How does your favourite cracker stack up nutritionally?
Drop that packet of chips – reach for the crackers instead, right? Not so fast – weight for weight, some crackers have more saturated fat and sodium than a packet of chips and that’s before you add any toppings.
We calculated the health star rating using the calculator provided by the Australian Department of Health.
The health star rating system is a voluntary front-of-pack label designed to give “at-a-glance” information about the nutritional value of a packaged food. The ratings are based on 100g or 100ml of the product and range from half a star to five stars – the more stars the better. Different thresholds are used for beverages, dairy products, oils and spreads, and cheese products.
It wasn’t always possible to calculate a health star rating from the product’s nutrition information panel and ingredients list. For example, information on the amount of dietary fibre and the percentage of seeds isn’t required (unless a specific nutrient claim is being made for the product or seeds are the characterising ingredient).
Where information was missing, we contacted the manufacturer to fill in the gaps. In some cases the manufacturer was not able to provide the information.
As well as calculating a products's health star rating, we use "traffic light" symbols to show its levels of fat, saturated fat and sodium. If you see a red light, you know the food is high in something you may be trying to cut down on. Green means the food has low amounts of it; orange fits somewhere in between.