Are Wraps Healthy?

turkey and cheese sandwich in a wrap

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

A wrap is a popular lunch item in the United States and can be used to describe the outer shell and the finished product. They basically serve the same purpose as sliced bread: they hold ingredients and fillings in one place so you can eat them without making a complete mess.

Similar to a sandwich or burrito, a wrap uses a pliable flatbread or tortilla to roll ingredients into a portable, handheld meal. While nutritional content can vary, healthy wraps can be a great way to add variety to your daily lunch routine.

How Healthy Are Wraps?

Wraps seem to have a healthier reputation than sandwiches. They are often loaded with colorful fresh veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and onions), a lean meat (turkey breast, chicken breast, or tuna), and a slice or two of cheese. 

Though, whether or not a wrap is healthy depends largely on the ingredients you choose to place inside the wrap. It can also vary based on the nutritional content of the wrap itself.

The outer wrap is typically a flour tortilla, which comes in a few varieties. Some have extra ingredients that add a little flavor and color, such as spinach or tomato powder. There are also low-carb and gluten-free tortilla options for people who follow a specialized diet. 

How to Choose Healthy Wraps

In addition to the nutrition label, read the ingredients list when choosing healthy tortilla wraps. Ideally, you want to find wraps made without hydrogenated oil and other trans-fats.

Whole-wheat wraps generally contain more nutrition than plain flour wraps, so also try to find products listed as 100% whole wheat. You'll know you have one when the first ingredient is whole-wheat, stone-ground whole-wheat, or 100% whole-wheat.

Colorful tomato or spinach wraps do not offer any additional nutritional benefits and are made with a negligible amount of tomato or spinach powder to provide flavor. Spinach wraps may also rely on food coloring for its green hue. Be sure to scan the label for artificial colors, such as Yellow 5 and Blue 1.

Wraps don't have to be made with a flour-based tortilla. You can also make lettuce wraps, coconut wraps, corn tortilla wraps, and more.

Healthy Tortilla Wrap Recipes

Most any salad or a combination of healthy protein (meat, poultry, fish, or legumes) and some type of veggie will work to make a delicious wrap. A majority of your wrap should consist of greens or veggies with just a little dressing for flavor.

Try these combinations on whole-grain wraps:

  • Buffalo wing wrap: One-half cup hot shredded chicken breast coated with Buffalo Wing sauce, chopped celery, lots of lettuce, and a tablespoon or two of blue cheese dressing
  • Chicken Caesar wrap: One-half cup cold cooked chicken breast meat, lots of Romaine lettuce, a tablespoon or two of Caesar salad dressing, and a few shavings of Parmesan cheese
  • Dill salmon and avocado wrap: 2 to 3 ounces of salmon (perfect for leftover salmon), fresh dill, two or three avocado slices, and a tablespoon or two of cream cheese
  • Garden veggie wrap: Your favorite garden salad blend—like sliced tomato, onions, shredded carrots, and cucumbers—mixed with raw spinach and a little Italian dressing
  • Roasted pepper and mozzarella wrap: A mix of roasted red peppers and onions with sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese; top with balsamic vinegar
  • Scrambled eggs and feta wrap: Two eggs scrambled with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and a light sprinkle of feta cheese
  • Tuna salad wrap: Half a small can of drained albacore tuna, a tablespoon of mayo, and shredded iceberg or green lettuce
  • Turkey bacon ranch wrap: One-half cup cold cooked turkey breast, one slice of cooked bacon, lots of green bib lettuce, and a dab of ranch dressing
  • Turkey and hummus wrap: Sliced or shredded cold turkey meat, 2 tablespoons of hummus, and sliced cucumber and tomato

Putting Together a Healthy Wrap

The key to making a wrap nutritious is to put it together in a way that is healthy. What can you do to make healthy tortilla wraps?

  • Choose a lean protein base. Whether at home or dining out, select wraps made with lean proteins. For example, grilled chicken is leaner and lower in fat than tuna salad.
  • Limit high-calorie ingredients. Don't load your wraps up with high-calorie fillings. Extra cheese, full-fat dressing, and mayonnaise all fall into this category.
  • Load up on vegetables. Pack your wraps with leafy greens and colorful veggies. These food items are full of nutrients and fiber, the latter of which is good for your digestive tract.
  • Make healthy swaps. If you're eating out, swap French fries for a small salad or a side of mixed veggies. This can save you calories and fat.
  • Only eat half. Many restaurant prepare wraps big enough for two people. So, consider splitting a wrap with a dining partner or taking half home for another meal.

Tortilla vs. Bread

There isn’t much nutritional difference between bread and wraps. Both contain similar ingredients, except the bread is leavened with yeast and a wrap is flat. 

The Nutrition Facts labels show similar nutritional profiles for one wrap and two slices of commercially baked bread. Wraps, however, sometimes have more sodium and half the protein than bread.

Here, we compare one Mission 100% Whole-Wheat tortilla with two slices of Pepperidge Farm 100% Whole Wheat bread.

Whole-Wheat Wrap (1 tortilla)
  • 110 calories

  • 2g fat

  • 380mg sodium

  • 22g carbohydrates

  • 5g fiber

  • 4g protein

Whole-Wheat Bread (2 slices)
  • 260 calories

  • 5g fat

  • 360mg sodium

  • 46g carbohydrates

  • 8g fiber

  • 10g protein

A Word From Verywell

Wraps can be part of a healthy diet but it's important to choose ones with high nutritional value. It isn't only the tortilla that determines whether a wrap is healthy. What you put inside the wrap matters too, so choose healthy fillings and avoid loading up on fats.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Heart Association. Trans Fats. Reviewed Mar 23, 2017.

  2. Cleveland Clinic. Are wraps healthier than sandwiches? Published Dec 13, 2016.

  3. Mission. Products.

  4. Pepperidge Farm. Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Breads.