram dietary fiber per serving is a pretty good indication that they’re really not a good carb option.

If you’re looking for more ancient grains in your life: eat the real thing, not white flour crackers masquerading as whole grains.