Are Saltine Crackers Good For Weight Loss?

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A stack of Saltine crackers on a wooden surface. (Are Saltine Crackers Good For Weight Loss?)

Yes, you can include saltine crackers in your weight loss diet because they are relatively low in calories. If you keep your consumption moderate, limiting yourself to about 5 crackers, you should be fine.

However, it’s important to remember that no single food or drink will cause weight loss by itself.

Ultimately, losing weight comes down to being in a caloric deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than your body uses to maintain its current weight.

While it’s okay to eat saltine crackers and still lose weight, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the healthiest snack option.

There are a few things you should consider before incorporating them into your weight loss plan. Let’s take a closer look at what those are.

Nutritional Value Of Saltine Crackers

As per the USDA, when you eat 5 crackers you get the following nutrients:

Serving Size: 5 crackers (14.9 g)

  • Calories: 62

  • Carbohydrates: 11 g

  • Fat: 1.2 g

  • Protein: 1.4 g

  • Fiber: 0.4 g

  • Sugars: 0.1 g

  • Sodium: 140 mg

Potential Benefits Of Saltine Crackers For Weight Loss

I see two benefits of eating saltine crackers when trying to lose weight, here are there:

They Are Low in Calories

The most obvious “benefit” I can point out about eating saltine crackers is their low-calorie count.

Looking at the nutritional info, when you eat 5 of these crackers, you’re only taking in 62 calories, which is pretty okay. Because, at the end of the day, weight loss is all about managing your calorie intake well.

So, for example, if you need 2000 calories to keep your current weight, to lose weight, you’d need to eat less than that, maybe around 1500 calories.

The idea is that everything you eat from morning to night shouldn’t go over this calorie limit.

That’s why eating foods that are low in calories is useful in situations like these because it means you can enjoy them without worrying too much about going over your calorie limit.

So, if you choose to eat, let’s say, 5 – 10 crackers as a snack, assuming you don’t add anything to them to make them taste better like ketchup, peanut butter, or any other kind of high-calorie sauce, you should be fine.

You Can Use It To Make a Healthy Snack

One great thing about soda crackers is that they’re like a blank canvas, allowing you to transform them into a snack that suits your taste.

However, there are two paths you can take: the unhealthy route or the healthy one. When aiming for weight loss, we definitely prefer the latter.

If you indiscriminately top your soda crackers with anything, you’ll negate their benefit of being low in calories. Instead, consider pairing them with healthy options like hummus and cucumber or cottage cheese and berries.

This way, you’re choosing a healthier snack over cookies, chips, or a Snickers bar. Just remember not to go overboard with your toppings; the goal is to enhance the crackers, making them tastier without compromising their simplicity.

Also Read: Is String Cheese Good For Weight Loss?

Downsides of Saltine Crackers For Weight Loss

There are a few downsides that I think you should know about when including saltine crackers in your diet. Here are they:

They are High in Sodium

The name “Saltine” gives it away – these crackers are high in salt, and therefore, sodium. Eating just 5 crackers gives you 140 mg of sodium.

While that might not seem excessively high, it’s still a significant amount, especially depending on how many crackers you consume. There are two main reasons why foods rich in sodium can be problematic for weight management.

  • Water Retention: Sodium holds onto water. When you eat a lot of sodium, your body keeps more water to keep the salt concentration in your blood balanced. This can lead to temporary weight gain and a bloated feeling, which doesn’t accurately reflect true fat loss or gain.

  • Appetite Stimulation: There’s evidence to suggest that high sodium intake might make you want to eat more. Foods high in sodium are often very tasty and can lead to cravings for more, particularly for salty snacks. Plus, eating salty foods can make you thirsty, and sometimes thirst is confused with hunger.

The American Heart Association suggests keeping your sodium intake under 2300 mg a day, not just for weight management but for overall health too.

They are Not Filling

Saltine crackers are made mostly from white flour, yeast, and baking soda, so they don’t have any fiber. Fiber is important because it helps you feel full.

As fiber moves through your digestive system, it absorbs water, increasing the volume of your stomach contents and making you feel full. This bulking effect physically stretches the stomach, triggering signals to your brain that you’re satisfied.

Additionally, foods high in fiber usually take more time to chew, which not only slows down your eating pace but also stimulates the production of saliva and stomach acids, helping with digestion.

The effort required to break down fibrous foods can also enhance the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a meal.

Since saltine crackers lack fiber, you might find yourself eating more of them because they don’t satisfy your hunger at the moment.

They Can Spike Your Blood Sugars Quick

Since they’re made from white flour, which is essentially whole wheat that’s been processed, the fiber is removed during the process, leaving mostly carbs.

Without the fiber, these carbs are absorbed quickly into your system when you eat them, causing a rapid spike in your blood sugar.

The issue with this rapid increase is that your body needs to release a hormone called insulin to lower the blood sugar level.

Studies have shown that when a lot of insulin is released, it also increases your hunger levels. This means you end up craving more food.

So, the cycle goes like this: you eat something processed, your blood sugar shoots up, your body releases insulin to reduce it, your blood sugar drops, and then you find yourself craving more food.

