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Are Nature's Bakery Snacks Bad For You?



Short answer

Nature's Bakery snacks are not bad for you when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. They offer valuable nutrients due to whole grain content and lack artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. However, they do contain added sugars and are calorie-dense, which should be considered regarding overall caloric intake and weight management. Mindful consumption is essential, especially for those with food sensitivities, as some products may contain allergens like wheat and soy.



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Long answer

Nutritional Profile of Nature's Bakery Snacks

When examining the nutritional profile of Nature's Bakery Snacks, it's essential to delve into the specifics of calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients. Many consumers choose Nature's Bakery Snacks due to their perception as a healthier snacking option, often made with whole grains and free from artificial flavors, colors, and high-fructose corn syrup. Here's a detailed look at what these snacks contain, using one of their popular products, the Fig Bar, as a primary example.


Calories are the unit of energy that comes from the food we eat. A typical Nature's Bakery Fig Bar contains about 100-110 calories per serving. For most people on a 2,000-calorie diet, this would be considered a moderate snack in terms of caloric content.


Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They are essential for the body's energy, structure, and other functions.

  • Carbohydrates: The Fig Bars are relatively high in carbohydrates, with a serving containing around 20 grams, of which about 10 grams are sugars. The carbs primarily come from whole wheat and oats, providing a source of dietary fiber.
  • Protein: With around 2 grams of protein per serving, these snacks are not a significant source of protein. Protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth as well as for various bodily functions.
  • Fats: Each serving generally contains about 2.5 grams of fat, most of which is unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are considered to be a 'healthier' type of fat.


Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals necessary for numerous biochemical processes in the body. Nature's Bakery Snacks typically provide a range of B vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron, albeit in relatively small amounts.

  • Vitamins: Some vitamins present include Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), and Folate, which play roles in energy metabolism and the nervous system.
  • Minerals: Important minerals found in Nature's Bakery snacks include calcium, iron, and potassium. Iron assists with oxygen transportation in the blood, while calcium and potassium are vital for muscle function and bone health.

In addition to the basic nutritional profile, these snacks often highlight the inclusion of whole grains, which have been associated with various health benefits, including reduced risk of chronic diseases. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that whole grain intake is inversely associated with metabolic health issues and cardiovascular risk (source).

While evaluating the nutritional content of Nature's Bakery Snacks, one should consider their dietary needs and restrictions. For example, individuals watching their sugar intake or those with gluten sensitivities might need to choose their products carefully as some bars might contain more sugars or be made with wheat.

It's also important to consider the ingredient quality and product processing. The use of whole food ingredients versus heavily processed additives can have an impact on the healthfulness of any snack. For instance, compared to refined grains, whole grains retain more of their nutritional value throughout the processing.

Overall, the nutritional profile of Nature's Bakery Snacks offers consumers a convenient option with components that are easily recognized and digested when compared to more heavily processed snacks. However, like all food items, they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Ingredient Analysis: Whole Grains, Sweeteners, and Additives

The ingredients in a food product are profound indicators of its nutritional value and potential health implications. Nature's Bakery snacks tout their use of whole grains, which is a plus in the world of processed foods. Whole grains retain the bran and germ upon processing, providing essential nutrients like fiber, which aids in digestion and can help maintain stable blood sugar levels. Opting for whole grains over refined grains is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, according to nutrition research from the Harvard School of Public Health.

While the incorporation of whole grains is commendable, discerning consumers must also scrutinize the quality and quantity of sweeteners used. Nature's Bakery snacks often contain natural sweeteners like cane sugar or agave nectar. Although these sweeteners are considered more “natural”, it's crucial to understand that they provide significant amounts of fructose and glucose. Consuming high quantities of added sugars, regardless of their source, can contribute to increased calorie intake, weight gain, and metabolic disorders. The American Heart Association suggests keeping added sugars below 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams per day for men.

Another area of focus is the additives utilized in Nature's Bakery snacks. The use of additives like leavening agents, stabilizers, and preservatives is common in packaged snacks. While these substances can help maintain product consistency, flavor, and shelf stability, there are lingering concerns about the long-term health effects of some food additives. For instance, some leavening agents such as aluminum-based compounds have raised questions in the scientific community about their potential links to neurotoxicity and other health issues.

It is important for consumers to be aware of the presence of any controversial additives in their food and consider their individual dietary needs and sensitivities. Strict regulation by agencies like the FDA is in place to ensure additives are within safe limits, but personal tolerance and responses can vary.

