Did you know: The name “Triscuit” comes from the words “electricity” and “biscuit.” Their early ad campaigns touted how these crackers are “Baked by Electricity.” Interesting, no? But today let’s dig into their nutrition. Are Triscuits actually healthy?
Triscuits are made with whole grain wheat flour, so they have more fiber than most crackers. Unfortunately, Triscuits also have canola oil—which is a highly processed, high-calorie ingredient—and some added salt. Still, compared to most crackers, Triscuits are a healthier option.
Below, I’ll look at several Triscuits flavors in detail. I’ll directly compare them to another popular whole-grain cracker, Wheat Thins. And I’ll explore if Triscuits are good for weight loss or not!
Are Triscuits Good for You?
Here are the ten specific questions I’ll be answering about Triscuits nutrition. Click any of them to skip ahead to that section—or just keep scrolling to read them all:
- What Are Triscuits Made Of?
- Are Triscuits a Highly Processed Food?
- Are Triscuits Good for Weight Loss?
- Are Triscuits a Good Source of Fiber?
- Are Triscuits High in Cholesterol?
- Are Triscuits Fried or Baked?
- Are Triscuits “Good Carbs”?
- Do Triscuits Have BHT?
- Which Is Healthier, Triscuits or Wheat Thins?
- Are Triscuits Vegan?
1. What Are Triscuits Made Of?
Let’s start by looking at some actual Triscuits ingredients. Do they have any ingredients you should be avoiding? How processed are these delicious crackers, really?
Below are the ingredients for several popular flavors of Triscuits. I’ll share my takeaway points below the table:
|Original||Whole Grain Wheat, Canola Oil, Sea Salt.|
|Reduced Fat||Whole Grain Wheat, Canola Oil, Sea Salt.|
|Hint of Salt||Whole Grain Wheat, Canola Oil, Sea Salt.|
|Cracked Pepper||Whole Grain Wheat, Canola Oil, Salt, Rice Starch, Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor (Contains Celery).|
Here’s what I notice about these ingredients:
- Triscuits are made with whole grain wheat. The first ingredient for all these flavors is whole grain wheat. This is higher in fiber and nutrients than the more processed flours found in many crackers.
- Triscuits have only a few ingredients. Original Triscuits only have three ingredients. There’s no confusing ingredients with chemical names. And aside from the possible issue of BHT (covered below), there’s no sketchy preservatives or additives, either.
- Triscuits has no added sugar. Many popular snack crackers, such as Wheat Thins, have a few grams of added sugar. But not Triscuits! They don’t have any sugar or other sweeteners.
- Triscuits have canola oil. Vegetable oils are highly processed, high in calories, and low in nutrients. And this applies to the canola oil in Triscuits, too. However, the Reduced Fat flavor has less canola oil, with almost 30% less total fat than Original flavor.
- Triscuits have added salt. There’s around 160mg of sodium per serving of Triscuits. But if you’re looking for a low-sodium option, the Hint of Salt flavor only has 50mg per serving.
- Triscuits packaging may have BHT. Check your package, but I found some Triscuit labels which include “BHT added to the packaging material to preserve freshness.” BHT may or may not be harmful—but some countries have banned it out of caution. Read more about it below.
Overall, Triscuits are indeed a whole grain cracker. But they also contain processed canola oil and some salt, which make them a bit less wholesome.
So, all together, does this mean Triscuits are a “processed food”? Let’s cover that next.
2. Are Triscuits a Highly Processed Food?
It’s widely understood today that healthy food tends to be only minimally processed. When we eat food in its more natural forms, we typically get many more nutrients than if it’s been processed into flour, flakes, syrup, or oil.
The term “processed food” is a bit imprecise, though. Technically, even if you just cut a carrot in half, you’ve “processed” it. But that’s not what most people mean when they say “processed food.”
In practical terms, the easiest way to spot “processed food” today is to check the ingredients list for refined oils, sugars, flours, artificial ingredients (sweeteners, colors, additives), or high amounts of salt.
But identifying “processed food” can be a bit tricky with snacks like Triscuits, where at least one of the main ingredients is healthy (whole grain wheat) but another ingredient is not (canola oil).
Overall, I would not call Triscuits “highly processed” or “ultra processed,” as the main ingredient is whole grain wheat. That said, they are still somewhat processed. I’d estimate about 1/4 of the calories come from the oil, which is a highly processed ingredient.
3. Are Triscuits Good for Weight Loss?
Triscuits have a mix of pros and cons for weight loss.
Benefits of Triscuits for weight loss: They’re made of whole grain, and they have 3g of fiber per serving, which helps with satiety on a weight-loss diet. And they are free of empty calories from added sugar.
Drawbacks of Triscuits for weight loss: Triscuits contain canola oil, which is a very high-calorie ingredient.
One of the most important principles for weight loss is calorie density. Foods with a low calorie density fill up your stomach more with fewer calories. This makes it easier to eat fewer calories and still be satisfied. And that can lead to weight loss. (source)
The foods with the lowest calorie density are non-starchy vegetables, including greens. Other foods with low calorie density include fruits, beans, whole grains, and most whole plant foods in general.
Some of the foods with the highest calorie density are refined oils. Oils are concentrated sources of calories, as much of the fiber and bulk have been removed in processing.
