While making my usual “super-green” salad for lunch filled with spinach, kale and shaved broccoli and brussels sprouts, I just happened to have the infamous Dr. Oz Show on the television for background noise.  I don’t typically watch these types of shows, but he does seem to know his stuff.  Of course, his big spotlight topic was about the latest in weight-loss breakthroughs.  The question he posed to the audience, “Can a cracker really tell you how many carbs (carbohydrates) you can eat?” caught my attention.  In my head my sarcasm said, “Just looking at the cracker will put 5 lbs on my thighs….” But, I wanted to hear what he had to say none the less.

So, I sat down with my salad and watched as he tested this theory on his studio audience.

  • Step one, each person took a saltine cracker and broke it in half.
  • Step two, chew the cracker and begin timing
  • Step three, note the time at which the cracker begins to taste different.  Usually becomes sweet in taste.  Note the time.
  • Step four, repeat twice more and take the average of the three times.

If you noticed a change in taste:

1-14   seconds      High Carb Tolerance

14-29 seconds      Medium Carb Tolerance

30+    seconds      Low Carb Tolerance

What does this mean?

High Carb Tolerance         Your daily intake of Carbohydrates should be around 50%

Medium Carb Tolerance   Your daily intake of Carbohydrates should be 35%

Low Carb Tolerance          Your daily intake of Carbohydrates should be 25%

Of course I tried the test myself and sure enough, as I thought, I almost noticed no change in taste of the cracker at all.  Just my luck!  But, as an athlete and trainer I know I need more carbs that someone who does not work out.  I was pretty skeptical and decided to do more research on the truth of this test and what it means for eating habits of those who work out. Learn more about how our DNA can play a role in how many carbs we can eat here.

Try The Cracker Test yourself—Does it hold truth to your ability to eat Carbs?