Wraps: Friend or Foe?

Wraps have become incredibly popular over the last several years.  Many people think that since they are thin, they are healthier than bread.  So the question is are they healthy?

The answer is: it depends!

If you go to the average NYC deli and order a wrap, the wrap itself contains approximately 300 calories! 2 slices of normal bread has a mere 160 calories, if it’s a dense bread it will be closer to 200 calories, but that’s still significantly less than the wrap.

The worst part is that these commercial wraps are usually high in saturated fat and sometimes trans fat! I caught a glimpse of the nutrition label of the wraps that are used at most delis (not sure of the brand, but I’ve seen the package everywhere) and they contain 290-300 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat!   The company adds in palm oil or some time or shortening to give it a pliable structure.  Regular bread has 0 grams of saturated fat.

Nutrition Tidbit:

  • Next time you’re ordering your favorite sandwich, choose to get it on whole wheat bread instead of the wrap and you will save yourself 100-150 calories.
  • Wraps can also pack a lot of unwanted calories – usually more “goodies” can be wrapped up.  So order carefully – get the dressing, aioli and other high-fat condiments on the side.
  • If you don’t want to give up your favorite deli wrap, then I suggest you tear off the ends that are folded over and under the wrap.  It’s too much bread!  Try to get rid of 1/3 of the wrap and then you will be left with a reasonable 200 calories.  But remember it may contain trans fat.
  • If you make a wrap at home, you can do it in a healthy way.  Choose a wrap with 150-200 calories, is low in saturated fat, contains no trans fat (partially hydrogenated oil), and is high in fiber (~ 5 grams of fiber).
  • Some brands of wraps I like are: Rudi’s, Damascus, Flat Out, and La Tortilla.


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9 Responses

  1. I love the Damascus wraps, but they stopped carrying them at Costco and I can’t find them anywhere now! I have recently been buying the La Tortilla ones though and they are very good too.

  2. YIKES about 300 calorie wraps! I heard that once about the tortillas at Chipotle. I guess it’s one of those things that is sometimes healthy and sometimes not. Thanks for the info 🙂

  3. Another great post – I know so many people who fall for the healthy names that sandwich/wrap places give their high-fat, high-cal. wraps. Just ’cause it’s called a Thai Veggie Something-Or-Other doesn’t make it good for you . . . .

  4. Hi Eve,

    I love your blog and think you present great information. I’m also in NYC and have been going down a list of restaurants to try that classify themselves as healthy gourmet. Your review of Gobo made me put it further down the list, so last night I tried Candle Cafe (http://wp.me/pAp5c-bS) – have you been?

  5. I always go back and forth about which option is healthier. This clarifies it. Thanks! 🙂

  6. […] to choose from. For the purpose of being healthier I say start by going with a wrap over bread. Tortilla wraps tend to be healthier and have less carbs than a lot of breads. For your meats, any of the choices are fine just try […]

  7. […] to make your own sandwich then I have some perfect tips for you. First off ditch the bread and get a wrap instead. Or if you really want the bread, then get wheat bread instead of white […]

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