Here is a quick breakdown of ingredients often found in Nature's Bakery snacks:

  • Whole Wheat Flour: High in nutrients and fiber; promotes satiety and supports healthier blood sugar levels.
  • Cane Sugar/Agave Nectar: Natural sweeteners; sources of added sugars that should be consumed in moderation.
  • Fruit Purees: Contribute to natural flavors and add nutritional value, including vitamins and minerals.
  • Oats: A whole grain that provides fiber and has been linked to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Glycerin: Used as a humectant to retain moisture, it’s generally recognized as safe, but high doses can have laxative effects.
  • Leavening Agents (e.g., Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate): Necessary for the rising of baked goods; some may contain aluminum compounds.
  • Soy Lecithin: Acts as an emulsifier; usually safe for consumption but can pose allergen concerns for those with soy allergies.

In conclusion, the presence of whole grains in Nature's Bakery snacks is an attribute that aligns with healthy dietary patterns. However, the type and quantity of sweeteners used, as well as the specific additives included, should be deliberated when determining their place in a balanced diet. In the next sub-section, we will explore how the combination of these ingredients affects the overall nutritional profile and health implications of consuming Nature's Bakery snacks.

Allergens and Dietary Restrictions Compliance in Nature's Bakery Products

Nature's Bakery snacks cater to a variety of dietary preferences, offering options that are plant-based and free from dairy and soy. However, those with specific dietary restrictions or food allergies should take a closer look at the ingredients and manufacturing processes. Understanding the potential allergens in these products can help individuals make informed choices while managing their dietary needs.

Common Allergens in Snack Products

  • Wheat: Many of Nature's Bakery products are made with whole wheat, which can be problematic for individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
  • Nuts: While Nature's Bakery ensures that many of their snacks are nut-free, always double-check the packaging as formulations may change or cross-contamination could occur during manufacturing.
  • Soy: Soy is a common allergen; however, the brand often promotes that their snacks do not contain soy ingredients. Despite this, verifying the absence of soy remains essential for those with allergies.

Specific Diets and Nature's Bakery

  • Vegan: The company prides itself on producing plant-based snacks suitable for vegans. However, verifying the ingredient list is still recommended, as minor changes or different product lines might not adhere to strict vegan standards.
  • Kosher: Nature's Bakery products are certified Kosher, expanding their availability to those following kosher dietary laws.
  • Non-GMO: Many consumers are concerned about genetically modified ingredients. Nature's Bakery addresses this by offering snacks labeled as non-GMO.

Cross-Contamination Awareness

Cross-contamination is a critical concern for individuals with severe allergies. Nature's Bakery generally follows good manufacturing practices to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. However, for those with life-threatening allergies, it is advisable to contact the company directly to inquire about specific product lines and manufacturing details.

Snack Varieties and Ingredients Transparency

Nature's Bakery offers different snack lines, including fig bars, oat bars, and brownies, each with unique ingredients that may affect those with dietary restrictions. The company's commitment to transparency involves clearly labeled packaging and a detailed ingredient list, allowing consumers to be vigilant about what they are eating. Additionally, many snacks contain added nutrients like choline and omega-3 fatty acids sourced from plant-based ingredients, offering additional health benefits while adhering to dietary restrictions.

In conclusion, while Nature's Bakery makes an effort to accommodate various dietary restrictions, individuals with allergies or specific dietary needs should always read labels carefully and be proactive in understanding the potential for cross-contamination.

Satiety Factor and Snacking: Are They Filling?

When reaching for a snack, one of the key considerations is whether it will keep you full until your next meal. Satiety, or the feeling of fullness, is not just about curbing hunger but also about fuelling your body with the right kind of nutrients that keep energy levels stable. Let’s delve into the satiety factor of Nature's Bakery snacks and assess if they are likely to be a filling choice.

Nature's Bakery snacks, which include whole grain bars and fig-filled bars, provide a mix of carbohydrates, fiber, and a modest amount of protein. The presence of whole grains and fiber is particularly significant for satiety. Fiber contributes to the feeling of fullness by adding bulk to the digesta in the stomach and small intestine, which can trigger signals of satiety to the brain. Additionally, it slows the digestion process, which means these snacks can help maintain a steady blood sugar level. Keeping blood sugar balanced is crucial for preventing sudden drops in energy and the feelings of hunger that come with it.

  • Carbohydrates: The primary source of energy in Nature's Bakery snacks comes from carbohydrates. Whole grains used in these snacks include whole wheat flour, which is a complex carbohydrate, providing a slower and more sustained release of energy compared to refined flour.
  • Fiber Content: Fiber is a cornerstone of a filling snack. Nature's Bakery snacks contain dietary fiber, which can aid in digestion and prolong satiety. The fiber in these snacks comes from the real fruit used, as well as additional fiber sources.
  • Protein Levels: While Nature's Bakery products are not protein-rich snacks, they do contain some protein. Protein is known for its satiety-inducing properties, as it takes longer to digest and can thus help stave off hunger for a more extended period.

