Why Is Everyone On Instagram So Hype About GG Crackers?

The trendiest health food on Instagram right now isn't an artfully arranged açaí bowl, a methodical meal prep kit, or a vibrant green matcha latte — it's a Scandinavian cracker that's packed with fiber and looks like cardboard. Despite the bland appearance, people have found ways to dress up their fiber rectangles so they look Insta-worthy. On your feed, you may see photos of the fiber crackers piled high with with avocado, topped with square-shaped omelettes, or smothered in cream cheese and vegetables.
If you've never heard of or seen these crackers before, they're called "GG Fiber Crispbreads" or just "GG crackers." Way back in 1935, a Norwegian guy named Gunder Gundersen invented a slow-baked cracker that was rich in fiber to help with his persistent digestive issues. He ended up with a hearty, dense flatbread that contains up to 4 grams of fiber and only 20 calories. But recently, fiber has become fashionable with the clean-eating wellness crowd, and GG crackers gained cult-level status with dieters.
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Here's the thing about fiber: It's an important nutrient that can help digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and improve blood sugar levels, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most fibrous foods provide other good-for-you nutrients, too, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. It's recommended that most Americans get between 25 and 30 grams of fiber per day, but many people looking to lose weight load up on foods high in fiber, because it's filling and low-cal.
The aforementioned GG crackers are marketed as an "appetite-control" food, and you're encouraged to eat them in lieu of bread or other carbs, because they contain fewer calories. On the website, they suggest eating five GG crackers a day for a "whopping 20 grams of fiber." And if Instagram is to be believed, many people do eat these crackers for several meals a day in order to lose weight.
While GG crackers aren't necessarily bad, it's not a good idea to eat them as a form of dieting, says Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, an anti-diet registered dietitian nutritionist and intuitive eating coach in New York City. "I'd rather see people getting their fiber from a wide variety of foods instead of predominantly from one type of food," she says. If you're only eating GG crackers all day long, then you're going to feel full, but deprived of other nutrients. This kind of "diet-type thinking" can lead to bingeing and overeating over time, she says. "Fiber is an important component of fullness, but so is protein and fat," she says. "It's not just about fullness either — satisfaction is even more important."
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Knowing when you're satisfied is a crucial aspect of intuitive eating, but eating high-fiber crackers in order to feel full messes with that. "You could eat high fiber crackers and feel full, but if you aren't satisfied, then you're more likely to continue grazing and eating more food," Rumsey says. "Where if you just have the real carbs you feel like, you'll be more satisfied and probably end up eating less." Not to mention, if your typical diet doesn't include a lot of fiber, increasing your intake with lots of crackers could lead to gastrointestinal distress, she says.
What's ironic is that GG crackers are Instagram-famous not because they look pretty, but because people like to share inventive ways to make the crackers taste somewhat tolerable. GG crackers taste really, truly bland. Plain, they taste like an Amazon cardboard box. With toppings, they make whole grain bread look like manna from heaven. I've never eaten tree bark, but I get the feeling that it tastes more interesting than GG crackers. I asked one of our food writers at Refinery29 to describe the taste, and she said: "like edible sawdust."

Fiber is an important component of fullness, but so is protein and fat. It's not just about fullness either — satisfaction is even more important.

Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, an anti-diet registered dietitian nutritionist and intuitive eating coach in New York City
Instead of eating crackers reminiscent of sawdust, you may want to consider just adding at least one high-fiber food (like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains) to each meal, Rumsey says. By eating a wide variety of high-fiber foods, you're also getting a balanced mix of soluble fiber (the kind that dissolves in water and helps blood glucose levels) and insoluble fiber (the kind that doesn't dissolve, and helps move material through your digestive system), she says. Basically, too much of one thing is never a good idea, and that applies to GG crackers, too.
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TL;DR It's easy to be swayed by Insta-famous products or foods like GG crackers because everyone you know claims they're amazing. In this case, if you actually like the taste of GG crackers, then go for it — but know that they may not make you feel satisfied, so it's probably as good-for-you as eating cardboard. That's just the way the GG cracker crumbles.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.