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Are PB crackers healthy?

PB crackers have become an increasingly popular snack in recent years. With their combination of peanut butter and whole grains, they seem like they could be a nutritious choice. But are PB crackers actually healthy?

The nutritional profile of PB crackers

To determine if PB crackers are healthy, we need to look at their nutritional profile. Here are some key facts about the nutrition of a typical serving of PB crackers:

  • Calories: About 140 calories per 1 ounce serving
  • Protein: 4-5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Around 15 grams
  • Fiber: 2-3 grams
  • Fat: 8-9 grams (Mostly from peanut butter)
  • Sodium: 150-200 mg

PB crackers provide a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The carbohydrates come mainly from whole grains like whole wheat flour, oats, or quinoa that make up the cracker. The protein and fat come from the peanut butter.

The pros of PB crackers

There are some benefits that make PB crackers a healthier choice than many other snack foods:

They contain whole grains

Since PB crackers are made from whole grain flours, they provide more nutrients than refined grain crackers. Whole grains provide fiber, B vitamins, iron, and other important nutrients. Fiber is beneficial for digestive health, heart health, and stabilizing blood sugar levels.

They have protein

The peanut butter in PB crackers contributes protein. Protein helps keep you feeling fuller for longer after eating and prevents spikes and crashes in blood sugar. Having protein in a snack is beneficial.

They have healthy fats

Peanut butter contains mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are considered the healthiest types of fats. Monounsaturated fats may help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. The small amounts of fat in PB crackers come from nutrient-dense peanut butter rather than less healthy sources like oils high in saturated fat.

They are nutrient-dense

In addition to the macros of protein, carbs, and fat, PB crackers contain a variety of micronutrients. Peanut butter provides magnesium, potassium, and vitamin E. The whole grains provide B vitamins, iron, and trace minerals. So PB crackers deliver a lot of nutritional value in a small package.

The cons of PB crackers

However, there are some downsides to keep in mind when eating PB crackers:

They are calorie-dense

While the calorie count of 140 calories per serving isn’t excessive, it’s quite easy to overeat PB crackers and take in more calories than you intended. The combination of peanut butter, whole grains, and seasoning makes the crackers energy-dense. Portion control is important.

They usually contain added sugars

Many PB cracker products contain added sugars to sweeten the peanut butter filling. Look at the ingredient list and choose options without added sugars if possible. The added sugars drive up the calorie content and don’t provide any nutrition.

They may contain hydrogenated oils

Some PB crackers are made with hydrogenated oils in the peanut butter filling to extend shelf life. Hydrogenated oils contain trans fats, which are considered the unhealthiest type of fat. Check the ingredient list and avoid products listing “partially hydrogenated oils.”

They can be high in sodium

PB crackers may be moderately high in sodium, from the salt naturally present in peanut butter plus any extra salt added to the crackers. Consuming too much sodium can negatively impact blood pressure levels. People with hypertension may want to limit their PB cracker intake.

Tips for choosing healthy PB crackers

If you want to eat PB crackers in a healthy way, here are some tips:

  • Look for options made with 100% whole grains as the first ingredient.
  • Choose crackers with 3 grams of fiber or more per serving.
  • Avoid added sugars in the ingredients list.
  • Look for 140 calories or less per serving.
  • Aim for less than 200mg sodium per serving.
  • Pick peanut butter fillings without hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
  • Look for at least 4g of protein per serving.

Healthier substitutes for PB crackers

If you want a snack with a similar nutrition profile as PB crackers, consider these options:

Whole grain crackers with nut butter

Make your own combination of whole grain crackers spread with nut or seed butter. This allows you to control the ingredients and portions.

Apple slices with peanut butter

Sliced apples dipped in peanut butter gives you the PB taste with more nutrition from the fruit.

Trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit

Trail mix provides protein, fiber, and a variety of nutrients without the refined carbs of crackers.

Greek yogurt parfaits

Layering Greek yogurt with granola and fresh fruit makes a satisfying high protein snack or mini-meal.


Edamame is a nutritious high fiber legume packed with plant-based protein.

Cottage cheese and fruit

Cottage cheese paired with fruit like strawberries, blueberries, or pears provides protein, calcium, and antioxidants.

The bottom line

Overall, PB crackers can be a nutritious snack option in moderation. They provide more nutritional value than heavily processed snack foods because of their whole grain content and peanut butter filling. However, the calorie, sugar, and sodium content of some products may make them more of a treat food. following the tips above can help you choose the healthiest PB crackers and alternative snacks to include in a balanced diet.