Ever wonder if crackers can make you gain fat?

It’s important to remember that not all crackers are created equal.

Some are whole grain, some are gluten-free and some are packed with seeds and nuts.

The devil is in the details, as they say.

One of the key factors to consider is the calorie content. Crackers can be deceptively caloric.

When you mindlessly munch out of a box of crackers, those calories add up faster than you might realize.

Before you know it, an entire box of crackers can be polished off during a half-hour sitcom. They’re positively addictive!

However, this doesn’t mean you need to banish crackers from your life entirely. It’s all about moderation and making informed choices.

The composition of crackers varies widely, influencing their impact on your weight.

Whole grain crackers, for example, bring fiber to the table, which can promote a feeling of fullness and discourage overeating.

On the flipside, crackers made with refined flour may lack the same satiating effect, potentially leading to consuming more than your body needs.

Adding to the potential wallop of calories due to the ease of snarfing down large quantities of crackers at once, is the temptation to smear peanut butter on them, or scoop them into rich dips or put cheese or ham salad on them.

Before you know it, you could ingest a thousand calories that your body doesn’t need. And you know what happens to calories that your body doesn’t need, right?

Let’s talk about the big bad wolf of the nutrition world – refined carbohydrates.

Many conventional crackers fall into this category. When grains are refined, the outer bran and germ layers are stripped away, leaving behind a starchy endosperm.

This process not only removes valuable nutrients but also results in a product that can spike blood sugar levels.

Elevated blood sugar triggers insulin release, which, when happening frequently, may contribute to weight gain over time.

But fear not, not all crackers are refined carb devils. Opting for whole grain or multigrain varieties can be a healthier choice (relatively speaking), providing a slower, more sustained release of insulin: keeping insulin spikes at bay.

But this doesn’t mean there’s a such thing as a healthful cracker — healthful in the absolute sense.

ANY cracker is a processed item, created in a factory. 

Can crackers, in and of themselves, make you fat?

Crackers, like any caloric food that’s overeaten, can contribute to excess body fat.

If crackers are your go-to snack for overconsumption, they will aid in putting on the pounds.

But there’s nothing more inherent in crackers that will make you gain weight than what’s in any other processed snack such as standard munchies and soda.

The problem is that it’s ridiculously easy to gorge on a large quantity of crackers in one sitting.

The Elephant in the Room

©Lorra Garrick

As mentioned, toppings can be a huge problem. Slathering crackers with high-fat spreads or creamy cheeses can quickly turn a seemingly innocent snack into a calorie bomb.

The key is to be mindful of your toppings, opting for healthier choices like nut butter, avocado or light cheese.


Consider pre-portioning crackers to avoid mindless munching when watching TV or on the computer. 

Don’t buy family size bags or boxes of crackers. See if your favorite kinds come in single-serving packs.

Try to make a habit of replacing some cracker days with apples, oranges, grapes, berries or raisins.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness, where she was also a group fitness instructor, she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 


Top image: ©Lorra Garrick