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Are Wheat Thins Healthy? We Asked a Dietitian

Is this beloved whole-grain cracker actually nutritious? We find out!
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch
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Wheat Thins have an irresistible combination of salty, sweet and nutty flavors that make them nearly addictive. Munch on them solo, pair them with cheese, dunk them into dips, or slather them with nut butter—the possibilities are endless! The packaging boasts 100% whole grains, and the name "Wheat Thins" suggests a healthy option, but is that true? Are Wheat Thins actually healthy?

Stay tuned! We'll take a closer look at the ingredient list and nutrition facts and highlight some of the health benefits and drawbacks of Wheat Thins to help you decide if they belong in your grocery cart. Read on, then check out the 40 Unhealthiest Snacks on the Planet.

What are Wheat Thins?

Wheat Thins on a grocery store shelf.

Wheat Thins are a true OG of the snack cracker world and have been a grocery store staple since 1947. They are thin, crunchy, and square-shaped and come in a variety of flavors and sizes, including plain, Sundried Tomato & Basil, a Hint of Salt, and Reduced Fat.

When it comes to health, Wheat Thins score a point for having a relatively short ingredient list. They score a second point for having whole-grain wheat flour as their first and most prominent ingredient. However, they lose a point for containing three types of added sugars: sugar, malt syrup, and refiner's syrup.

The ingredient list for Original Wheat Thins:

  • Whole grain wheat flour
  • Canola oil
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Malt syrup
  • Salt
  • Refiner's Syrup

 60 Healthy Snack Ideas That Keep You Full

Nutritional Profile of Wheat Thins

One serving of 16 Wheat Thins crackers provides:

Nutrition (Per 16-cracker serving):
Calories: 140
Fat: 5 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 200 mg
Carbs: 22 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g)
Protein: 2 g

Wheat Thins offer a clear advantage over refined white crackers like Saltines or Ritz Crackers, as they are made with 100% whole-grain flour and provide a good source of fiber. Wheat Thins also contain canola oil, a monounsaturated fat and a healthier oil than soybean oil and palm oil found in Ritz or Club Crackers.

Finally, due to their thinness, a serving of Wheat Thins typically yields a higher number of crackers than refined counterparts. One downfall of Wheat Thins is that they contain more added sugar than some refined white crackers.

 50 Healthiest Weight Loss Snacks on Grocery Shelves

Health Benefits of Wheat Thins

Wheat Thins

Wheat Thins offer several health benefits. For one, their first and main ingredient is whole-grain wheat flour. Whenever you see the word 'whole' before the name of a grain, the product uses a flour containing the entire kernel: the bran, germ, and endosperm. This boosts fiber, vitamins, and minerals compared to refined or enriched flour. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend making half your grains whole, and one easy way to do this is to swap out a refined or enriched wheat cracker for a whole-grain option, like Wheat Thins.

Each serving of Wheat Thins also packs 3 grams of dietary fiber, a nutrient many Americans don't consume enough of. Research has linked fiber consumption to numerous health benefits, including improved gut health, blood sugar balance, weight maintenance, and prevention of conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Wheat Thins also offer a bit of protein, clocking in at 2 grams per serving. Protein and fiber work together to keep you fuller for longer and prevent you from eating the entire box in one sitting.

Wheat Thins also contain unsaturated fats, the beneficial type of fat you want to include more of in your diet. They contain 0 grams of saturated fat, which should be limited because of its connection to heart disease when consumed in excess.

 15 Best High-Protein, High-Fiber Snacks You Can Buy

Potential Drawbacks of Wheat Thins

While Wheat Thins offer several health benefits, it's important to consider some potential drawbacks, too. Wheat Thins contain 5 grams of sugar per serving, with 4 grams from added sugar sources. This is higher than other cracker options and can be concerning, as most Americans have been overdoing it in the sugar department. The average person consumes up to 71 grams of sugar, while the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to no more than 25 grams for women and 36 grams for men.

Another potential drawback is sodium content (and another nutrient we tend to overdo). While a serving of Wheat Thins contains 200 milligrams of sodium, falling into the "medium" sodium range, it's important to consider your overall sodium intake for the day. The Dietary Guidelines recommend adults limit sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams daily. Most pre-made and shelf-stable packaged foods contain some sodium. Pairing Wheat Thins with cheese or dips can significantly increase the total sodium content of your snack, so opting for healthy, low-sodium pairings is key.

 12 Best High-Protein, High-Fiber Foods You Can Eat

Conclusion: Are Wheat Thins Healthy?


Wheat Thins are a healthy snack option that can fit into any healthy diet. Although tasty, be sure to stick to one portion per sitting. Also, consider pairing Wheat Thins with other nutrient-dense foods that are naturally low in sodium and contain no added sugar, such as sliced-up veggies, fruits, unsalted nuts, nut butter, and Greek yogurt.

Like fruits and veggies, it's best to vary your grains. Don't just rely on Wheat Thins to provide you with a serving of grains for the day. Aim for a variety of whole grains, such as popcorn, oats, barley, and quinoa, which can offer a wide range of wholesome nutrients.

Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
Roxana Ehsani is a registered dietitian nutritionist, board certified specialist in sports dietetics, media spokesperson, consultant, and content creator for food and nutrition brands. Read more about Roxana
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