Saltine, or soda, crackers are traditionally made with a dough of white flour, yeast, shortening, baking soda and salt. These ingredients offer little in the way of vitamins and minerals. Saltines are mostly refined carbohydrates, which makes them good for soaking up soup, but not so good for a healthy diet.
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Carbohydrates and Calories
One serving of saltines, or five crackers, contains 63 calories and 11 grams of carbohydrates. Since carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, this means that 70 percent of a serving of saltines, or 44 calories, come from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy.
Saltines contain 0 grams of fiber per serving. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is essential to healthy digestion and that plays a role in decreasing cholesterol levels. You are better off choosing crackers that provide some fiber, 3 grams or more per serving. Woven wheats, 100 percent whole wheat crackers and rye crisps are examples of crackers with more fiber.
The carbohydrates in saltines come from the white flour -- a refined product that tends to raise your blood sugar levels quickly. A diet that regularly includes refined carbohydrates puts you at increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and weight gain. While the fact that the body digests saltines quickly makes them an asset when you have a sour stomach, it also makes them an unsatisfying snack and may cause you to consume more calories in the long-run.
Certain manufacturers make saltines with multi-grains, which sound healthier than original saltines. These crackers contain about the same number of carbohydrates as plain saltines. White flour is still the primary ingredient in these crackers, so they also provide 0 grams of fiber.