The first time I saw Uncrustables in the grocery store, I was intrigued by its cute appearance and cheerful packaging. It certainly looked more kid-friendly than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After all, it’s not messy, there are no crust corners, and it is compact enough to fit inside your child’s lunchbox.
But did you know that this seemingly wholesome snack is not as healthy as it seems?
So, what’s the truth – are Uncrustables healthy or unhealthy?
Uncrustables are unhealthy snacks because they are high in sugar, fat, and sodium. They also do not provide many nutrients aside from a little protein and fiber content. Furthermore, they come with artificial colors and preservatives which have been linked to hyperactivity in children.
Keep reading to learn more about this snack/breakfast sandwich and why it might not be the healthiest option.
Are Uncrustables Healthy?
While there’s no shortage of hand-held sandwiches on the market, Uncrustables have become one of the most popular options thanks to their claimed “all-natural ingredients” and loveable, child-friendly packaging.
But how healthy are these frozen sandwiches?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention defines healthy food as foods having at least 10% of the Daily Value (DV) for one or more of the following nutrients: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein and fiber.
So do Uncrustables fit that description?
Let’s look at their nutrition facts and find out!
According to the Smuckers Uncrustable Products nutrition facts Uncrustables products do NOT meet the CDC’s definition of a healthy snack.
Why Uncrustables Might be Bad for You?
There is a possibility that Uncrustables could cause health issues due to the high quantities of sugar in the jam, jelly, honey, and the amount of salt in the processed bread and peanut butter.
The Uncrustables website suggests they are not, by themselves, a complete and balanced meal, and should be eaten as part of a balanced diet.
So it is acceptable to consume Uncrustables occasionally, but they should not be considered a healthy or complete meal.
Can Ingredients in Uncrustables Contribute to Diabetes?
Since Uncrustables are highly processed foods that include added sugar, which can contribute to obesity and diabetes, they should be consumed in moderation.
According to the nutrition facts on the packaging, one Uncrustables sandwich contains 210 calories, 10 grams of sugar, no Vitamin D, and only 2% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium and 6% RDA of iron. DV percentages of sugar per sandwich flavor are shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Percentage of DV of sugar per sandwich weight
|Flavor||Weight (per sandwich)||Sugar (% of daily value)|
|Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam||58 grams||15%|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||150 grams||52%|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||76 grams||24%|
|Peanut Butter & Honey||58 grams||18%|
|Chocolate flavored Hazelnut spread.||52 grams||20%.|
This same amount of sugar is seen in many types of candy which can be associated with cavities and tooth decay.
Can High Levels of Sodium in Uncrustables Trigger Blood Pressure?
Due to salted peanut butter as a filling, Uncrustables contain higher sodium levels than many processed snacks. With 500 mg of sodium, one large sandwich contains 21% of the RDA of 2300 milligrams (mg) per adult and 800 – 1000 mg per child.
Table 2 contains sodium levels for each weight and flavor of Uncrustables.
Table 2: Sodium levels per flavor and weight of Uncrustable sandwich
|Flavor||Weight (per sandwich)||Sodium|
|Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam||58 grams||220 mg|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||150 gram||530 mg|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||76 grams||260 mg|
|Peanut Butter & Honey||58 grams||210 mg|
|*Chocolate flavored Hazelnut spread||52 grams.||160 mg|
*The chocolate hazelnut spread flavor has comparatively lower sodium content as no salted peanut butter is used.
Uncrustables are Not Ideal if You are Counting Calories
Due to their ingredients containing many hydrogenated oils, such as soybean and vegetable oil, Uncrustables have high-calorie content.
One 58-gram peanut butter and strawberry jam Uncrustables sandwich contains 210 calories, and one 150 gram peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich contains 600 calories! Table 3 shows the caloric intake of each flavor and weight of Uncrustables sandwiches
Table 3: Calories per flavor and weight of Uncrustables sandwich
|Flavor||Weight (per sandwich)||Calories|
|Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam||58 grams||210|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||150 gram||600|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||76 grams||300|
|Peanut Butter & Honey||58 grams||200|
|Chocolate flavored Hazelnut spread||52 grams.||210|
These numbers may seem low, but when you take into account that these sandwiches are often eaten as snacks , these numbers start to add up. Therefore, it is not ideal to snack on these sandwiches if you are trying to maintain or lose weight.
Uncrustables are NOT for Peanut-Sensitive People
One of the main ingredients of Uncrustables is peanut butter, which obviously contains peanuts.
So if you are sensitive to peanuts in any form, consuming Uncrustables in any flavor can trigger your allergens.
