Taste Test: Whole-Grain Pretzels

by in Taste Test, January 19, 2011
Which pretzel crunched the competition? See our taste test results.

Attention, snack lovers! We munched on popular whole grain pretzels to find which brands stack up the best for taste, crunch, and of course, nutrition. Find out the winners (and losers) in our taste test.

The Criteria
We rated each brand on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest), scoring for taste, texture and nutrition information. We paid close attention to calories, sodium and fiber. Since all the pretzels varied in shape and size, we broke down the nutrition info per ounce serving.

Rold Gold Honey Wheat Braided Twists
Rating: 4
Cost: $2.99 per 10-ounce bag
Nutrition Info Per Ounce (8 pieces): 110 calories; 230 milligrams sodium; 1 gram fiber
Our Take: Great crunch and just enough sweet-and-salty flavor. They lost a point because whole wheat flour was second to enriched flour on the ingredient list. Plus, they were sweetened with honey and sugar.

Glutino Gluten Free Pretzel Twists
Rating: 4
Cost: $4.29 per 8-ounce bag
Nutrition Info Per Ounce (24 pretzels): 140 calories; 420 milligrams sodium; 0 grams fiber.
Our Take: Surprisingly pretzel-y considering they’re made with mostly corn and potato starch. They are also made with palm oil,  which contributes 2.5 grams of saturated fat per serving, so be careful not to over-munch. These babies were also the most expensive, but are a wonderful option if you follow a gluten-free diet.

Utz Multigrain Specials
Rating: 3
Cost: $2.99 per 14-ounce bag
Nutrition Info Per Ounce (3 large pretzels): 110 calories; 380 milligrams sodium; 2 grams fiber
Our Take: You can definitely taste the barely, rye, flax and sesame in these pretzels. Wheat flour, whole wheat flour and honey round out the ingredients. They were a little too dry for our liking, and on the higher end for sodium. They’d probably be great dipped in some dark chocolate, but what wouldn’t?!

Snyder’s Organic Honey Whole-Wheat Pretzel Sticks
Rating: 2.5
Cost: $2.99 per 8-ounce bag
Nutrition Info Per Ounce (9 pretzels): 110 calories; 100 milligrams sodium; 3 grams fiber
Our Take: The least favorite of the bunch, these were grainy and tasted a bit like cardboard. They were tied for lowest in sodium and highest in protein. Whole-wheat flour was the first ingredient (a plus). Potato flour, honey and agave were also part of the recipe.

Snyder’s Organic 8 Grains & Seeds Pretzel Sticks
Rating: 5
Cost: $2.99 per 8-ounce bag
Nutrition Info Per Ounce (9 pretzels): 120 calories; 100 milligrams sodium; 3 grams fiber
Our Take: Much better texture and flavor than the other Snyder’s pretzel we sampled (above), these were made with whole grains like wheat, oats, flax, buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa and sesame. They had 4 grams of protein per serving and plenty of flavor despite the low sodium content.

TELL US: What’s your favorite whole-grain pretzel?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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