An analysis of the ingredients in Nature's Bakery snacks reveals that the amounts of fiber and protein are moderate. For example, a typical Nature's Bakery Fig Bar contains around 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein per serving. While these amounts contribute to satiety, they may not be sufficient for a standalone snack meant to keep you full for hours, especially for individuals with higher energy requirements or those engaging in intense physical activity.

Moreover, the calorie content in each snack bar should be considered in terms of energy density and satiety. Each fig bar contains around 100 to 110 calories, which, for some, may not make a satiating snack by itself. To enhance the satiety level, pairing these bars with a source of protein or healthy fats, such as a handful of nuts or some Greek yogurt, could be beneficial.

In essence, the satiety factor of Nature's Bakery snacks is moderate, attributing to the presence of fiber and whole grains. However, individual dietary requirements vary, and for sustained fullness and energy, complementing these snacks with additional protein or fat sources might be needed. As with any dietary choice, considering personal activity level, metabolism, and overall dietary goals is essential.

It's also worth noting that while these snacks might not be highly satiating on their own, they're designed to be convenient and nutritious choices for on-the-go snacking, as opposed to meal replacements. Therefore, their role in satiety should be viewed in the context of a balanced diet throughout the day.

Comparing Nature's Bakery with Other Processed Snacks

When juxtaposing Nature's Bakery snacks with other offerings in the processed snack aisle, it is essential to dissect the nuances that may impact your dietary goals and overall health. Processed snacks have a notorious reputation for being laden with sugars, artificial additives, and empty calories, but choosing wisely can steer you towards options with better nutritional profiles.

Nutrient Composition: A leading edge for Nature's Bakery snacks is that they often contain whole food ingredients, such as whole wheat flour and real fruit. This is in contrast to many processed snacks that opt for refined flours and sugar as their main constituents.

Sugar Content: Generally, Nature's Bakery products showcase a modest sugar content, especially when compared to more traditional snack items that can be high in added sugars. The presence of natural sugars from fruits also serves as a sweetening agent, likely contributing to a lower glycemic index than snacks with high-fructose corn syrup or other processed sugars.

Fat Quality: Unlike many processed snacks that contain trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils, Nature's Bakery snacks usually harness the wholesomeness of plant-based oils, which provide healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Artificial Ingredients: A hallmark of Nature's Bakery snacks is their avoidance of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, setting them apart from many snacks that contain these controversial components. Consumers increasingly prioritize this clean label approach when selecting their processed snack options.

Fiber Content: The use of whole grains in Nature's Bakery products provides an inherent fiber boost. Many processed snacks fall short in this category, offering little to no dietary fiber, which is essential for digestive health and satiety.

Nature's Bakery Snacks Traditional Processed Snacks
Whole food ingredients Refined ingredients
Lower added sugar content High in added sugars
No artificial additives Common presence of artificial additives
Plant-based fats Possibility of trans fats
Higher in dietary fiber Low to no fiber content

Evaluating Nature's Bakery in the landscape of processed snacks, it is discernible that they offer a more health-conscious choice. However, this does not automatically render them all equally nutritious or appropriate for everyone. It is critical to consider individual dietary needs, caloric balance, and health goals when incorporating any processed snacks into one's diet. An analysis of these parameters in alignment with the consumption of Nature's Bakery snacks can guide in determining their role in a healthy, balanced diet.

Expert opinions often highlight the importance of moderation, even with processed snacks that appear healthier. Registered dietitians suggest that while integrating snacks like Nature's Bakery can offer a convenient and more nourishing option, they should not replace whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains in one's daily intake.

Additional research and reviews on processed snacks commonly warn against overconsumption due to the risk of weight gain and related health complications. Therefore, awareness of serving sizes for Nature's Bakery snacks, as with any processed food, is of the essence.

In summary, when comparing Nature's Bakery snacks to other processed snacks, it is clear that they can offer a preferable alternative. However, awareness of their place within a comprehensive dietary approach is paramount to sustaining a health-conscious lifestyle.

Caloric Density and Weight Management Considerations

When discussing the implications of consuming products like Nature's Bakery snacks in the context of weight management, it is crucial to understand the concept of caloric density. Caloric density refers to the number of calories contained in a given volume or weight of food. Foods with high caloric density provide a large number of calories in a small amount of food, while those with low caloric density provide fewer calories in a larger volume.

