Snack time should never be a compromise. After all, there’s nothing more disappointing than having to settle for stale and dusty crackers when you’re craving a satisfying (and healthy) cracker that will deliver the perfect crunchy bite.
In a world where we're increasingly conscious about what we eat, choosing the right kind of snacks can make all the difference — and not all of them are created equal. That's why we've teamed up with a nutritionist to dive into the world of healthy crackers to offer you the best options for gluten-free, nut-free, fiber-packed, and other snacks.
Whether you’re looking for the best crackers for a charcuterie board or are on the hunt for healthy alternatives, here are 10 of the best healthy crackers to buy (and avoid). Plus, we'll give you the lowdown on what to pair with these crackers to transform and elevate them from a humble snack to a gourmet experience.
What To Look For in a Healthy Cracker
When selecting healthy crackers, the key is to examine the ingredients and nutritional content. But with so many options on the market, it can be tricky knowing exactly what to look for. Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, shared with Cheapism what she looks for when shopping for a healthy cracker.
- Whole Grains: Search for crackers made with some kind of whole grain flour, such as whole wheat or brown rice flour, as these are higher in fiber and nutrients, says Manaker. “Ideally, it contains some fiber to help make the cracker more satiating and help support gut health,” she shared in an email, adding, “Whole grains is a feature that is appealing to see on a cracker's description.”
- Low in Sodium: Consuming too much sodium can lead to health issues, including a heightened risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and even stroke. For those following a special diet, choosing crackers with a lower sodium content is important, experts note. “For those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet, there are crackers made from almond flour or other low-carb bases," says Manaker.
- Free of Unhealthy Fats: Manaker says that avoiding crackers with trans fats or a high saturated fat content is also key to a healthy and balanced diet. “For individuals following a gluten-free diet, there are gluten-free crackers made from alternative grains like quinoa or rice," she explains. "Nut-free crackers are an excellent option for those with allergies, and they often incorporate seeds, like flax or chia, to maintain a satisfying crunch.”
- Rich in Fiber: Fiber aids digestion and keeps you feeling full longer. According to Manaker, “fiber-rich crackers often feature whole grains and seeds, providing a hearty snack that can help maintain digestive health.”
- Minimal Added Sugars: Excess sugar can turn a healthy snack into an unhealthy one. If your goal is to avoid consuming too much sugar while still being able to indulge in a tasty snack, Manaker suggests pairing crackers with hummus or fruit spreads. “For instance, consider adding a spread of hummus, which is high in fiber and protein, to your crackers for a Mediterranean-inspired snack," she advises. "Greek yogurt mixed with herbs and spices also makes a nutritious, creamy spread.”
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Which Crackers Should You Avoid?
Since not all snacks contribute to a healthy diet, experts advise steering clear of crackers that include the following ingredients:
- Refined Flours and Sugars: These types of crackers offer little nutritional value and can negatively impact your health by causing increased cholesterol levels, which can lead to other health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
- High Amounts of Saturated and Trans Fats: Certain brands such as Cheez-Its, Nabisco Cheese Nips, and Ritz crackers are loaded with sodium and other processed ingredients, making them a subpar choice if you’re looking for healthy snacks.
- Artificial Preservatives and Colorings: Crackers containing artificial preservatives like BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), and other additives such as high fructose corn syrup and colorings are another category to avoid. These chemical additives are often used to extend shelf life and enhance appearance, but they come with potential health risks.
Try These 10 Healthy Crackers
Next time you’re on a grocery run, keep this list of healthy crackers in mind to help you narrow down your choices:
1. YOU NEED THIS Almond Flour Crackers
$19.99 for a 12-ounce box from Walmart
Aside from having a super convincing name (I felt like I simply had to try this product), YOU NEED THIS crackers are made using only high-quality, nutrient-dense ingredients. The Cheddar flavor cracker has the perfect crunch and cheesy flavor, and pairs so well with a generous dollop of fig jam. The brand also has a sea salt-flavored cracker and offers other snack options, including tortilla chips, veggie straws, and more. "Best crackers I’ve ever eaten," writes one Amazon user in a review.
2. Milton’s Craft Gluten Free Crackers
$3.58 for a 4.5-ounce bag from Walmart
For those looking for gluten-free, non-GMO, and organic options, Manaker recommends this brand for its wholesome ingredients and commitment to quality. “Milton's Craft Bakers offers a crunchy choice made with quality ingredients,” writes Manaker. The brand uses organic grains and seeds to ensure a nutritious profile, and offers several flavors, including: Fire Roasted Vegetable, Sea Salt, Salt and Vinegar, and more.
3. Maine Crisp's Better With Buckwheat Crackers
$5.29 for a 4.25-ounce box from Maine Crisp
These crackers are “gluten-free and buckwheat-based,” writes Manaker, noting that they’re a “hearty option that is packed with antioxidants.” Praised for its use of simple, unprocessed ingredients, Maine Crisp offers a variety of sweet and savory crackers, including Cinnamon Maple, Rosemary and Herbs, Sea Salt, and more. Ideal for pairing with cheeses, dips, or enjoyed on their own, these crackers offer a versatile addition to any snack spread or cheeseboard.
