Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Are Nutty Bars Bad For You?



Short answer

Nutty Bars are bad for you. The chocolate bars are extremely processed, contain multiple additives, and are filled with fats and sugars.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

If you’re looking for a highly processed, additive-packed barely-counts-as-food snack, here it is. Nutty Bars contain high amounts of sugar, saturated fats, trans fats, and the additives TBHQ, soy lecithin, glycerides, and artificial flavors. With all these ingredients, the flavor of this candy bar is great when fresh, and great when having sat in your cabinet for months. 

Everyone knows that the health consequences of sugar, saturated and trans fats can be numerous. Sugar spikes your blood sugar levels and can lead to issues with insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes.

Excessive amounts of saturated fats, and more importantly trans fats, raise your cholesterol and can cause heart disease long-term. Regardless of what the label reads, just remember that “partially hydrogenated” oils of any kind means I contain trans fats thanks to the FDA guidelines that only require trans fat labeling on products that contain greater than 0.49 grams per serving.

Now let’s look at the additives. Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is added to Nutty Bars to protect the oils from going rancid and preserve color. This substance has been linked to visual disturbances, liver enlargement, neurotoxic effects, convulsion, and paralysis. Yikes!! Why is this in any food, let alone one that’s typically consumed by kids?

Soy lecithin consumed in large amount can have an estrogen-like effect on the body causing issues for men and women alike. The extraction of soy lecithin from the soy plant involves the use of hexane, both of which many people are allergic. Furthermore, it should be noted that 93% of soy found in the United States is genetically modified. 

Nutty Bars also contain mono- and diglycerides used as a stabilizer and extender of shelf life. It’s also important to recognize that glycerides are formed from hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils and come with many of the same health concerns.

Artificial flavors are added to Nutty Bars for extra flavor, of course. Synthetically produced in a lab and designed to be highly addictive, artificial flavors can result in a wide range of unwanted side effects including hyperactivity, CNS damage, and the worsening of allergies. Various studies also show a link between artificial flavors and cancer. 

Lastly, Nutty Bars contain peanut butter and dairy substances which are common allergens and can lead to intestinal inflammation, skin and respiratory reactions such as difficulty breathing.

Possible short-term side effects

  • allergic reaction
  • rash
  • breathing difficulty
  • gastrointestinal inflammation
  • blood sugar spike
  • hyperactivity

Possible long-term side effects

  • heart disease
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • fertility issues
  • cancer
  • cns damage

Ingredients to be aware of

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars

  • Whole wheat goodness
  • Real blueberry filling
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Non-GMO
  • Convenient twin packs
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Kristin Brown, DC, MS
Published on: 07-05-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Kristin Brown, DC, MS
Published on: 07-05-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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