Are rice crackers keto friendly? Find out why this low calorie snack is not keto friendly, plus alternatives for snacking that fit a low carb lifestyle! Learn how to make keto friendly crackers from nuts, seeds, and cheese.
What are Rice Crackers?
Rice crackers have a reputation for a being a healthy snack. We are going to dive in to what a rice cracker is, its place in a keto diet, and some low carb alternatives for when you’re craving a crunchy snack!
Most rice crackers are made with just 2 ingredients, white rice and salt. Popular Asian brands have sesame seeds.
Some brands tout the health claim “whole grain,” and use brown rice. However, the rice is ground so finely, the integrity of the fiber is mostly destroyed.
The rice is heavily processed into a flour, air popped into a cracker shape, and dusted with salt. The result is a light, crisp, salty snack, perfect for dipping or topping.
Some rice crackers come flavored with cheddar cheese, sour cream and onions, and barbecue.
Blue Diamond Nut Thins are rice crackers that contain nuts. Upon closer examination of the snacks, you’ll notice they are mostly rice with a very small amount of nuts added. This is done for marketing purposes and these snacks have very little nutrition.
These “nut thins” are similarly low in fat and high in carbs, with 1 serving having 24 grams of carbohydrates.
Are Rice Cakes Food for a Keto Diet?
A serving of rice cakes have 14 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fiber, meaning they have a total of 13 grams of net carbs. They are a relatively low carb food, but the fact that they are purely starch with almost no fat or protein means they are not suitable for a keto diet.
Rice cakes are similar to rice crackers. They are comprised of rice and salt, but the processing is slightly different.
Brown rice cakes are not any better. The amount of increased dietary fiber content is negligible.
First, the rice is popped, giving these a less processed, more nutritious appearance. The reality is, the puffed rice snacks are still highly processed starch lending very little nutritional value.
A plain rice cake is almost entirely processed carbohydrates.
Rice cakes that come in a sweet flavor like caramel rice cakes have added sugar and even more carbs.
Whole grains are all high carb options.
Rice Crackers and the Glycemic Index
Low carb and keto diets rely on the glycemic index to determine which foods are appropriate. Foods high on the glycemic index rapidly increase blood sugar levels. Those lower on the glycemic index give a slow and steady release of energy.
The glycemic index is a score given to foods that estimates how quickly a food is turned into glucose and used by the body for energy. Food not used as energy is quickly stored as fat.
Insulin is released to “push” glucose into cells to store energy in the form of fat. In the absence of insulin, our bodies cannot store energy as fat.
This is the driving reason low carb diets are used for weight loss.
Rice crackers are almost solely carbohydrates, meaning they are high on the glycemic index.
Foods that are high in fat and protein have a lower glycemic index, which results in a much slower, steady release of energy.
Are Rice Crackers Low Carb?
Rice crackers are high in carbohydrates, with a low fiber, fat and protein content. 20 crackers contain 32 grams of carbs, with only 1.5 grams of fiber. The net carbs of a serving of rice crackers is about 30 grams, meaning they are not a low carb food.
Low carb foods have a higher amount of the total calories coming from protein and fat.
Rice crackers have about 3 grams of protein per serving, which is low compared to the 130 calories.
The fat content of unflavored rice crackers is about 2 grams, which makes them a low fat food.
Low Carb, Low Calorie Snacks
Most store bought crackers are not low carb, and most packaged keto snacks are high in calorie because they contain a high fat content.
If you’re looking for some low calorie snacks that fit into your keto lifestyle, try one of these filling options:
- Organic Nitrite Free Turkey Pepperoni – I love the Applegate brand. It has 80 calories, 0 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein in 17 slices. It’s a great option when you feel like something salty!
- Sliced Cucumbers with Balsamic Vinegar and Salt – When the weather warms up, I crave watery foods. Sliced cucumbers are a refreshing option, and adding a little vinegar and salt gives them great flavor.
- Veggies with Hummus – Try this Keto Hummus recipe and dip a few veggies in! To make a snack faster, just mix together tahini and lemon juice for a flavorful veggie dip.
- Salted Pistachios – Pistachios are a higher carb nut, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in a low carb diet. The high B6 content in pistachios helps with blood glucose regulation. A 1 ounce serving has 5 grams of net carbs (8 grams total carbs – 3 grams fiber), so limit your intake to 1-2 servings a day, and include them in your carb tracking.
- Kale Chips – This craze continues for good reason! Kale becomes crisp with a deep green flavor after baking it for a short time. Try this easy Kale Chip recipe.
- Seaweed Snacks – High in Iodine, seaweed supports thyroid health. A package of crisp, salty seaweed has about 30 calories. If you’re looking to mindlessly munch, without damaging your results, you’ll get minimal calories with quite a few essential nutrients!
- Cottage Cheese – this high protein snack is having a moment! Whip it into a dip to use for veggies or spread it on one of the keto cracker recipes listed below.
Keto Friendly Alternatives to Rice Crackers
While rice crackers are an easy grab-and-go snack that provides crunchy and a salty flavor. They are not low carb and therefore not suitable for keto dieters. The carb intake on a keto diet is between 20g-50g.
Keto friendly snacks contain a high proportion of calories from fat or protein rather than carbohydrates.
High carb options, like wheat-based crackers and potato chips are not ideal.
Fear not! With a little creativity, or a little time in the kitchen, there are plenty of easy keto-friendly alternatives to crackers.
- Roasted and Salted Almonds – Roasted nuts, especially almonds, macadamia nuts, and pecans, are great for low carb dieters. Roast your own at home in olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil, and avoid options roasted in seed oils like peanut, sunflower oil, and canola oil.
- Celery and Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter!) – Opt for a sugar free nut butter, and spread it on crunchy celery! Feel free to add a sprinkle of salt or use a nut butter than contains salt.
- Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Asparagus – These take minutes to make and the bacon crisps up in the air fryer! A delicious snack that’s also healthy!
- Biltong Jerky – Most jerky has a ton of added sugar, meaning it’s best to avoid it, especially on a low carb diet. Biltong is a style of jerky from South Africa. It’s simply air dried, salted meat! Even Costco now carries Biltong, as well as health food and gourmet grocers.
- Olives – Don’t relegate olives to simply salad toppers! They are a delicious snack, especially on a plate combined with veggies, cheese, and nuts. Find olives stuffed with garlic, jalapeno, or almonds, for a fun (low-carb) twist!
Keto Cracker Recipes
I have several delicious keto cracker recipes for you to try at home! These simple recipes use nutritious ingredients, Since they are made fresh with wholesome ingredients, they aren’t as shelf stable as store-bought, wheat flour crackers.
To keep low carb crackers on hand for quick snacks, simply package them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge.
- Keto Almond Flour Crackers – these are one of my favorite snacks! They take minutes to put together and roll out, and make beautiful crisp crackers! Add your favorite seasonings.
- Keto Cheese Crackers – If you’re craving a salty, cheesy snack, these keto “cheez its” are just the trick! I make these with a sharp white cheddar cheese, but use swiss, parmesan, or pepperjack to customize the flavor.
- Chia Seed Crackers – Crackers made completely from seeds, these will blow you away! Full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein, use these seed crackers to scoop up keto hummus, or as the base for cheese and deli meats. I also use them as crunchy salad toppers!
If you’re new to Keto, check out and download a free printable Keto Foods List for Beginners!