Nature's Bakery snacks, such as their fig bars and brownies, are made with ingredients like whole wheat flour and real fruit, which can be part of a balanced diet. However, they are also calorie-dense due to the presence of sugars and oils that increase their palatability. Let's take a closer look at the caloric density of common Nature's Bakery snack products:

  • Whole Wheat Fig Bars: Approximately 100 calories per 28 grams (1 ounce)
  • Oatmeal Crumble Bars: Roughly 150 calories per 35 grams (1.24 ounces)
  • Gluten-Free Fig Bars: About 110 calories per 32 grams (1.13 ounces)

To put it into perspective, a medium apple, which weighs around 182 grams, contains approximately 95 calories. This stark contrast demonstrates that while the apple is significantly larger in volume and weight, it provides fewer calories than one ounce of Nature's Bakery fig bars. This principle is particularly important for those who are mindful of their calorie intake for weight management or loss.

In the context of a daily eating plan, consuming these snacks could potentially lead to an excess caloric intake if not accounted for within individual caloric needs. For example, adding a couple of Nature's Bakery snacks to your diet without adjusting other caloric intake could unintentionally increase your overall calorie consumption for the day.

Research suggests that foods lower in caloric density, such as fruits and vegetables, may contribute to a feeling of fullness and decrease the overall number of calories consumed in a day (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Therefore, pairing Nature's Bakery snacks with low-calorie foods might help mitigate the impact on caloric intake and weight gain over time.

Consider these guidelines for integrating Nature's Bakery snacks into a weight management regimen:

  • Portion Control: Stick to the recommended serving size to prevent overconsumption.
  • Total Daily Caloric Intake: Factor in the calories from these snacks into your daily caloric budget.
  • Complementary Foods: Balance these treats with low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
  • Activity Level: Adjust your consumption of calorie-dense snacks according to your physical activity level to maintain energy balance.

It's important to remember that snacks, though convenient and tasty, should not replace whole meals. When considering Nature's Bakery snacks as part of your diet, keep in mind your overall nutritional goals and how these snacks fit within them. Mindful consumption, combined with knowledge of caloric density, can help maintain a healthy weight and avoid unwanted gains.

Expert dietitians often suggest that one should not solely focus on calories but also the quality of those calories. Nature's Bakery snacks do offer certain nutritional benefits, such as being cholesterol-free and providing dietary fiber. However, considering both the quality and quantity of what we consume is essential when making informed dietary choices for weight management.

Frequently asked questions

Nature's Bakery products are labeled as non-GMO, catering to consumers who prefer to avoid genetically modified ingredients. However, they are not necessarily certified organic unless specifically stated on the packaging. Those looking for organic options should verify if the particular snack they are considering carries an organic certification.

Nature's Bakery snacks can be a convenient and healthier snacking option for children due to their use of whole grains and avoidance of artificial flavors and colors. They also offer a moderate energy boost with some nutrient value. However, due to their sugar content, they should still be given to children in moderation, as part of a well-rounded diet abundant in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

Yes, Nature's Bakery snacks can generally be included in a low-sodium diet. They do not appear to contain high levels of sodium, making them a suitable option for those monitoring their salt intake. However, as with any packaged food, it is still important to check the nutrition label for the specific sodium content and factor it into the overall daily sodium budget.

Nature's Bakery snacks contain carbohydrates and sugars that can affect blood glucose levels. While they may use more natural sweeteners and whole grains, which have a more favorable effect on blood sugar compared to refined grains, those with diabetes should consume these snacks cautiously. It is advisable to monitor their impact on individual blood sugar levels and to balance these snacks with protein or healthy fats to slow down glucose absorption.

Ask a question about Nature's Bakery Snacks and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • potential laxative effects from glycerin
  • potential allergen reactions from wheat, nuts, soy

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain from overconsumption
  • potential health issues from added sugars and aluminum compounds
  • risk of cross-contamination for allergens

Ingredients to be aware of

  • added sugars
  • wheat/gluten
  • aluminum-based compounds in leavening agents
  • soy lecithin


  • provides dietary fiber
  • contains unsaturated fats
  • free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
  • provides some vitamins and minerals
  • whole grains may reduce chronic disease risk

Healthier alternatives

  • fresh fruits
  • vegetables
  • lean proteins
  • whole grains
  • low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Mini Fruit Bars Gift Pouch

  • No added sugar
  • Plant-based & Vegan
  • Gluten Free & Paleo
  • Non-GMO
  • Rich in fiber
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Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 01-11-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 01-11-2024

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