Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Are Butterfingers Bad For You?

Also Known As: Nestlé Butterfinger



Short answer

Not all ingredients contained in Butterfingers are 100% bad for you, however, the ingredients that have possible health benefits are far outweighed by the ingredients that are not beneficial to you and can have alarming side effects.



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Long answer

The main ingredients that make up Butterfingers chocolate bars are corn syrup, ground roasted peanuts, cocoa, molasses, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, monoglycerides, TBHQ, and annatto color.

Corn syrup is a refined sweetener that has been around since the 1920s and is almost 100% glucose. It shouldn’t be confused with the highly processed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which has received mass attention of late due to its detrimental health impacts. However, corn syrup is still a refined product which is doing no benefit to your health and only adds to your daily intake of sugar.

Of concern is the history of Butterfinger which is manufactured by corporate giant Nestle. In 1999 the German market rejected Butterfinger chocolate bars due to the use of genetically modified ingredients from corn. Nestle packed up and left Germany, refusing to use GMO-free ingredients. It’s fair to say that all Butterfingers are at risk of containing GMO corn, in which case puts you at risk of food allergies, intake of foreign toxins, and an increased risk of cancer.

Palm oil is a very low-cost oil and contains huge amounts of trans fat (because of the hydrogenation process) which is responsible for increasing cholesterol levels, clogging arteries, and contributing to the development of heart disease. Recent studies have even linked hydrogenated oils with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 

The ingredient molasses, in pure form, surprisingly contains trace minerals copper, iron, and calcium and is fat-free. However, at a guess, the content of molasses in Butterfingers is not high enough to really reap the health benefits. Cocoa in pure form also has health benefits including mood enhancement and antioxidant and cardio-protective properties. Again, the amount of cocoa contained in Butterfingers is unknown.

TBHQ or Tertiary Butylhydroquinone is a chemical preservative which can bring on multiple side-effects when added to products in excess amounts. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has had to make rulings as to how much can be used in a product due to the negative side effects (which is never a good sign!). Annatto color has been linked to irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and stomach pain, but is not yet monitored by the FDA.

Overall, you should consume Butterfingers in absolute moderation, or better yet find another chocolate that you enjoy. It is a worry that Germany has banned Butterfinger from the market and it doesn’t come as much of a surprise once you look into the ingredients in finer detail.

Possible short-term side effects

  • blood sugar spike
  • nausea
  • hyperactivity
  • diarrhea

Possible long-term side effects

  • increased cholesterol
  • clogged arteries
  • diabetes
  • weight gain, obesity
  • dental decay
  • effects from gmos
  • cancer

Ingredients to be aware of

Healthier alternatives

  • small amounts of natural dark chocolate

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)


  • Organic Ingredients
  • Rich Dark Chocolate
  • Peanut Butter Filling
  • Convenient Mini Sizes
  • 6-Pack Bundle
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Desmond Richard
Published on: 05-16-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Desmond Richard
Published on: 05-16-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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