Cracker Nutrition Facts

The Best and Worst Cracker Choices

Cracker nutrition facts
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If you try to maintain a healthy diet, you might avoid snacks and chips. But what about snack crackers? Can crackers be healthy? Saltines are a key component in some popular online diets. But have you ever checked the nutrition profile of saltine crackers?

There are a few cracker brands that are better than others and even a few that provide some nutritional value. The key is to check the nutrition facts before you buy.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for five saltine crackers (16g).

  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 150mg
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 1g

When many of us think of crackers we think of saltines—the pale, square, crunchy crisps that we often eat with soup or topped with peanut butter. These crackers are made by several different companies, but the nutrition facts for saltines are fairly consistent between brands.

A single serving of saltines (5 crackers) contains 70 calories, 12 carbohydrates, and one gram of protein. Some brands of saltines (and other crackers) are made with partially hydrogenated oils or trans fat. Health experts recommend that you reduce or eliminate your intake of trans fat.

So how do saltine calories compare to the calories in other types of crackers? 

  • A single serving of graham crackers (one large rectangle) provides 59 calories, 1.4 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbohydrate, 4.4 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
  • A single serving of Triscuit Original (six crackers) provides 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber, and 3 gram of protein. 
  • A single serving of Pretzel Crisps (11 crackers) provides 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbohydrate, and 2 grams of protein. 
  • A single serving of  Carr's Table Water Crackers (Original) provides 60 calories, 1 gram of fat, 10 grams of carbohydrate, and one gram of protein. 
  • A single serving of Wasa Light Rye Crisp Bread provides 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbohydrate, and 3 grams of fiber. 

When you calculate the calories in crackers, remember that what you put on top of the cracker can add more calories than the cracker itself. A single serving of peanut butter (two tablespoons) will add 190 calories and 16 grams of fat to your snack.

Less Healthy Cracker Choices

Some crackers are not only higher in calories and higher in fat but they also lack fiber and contain unhealthy ingredients. They are not a filling food. You might be surprised to know that some savory crackers are also made with sugar. So it's important to check the ingredients list to find the healthiest cracker.

  • Keebler Club crackers are made with sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  A single serving (4 crackers) provides 70 calories, 3 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbohydrate, and less than one gram of protein. These crackers also contain additives for freshness and are made with white flour. They are not a whole grain and are highly processed.
  • Ritz Crackers are made with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat). A single serving of provides 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of sugar and 1 gram of protein. They are not a whole grain and are highly processed.
  • Wheat Thins are also made with sugar, and several types of sweeteners, including, malt syrup and refiners syrup. A single serving provides 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

And what about popular snack crackers? A single serving of Cheez-It crackers (27 crackers) provides 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbohydrate, and 3 grams of protein. Goldfish crackers provide 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrate, and 3 grams of protein.

How to Pick a Healthier Cracker

Many varieties of crackers don't provide significant health benefits. And since most of us eat them as a snack food, they can easily tip the calorie scales in the wrong direction. So is there any way to choose a healthier cracker?

There is. In addition to calorie count, the grams of fiber in your cracker can help boost your healthy diet. Why? Because eating fiber helps you to feel fuller and satisfied after eating. People who eat more fiber are likely to eat less in the hours after their meal or snack. So if you're trying to reach or maintain a healthy weight, find crackers that have more fiber.

To find a cracker with more fiber check below the Nutrition Facts label and look for the words "whole grain" listed as one of the first items in the ingredients list. Triscuit brand crackers are made from whole grains. Or a single serving of Wasa Fiber Whole Grain Crisp Bread provides 60 calories, 1 gram of fat, 14 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.

And consider choosing crackers that are made from healthy ingredients such as vegetables, whole grain flours, nuts, and seeds. Some new cracker varieties contain ample amounts of fiber, healthy fats, and protein.

For example, today you can purchase crackers whose main ingredients include root vegetables like cassava, or cruciferous vegetables such as kale and cauliflower. You can even find lower carbohydrate cracker varieties, such as Parmesan crisps and avocado-based crackers.

Remember to read the serving size and be mindful of the sodium content.

Tips to Reduce Chip and Cracker Calories

If you love to snack on crackers, but find that you eat too much of them there are a few sneaky ways to reduce your intake. Most importantly, be mindful about where you store them. Like chips, we have a tendency to overeat crackers if they are right in front of us. For that reason, diet experts recommend that you store crackers out of sight. 

  • High cabinets or low cupboards are best. If you have to work a little harder to get to your favorite snack foods, you're less likely to mindlessly indulge.
  • Don't keep snacks on the counter.  Your kitchen counter is the worst place to store your crackers and chips. Why? Because you'll be more tempted to snack on them when you're not really hungry.
  • Store snack foods in the original bag or box. While storing crackers in a resealable plastic container may help to keep them fresh longer, you lose the benefit of the Nutrition Facts label when you throw away the package. By keeping crackers in the original box, you have a regular reminder of the calorie and fat grams as well as the standard serving size.

And lastly, when you choose to snack on crackers, never eat directly out of the container. It's nearly impossible to keep track of how much you're eating when you mindlessly snack out of the package. Instead, take just a few crackers, put them on a plate with your favorite healthy topping and enjoy a single serving.

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