Also Read: Why Sugar is Bad For Weight Loss

Tips For Adding Saltine Crackers In a Weight Loss Diet

If you want to have saltine crackers in your weight-loss diet. Here are some things you need to keep in mind.

Limit Your Serving to 5 – 10 Crackers a Day

Five Saltine crackers laid out on a pale background, numbered 1 to 5.

Limiting your intake of Saltine crackers to 5 – 10 a day is a practical approach to control calorie consumption.

Each Saltine cracker typically contains around 12-16 calories, so consuming 5 -10 would amount to 60-100 calories per day from crackers alone.

This moderation helps prevent overindulgence in processed snacks, which can quickly add unnecessary calories to your healthy diet.

It’s a strategy to enjoy the crackers without compromising your weight loss efforts. Pre-measuring your daily allowance can help resist the temptation to eat more than planned.

Opt for Whole Wheat Crackers

A smiling man holding up a Saltine cracker in a grocery aisle.

Whole wheat or whole grain crackers are a better choice than those made from refined flour and sodium saltine crackers because they contain more fiber and nutrients.

Fiber is particularly beneficial for weight loss as it helps you feel full longer, reducing the overall calorie intake by decreasing the likelihood of snacking too often.

Whole grains also contribute to a healthier digestive system and provide a steady source of energy.

Choose Healthy Toppings

A man eating Saltine crackers from a bowl before a workout, with dumbbells on the table.

Opting for healthy toppings can transform Saltine crackers from a simple snack into a nutritious and satisfying mini-meal. Consider toppings that are high in protein or healthy fats, such as:

  • Cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of chia seeds

  • Thinly sliced cucumber or tomato with a dash of pepper and salt

  • A spread of avocado or hummus

  • Peanut or almond butter for a dose of healthy fats and protein.

These toppings can enhance the nutritional value of your snack without significantly increasing the calorie content.

Time it Before Your Workouts

A man eating Saltine crackers from a bowl before a workout, with dumbbells on the table.

Consuming small, carbohydrate-based snack foods like Saltine crackers before your workout can provide you with a quick source of energy.

This can enhance your performance and ensure you have the stamina to complete your exercise routine.

Pairing the crackers with a protein source can also help with muscle repair and recovery post-workout. Aim to eat your snack 30-60 minutes before exercising to maximize energy availability and performance.

Also Read: Are Grape Nuts Good For Weight Loss?

Alternatives To Saltine Crackers For Weight Loss

There are some healthier alternatives to saltine crackers that can still satisfy your crunchy cravings. Here are some of them:

Pretzel Crisps

Pretzel crisps are a thinner, crunchier version of traditional pretzels.

They can be a good choice because they often contain fewer calories per serving compared to many other snacks.

To make them fit better into your weight loss diet, look for whole-grain or low-sodium options.

Pairing them with a healthy dip like hummus or a small portion of nut butter can balance out the snack with protein and healthy fats.

Kale Chips

Kale chips are a nutrient-dense alternative to traditional crackers.

They’re low in calories and high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber, which is great for weight loss because fiber helps you feel full longer.

Making your own kale chips at home allows you to control the amount of oil and salt used, making them an even healthier option.

Sea Salt Crackers

Sea salt crackers can be a tasty choice, but it’s important to watch the sodium content, even when the salt is marketed as “sea salt.”

Look for versions that are whole grain to get more fiber and nutrients.

Because they can be higher in sodium, balance your snack with fresh vegetables or a low-sodium topping to keep your overall salt intake in check.

Water Crackers

Water crackers are known for their simple ingredients, usually just flour and water, making them a low-fat snack option. However, they are often low in fiber and other nutrients.

Choose whole-grain water crackers if available, and pair them with protein-rich toppings like cottage cheese or sliced turkey to make a more balanced and satisfying snack.

Seed Crackers

Seed crackers are an excellent alternative for weight loss.

They are typically made with a variety of seeds such as flaxseed, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds, making them high in fiber and healthy fats.

These nutrients promote satiety, which can help control hunger and reduce overall calorie intake.

Seed crackers also offer the added benefits of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Look for options with minimal added oils and sugars to keep them in line with your weight loss goals.

Also Read: 10 High Protein Meals For Weight Loss


Yes, you can include saltine crackers in your diet while trying to lose weight, but it’s important to limit your intake to 5 – 10 crackers a day.

This is because they are high in carbs and lack fiber. Opting for the whole grain version of crackers is a better choice, as they contain fiber.

Fiber is essential for making you feel fuller, which helps prevent overeating.


Is saltine crackers good for a diet?

Yes, but in moderation. They can be part of a balanced diet if you watch your portions and choose low-sodium versions.

Can you eat crackers when trying to lose weight?

Yes, you can eat crackers while trying to lose weight, focusing on portion control and opting for whole-grain or high-fiber varieties.

What is the best cracker for weight loss?

Whole grain or seed crackers are the best for weight loss because they are high in fiber and nutrients, which can help you feel full longer.

How many calories are in 10 saltine crackers?

Approximately 120 to 130 calories, depending on the brand and type.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Rahul is a professional nutritionist certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and a personal trainer certified through the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He has a special interest in the science of nutrition and how it can impact the body.

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