4. Triscuit Original Whole Grain Crackers
$3.78 for a 8.5-ounce box
You’ve probably seen these bad boys at a house-warming or office party. Known for their robust and salty flavor, these classic crackers are great for scooping up dips or layering with cheeses. Just be mindful of both the quantity and toppings you’re eating, experts advise. This brand packs 120 calories for a serving size of just six crackers. With all snacks, portion control is key.
5. Blue Diamond Artisan Nut-Thins
$3.19 for a 4.25-ounce box from Target
Crafted from a blend of rice and almond flour, these crackers impressed Amazon shoppers with their crunchy texture and “subtle nutty taste that isn’t overpowering.” Nut-Thins also distinguish themselves from other crackers by packing 400 milligrams of omega-3s per serving, reviewers note. “These are hands down my absolute favorite,” writes one Amazon user in a review, adding, “They are just as good plain as they are matched with cheese or dips. Love, love, love!”
6. Real Food From the Ground Up Crackers
$27.94 for a six-pack from Amazon
These light and airy crackers are made using cauliflower as the main ingredient, making them a great way to increase your veggie and nutrient intake while munching on a satisfying snack, reviewers note. “[These are] a great alternative to Cheese It-style snacks that the kids will actually want to eat!,” writes one user in an Amazon review. They come in a variety of flavors, including Cheddar, Sea Salt, and Rosemary.
7. Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers
$5.49 for a 4-ounce bag from Walmart
As the name implies, these Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers are celebrated for their superior crunch that sets them apart in the world of healthy snacking. Known for their unique blend of whole grains and a variety of seeds, including sesame, quinoa, flax, and amaranth, these crackers are also packed with omega-3s and other nutrients. Reviewers love them for their flavor, and the fact that they can hold up to dips and heavy toppings.
8. Mary's Gone 'Super Seed' Crackers
$4.92 for a 5.5-ounce box from Walmart
These "super seed" crackers are gluten-free and loaded with flax and sesame seeds for a nutrient-rich snacking experience. These seeds are not only sources of healthy fats — including omega-3 fatty acids — but also provide a good amount of dietary fiber, protein, and essential minerals to keep our bodies healthy and running at their best. "These are the best healthy crackers that I have ever had!," writes one Amazon user, adding, "I can really recommend these! Very nutty and wonderful!"
9. Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers
$4.49 for a 4.25-ounce box from Target
Made primarily from almond flour, Simple Mills' crackers have carved out a name for themselves thanks to their nutrient-rich profile, which provide a good source of protein and healthy fats from the almonds. Featuring several flavors, including Honey Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate Almond, Sea Salt, and Artisan Bread, these crackers also offer great bang for your buck at less than $5 per box.
10. Wasa Swedish Style Flatbread Crackers
$3.82 for 20 slices from Walmart
Boasting several flavors, including Rosemary and Sea Salt, Sourdough, Sesame, Multigrain, and Light Rye, these crackers are perfect for those who enjoy a more robust and herbaceous taste profile. Ideal for pairing with cheeses, spreads, or enjoying as a standalone snack, Wasa's crackers provide a satisfying crunch and are a great choice for health-conscious consumers as they are low-calorie and fiber-rich.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the healthiest type of cracker?
According to experts, the healthiest crackers are those made with whole grains, are low in sodium, and are free from unhealthy or saturated fats. But most importantly, you should prioritize snacks that best fit your nutritional needs, says Manaker. "Some people have unique nutrition needs when it comes to what is found in their cracker, so a factor like 'gluten free' can be a priority." Other healthier snack options include crackers made using almond, buckwheat, or whole grain flours.
What is a healthy alternative to crackers?
Fresh vegetables, nuts, and whole grain breads can be healthy alternatives to consume alongside crackers and other healthy snacks. "Healthy crackers can be greatly enhanced both in taste and nutritional value when paired with the right accompaniments," Manaker explains, adding, "For a touch of luxury and added protein, you could top your crackers with a slice of smoked salmon and a dab of low-fat cream cheese."
Which crackers have low carbs?
Crackers crafted from plant-based flours, including almond, coconut, or whole wheat, and combined with seeds like flax and chia, are typically low in carbs, says Manaker. "These diverse options ensure that everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions or health goals, can enjoy a crunchy snack without compromising their dietary needs."
Are Wheat Thins a healthy cracker?
Wheat Thins can be part of a healthy diet if they are made with whole grains and are low in sugar and sodium. "Different people have different needs when it comes to a 'best' cracker," says Manaker, but generally, healthy crackers that are rich in fiber, or are primarily made with a plant-based protein, tend to offer more nutritional benefits.
The Bottom Line
Choosing crackers that are both delicious and healthy can be challenging. But with so many options available, from gluten- and nut-free to almond- and buckwheat-based, there's a healthy cracker out there for everyone. Pair them with toppings like hummus, avocado, cheese, or fresh veggies to enjoy a nutritious and protein-packed snack to keep you feeling energized for hours.