For people with nut allergies the hazelnut flavor could also cause allergic reactions. Same can be said for the wheat (bread) and dairy (milk) included in the products.
Can the Ingredients in Uncrustables Lead To Major Heart Issues?
Uncrustables are not the healthiest snack or breakfast sandwiches. For example, a peanut butter (PB) and strawberry jam sandwich of 150 grams contains 18% saturated fat of DV. It is more than the maximum 10% RDA of saturated fat.
Consuming this amount of saturated fat on a regular basis is bound to increase Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL – bad cholesterol) and decrease High-Density Lipoprotein (LDL – good cholesterol) leading to many heart-related issues in the future. Table 4 contains percentages of DV of saturated fat.
Table 4: Percentage of DV of saturated fat per sandwich weight
|Flavor||Weight (per sandwich)||Saturated fat (% of Daily Value)|
|Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam||58 grams||8%|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||150 grams||35%|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||76 grams||18%|
|Peanut Butter & Honey||58 grams||10%|
|Chocolate flavored Hazelnut spread.||52 grams.||15%.|
Is Anything Good About Uncrustables?
Despite having so many unhealthy ingredients, Uncrustables do contain some valuable nutrients . But are they enough to outweigh the unhealthy effects of these crustless sandwiches?
Let’s have a look.
Uncrustables contain whole wheat?
If you read the ingredient labels of Smucker’s Uncrustables packaging, you will see they mention whole wheat as their primary ingredient for making the bread. It gives the sandwiches some fiber content to fill you up quickly when looking for a quick snack. See table 5 for fiber content per flavor of sandwich weight.
Table 5: Percentage of fiber DV per flavor and weight of sandwich
|Flavor||Weight (per sandwich)||Fiber (% of Daily Value)|
|Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam||58 grams||7%|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||150 grams||25%|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||76 grams||13%|
|Peanut Butter & Honey||58 grams||11%|
|Chocolate flavored Hazelnut spread.||52 grams||5%|
Are there RDA amounts of Protein in Uncrustables?
The presence of peanuts in the peanut butter filling provides some protein content in the sandwiches. Also, the jam is made from real fruit , from which you get the nutrients of real fruit (and a lot of sugar, too!). Table 6 shows the amounts of protein in each flavor of Unscrustables.
Table 6: Amount of protein per flavor and weight of each type of sandwich
|Flavor||Weight (per sandwich)||Protein|
|Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam||58 grams||6 grams|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||150 grams||18 grams|
|Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly||76 grams||9 grams|
|Peanut Butter & Honey||58 grams||7 grams|
|*Chocolate flavored Hazelnut spread||52 grams||4 grams|
Therefore, go ahead and enjoy an Uncrustable on occasion, but make sure to fill up on vegetables the rest of the day!
Are there Healthy Alternatives to Uncrustables?
Uncrustables are typically high in calories and low in nutritional value. Let’s look at healthy snack/breakfast options from the grocery store that are higher in protein, contain less sugar, and provide a more nutritious bite.
- Nutri Grain Bars: have no added sugar and are much lower in calories and saturated fats.
- Quest Bars: have 0% added sugar, very high in protein and fiber
- Nature Valley Granola Bars: extremely low in calories, sodium, and sugar and have a negligible amount of saturated fat.
Moreover, these alternatives are equally convenient and tasty. Also if you want to satisfy a peanut butter and jelly (PB&J) craving without all the preservatives, try a homemade PB&J with fresh fruit.
But if you do not have the time or energy for that, look for 100% whole wheat bread (with no added sugar) and real fruit preserves made with natural ingredients.
Are Uncrustables vegan?
Some flavors of Uncrustables are vegan, while others are not. Honey and dairy are used in some varieties, such as the PB & honey and hazelnut chocolate flavors. The classic PB with jam is vegan, but it is always best to read the ingredient labels if you are a strict vegan.
Are Uncrustables gluten-free?
One of the main ingredients of Uncrustables is wheat flour contained in the bread, therefore, Uncrustables are not gluten-free.
Are Smucker’s Uncrustables vegetarian?
All the sandwiches of Smucker’s Uncrustables are vegetarian-friendly as they do not contain meat products. However, the roll-ups have meat, so are not vegetarian-friendly.
Are Uncrustables Healthy? Do not be deceived by the front packaging of Uncrustables claiming “whole wheat” or “low sugar” as a healthy snack.
Always read the nutrition label on the back of the packaging to know the complete list of ingredients.
Eating Uncrustables as a part of your (or your children’s) daily diet is not recommended. Instead, you can enjoy them once in a while as a treat.
Also, it is crucial that you eat various foods to ensure you are getting a balanced diet in terms of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.