Since Triscuits have an ingredient with a very high calorie density—canola oil—there is a risk that you could overeat Triscuits without feeling fully satisfied. Compare that to green vegetables, where there is no real risk of overeating on calories—even if you stuff yourself.
By itself, a few servings of Triscuits will not make or break your weight loss diet, though. Weight loss depends on your overall diet and lifestyle. If you’re burning more overall calories than you’re eating each day/week, you should lose weight.
For more help with weight loss, check out this post with 18 tips for weight loss without counting calories.
- How many calories are in one Triscuit? There is about 20 calories in one Triscuit.
4. Are Triscuits a Good Source of Fiber?
Triscuits are relatively high in fiber, with around 3 grams per serving (16 crackers). For comparison, this is much more fiber than in Ritz Original Crackers (0g) or Rold Gold Pretzels (<1g). It’s about the same amount of fiber as in Wheat Thins Original (3g).
Most Americans only eat about 10g to 15g of fiber per day. So, a handful of Triscuits isn’t likely to solve the fiber problem by itself. Still, Triscuits are decent compared to other popular snack foods.
To optimize your fiber intake, try to make an overall switch toward more whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits.
If you’re looking for a truly high-fiber food, consider beans. Beans have about double the fiber of Triscuits per serving!
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5. Are Triscuits High in Cholesterol?
Triscuits do not have any dietary cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol is only found in animal ingredients, and many Triscuits flavors are vegan. Even the flavors that contain milk ingredients are still cholesterol free.
Furthermore, Triscuits are also free of saturated fat. (The nutrition facts list “0g” saturated fat for all flavors I checked.) This is great, as research shows saturated fat intake tends to raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which is a heart disease risk factor. (source)
6. Are Triscuits Fried or Baked?
Triscuits are baked, not fried. However, Triscuits still contain canola oil. They are not a low-fat food.
Many people understand that baking is healthier than frying because less oil can be used. But don’t assume too much. Original Triscuits still have 3.5 grams of total fat per serving, mostly from the oil. That means about 25% of the calories in Triscuits come from fat.
If you’d like to go for a lower-fat option, you can get Reduced Fat Triscuits. They have almost 30% less fat than the Original flavor.
- What kind of oil is in Triscuits? Triscuits contain canola oil. Some flavors also have additional oils. For example, the Cracked Pepper flavor also has extra virgin olive oil.
- What kind of fat is in Triscuits? Triscuits have unsaturated fat. Most of the fat in Triscuits is from canola oil, which is highest in monounsaturated fat. It also has omega-6 and omega-3 unsaturated fats, in about a 2:1 ratio.
7. Are Triscuits “Good Carbs”?
First things first: Triscuits are not a low-carb food. They are not keto-friendly. About 2/3 of the calories in Original Triscuits come from carbohydrates. Most flavors of Triscuits have around 20 grams of total carbs per serving.
But are these “good carbs,” at least?
The carbs in Triscuits are relatively “good.” They come from whole grain wheat, which makes them higher in fiber and lower on the glycemic index than processed white flour. However, Triscuits may still spike your blood sugar.
I couldn’t find any studies that directly measure Triscuits on the glycemic index. That said, the ingredients and texture are quite similar to shredded wheat cereal, which I happen to know is a 67 on the glycemic index. That’s toward the high end of “medium GI.“
If blood sugar control is important to you, I’d exercise some caution with Triscuits and see how your body personally reacts.
8. Do Triscuits Have BHT?
Some Triscuits packages say they contain the preservative BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene). BHT is controversial, as it is often associated with BHA, which can have cancer-causing effects at high levels.
Research suggests it may be possible for excess BHT to mess with your hormones, as well. So there are some people who definitely prefer to avoid this preservative. That said, overall the research is more reassuring for BHT than for BHA.
In fact, BHT may even have anti-cancer effects at low levels. It is possible that the antioxidant properties of BHT may make it protective against free radical oxidation at lower levels.
So personally, I’m not that worried about it. However, it is banned in some countries.
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9. Which Is Healthier, Triscuits or Wheat Thins?
Most nutrition experts would judge Triscuits to be healthier than Wheat Thins. Original Triscuits have no added sugar or sweeteners, compared to 5 grams of added sugar in each serving of Original Wheat Thins.
Triscuits and Wheat Thins are both whole grain crackers, so they both have that advantage. But Wheat Thins also have more extra ingredients like sugar, cornstarch, malt syrup, molasses, or refiner’s syrup. None of those are particularly nutritious.
Triscuits still have canola oil and salt, which are not great for you, either… but overall, Triscuits are more minimal. There’s less added junk compared to Wheat Thins. And I view that as a good thing.
See my full breakdown of Wheat Thins nutrition here.
10. Are Triscuits Vegan?
The following flavors of Triscuits are vegan:
- Reduced Fat
- Hint of Salt
- Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil
- Avocado, Cilantro, & Lime
- Balsamic Vinegar & Basil
- Basil & Garlic
The following flavors of Triscuit are not vegan, as they contain milk ingredients:
- Rosemary & Jalapeno
- Four Cheese & Herb
- Romano Cheese & Honey
The only real surprise here is the “Rosemary & Jalapeno” flavor. Based on the name, there’s no real clue about the dairy ingredients. The other Triscuits flavors with dairy are kind of common sense, though, as they’re named after dairy-containing foods.
- Do Triscuits contain eggs? Triscuits do not contain eggs.
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