Are fig bars healthy Natures Bakery?

Fig bars are a type of snack bar or cookie made with fig paste as a primary ingredient. Natures Bakery is a popular brand of fig bars that markets their products as nutritious and wholesome snacks. But are Natures Bakery Fig Bars actually healthy? There are a few key factors to consider when evaluating the nutritional profile of these fig bars.


The main ingredients in Natures Bakery Fig Bars are:

– Figs – Figs are high in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants like polyphenols. Dried figs do contain natural sugars.

– Whole wheat flour – More nutritious than refined white flour, whole wheat contains fiber, protein, and B vitamins.

– Cane sugar – While less processed than white sugar, cane sugar is still considered an added sugar.

– Vegetable oil – Natures Bakery uses non-hydrogenated oil which is better than trans fats, but oil is high in calories.

– Baking soda and salt – Small amounts of these leavening agents.

Overall, the ingredients consist of some healthy components like figs and whole grains, but also added sugars and oils. The quality of the ingredients is superior to highly processed snack cakes or cookies.

Nutritional Profile

Here is the nutrition information for a 1 bar (28g) serving of Natures Bakery Fig Bars:

– Calories: 130
– Total fat: 4g
– Saturated fat: 0.5g
– Trans fat: 0g
– Sodium: 65mg
– Carbohydrates: 24g
– Fiber: 2g
– Sugars: 13g
– Protein: 2g

The calorie count per bar is moderate at 130 calories. The fiber content is decent at 2g per bar, which helps slow digestion and control blood sugar.

There are 13g total sugars in each fig bar, which accounts for over half the carbs. The sugar content is comparable to other types of fruit-based snacks and bars.

Sodium is low at just 65mg per bar. The fat content and type are also favorable, with no trans fats and minimal saturated fat.

Nutritional Pros

Some of the positives to highlight in Natures Bakery Fig Bars:

– Good source of fiber – 2g per bar is a decent amount providing 8% DV. The fiber comes from both figs and whole grains.

– Low in sodium – 65mg per bar is considered low sodium food. Most Americans consume too much sodium so this is beneficial.

– No trans fats – The bars contain no harmful trans fats, only healthier unsaturated fats.

– Include fruit – Figs provide antioxidants, potassium, and other nutrients not found in heavily processed snacks.

– Use whole grains – Whole wheat flour contains more fiber and nutrients than refined flour.

– No cholesterol – Cholesterol free food can help manage blood cholesterol levels.

– Vegetarian – Natures Bakery Fig Bars are suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets.

Nutritional Cons

Some of the downsides to consider:

– High in added sugar – With 13g per bar, close to 30% of carbs come from added sugars. The AHA recommends limiting added sugar to 25g per day for women and 36g for men.

– High glycemic index – Figs and refined grains have a moderately high GI raising blood sugar more rapidly. This may not be ideal for diabetics or prediabetics.

– Low in protein – With just 2g protein per bar, these do not provide much protein compared to other bars.

– Low calcium – Figs contain minimal calcium compared to dairy products. People who do not consume dairy need to get calcium from other sources.

– Calories from fat – 20% of the calories come from fat. Some of that is healthy fat from nuts or seeds, but a good portion is from oils.

– Lack of vitamins/minerals – While figs provide some antioxidants and potassium, the bars are not high in essential vitamins and minerals like bars made with nuts and seeds.

Are Natures Bakery Fig Bars Healthy Overall?

When evaluating the nutritional pros and cons of Natures Bakery Fig Bars, they fall somewhere in the middle on the healthy spectrum.

They are a better choice than many heavily processed snacks and baked goods made with refined flour, sugars, and unhealthy fats. The fig bars contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives.

However, they are not as nutritious as snacks made from mostly whole, unprocessed ingredients like fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds. The high amount of added sugars and lower protein/calcium content are downsides from a health perspective.

Here is a summary assessment:

Calories – 130 calories per bar is reasonable for a snack, neither too high nor too low.

Sugar – The high sugar content from processed flour and cane sugar is concerning for a “health food”.

Fiber – With 2g per bar, these provide a decent fiber boost.

Fat – The overall fat amount and types of fat used are healthy.

Sodium – Low in sodium compared to other snack options.

Ingredients – Uses decent whole food ingredients like figs and whole grains.

Processing – More minimally processed than many snacks but still contains added sugars and oils.

Nutrients – Provides antioxidants from figs but lacking in calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients.

Health conditions – Not optimal for weight loss or diabetes due to added sugars. Good for high cholesterol.

Based on these points, Natures Bakery Fig Bars would be considered a somewhat healthy snack choice.

They are a better option than heavily refined and processed snacks, and provide benefits like fiber and no trans fats. However, they are not as nutritious or wholesome as a whole food snack option due to high added sugars.

Comparison to Other Popular Snack Bars

To further evaluate the healthiness of Nature’s Bakery fig bars, it is useful to compare them to some other popular snack bars:

Nature Valley Granola Bars

– 130 calories vs 190 calories per bar – Nature Valley has 46% more calories
– 13g sugar vs 11g sugar – Similar amount of total sugars
– 2g fiber vs 3g fiber – Nature Valley has 1 extra gram of fiber
– Nature Valley has more sodium 140mg vs 65mg and lacks real fruit

Verdict: Natures Bakery wins slightly over Nature Valley based on lower calories and sugar, presence of fruit, and less sodium.

Kind Fruit and Nut Bars

– 130 calories vs 200 calories per bar – Kind has 54% more calories
– 13g sugar vs 12g sugar – Similar sugar content
– 2g fiber vs 4g fiber – Kind has 2 extra grams of fiber
– Kind contains nuts, seeds, and dried fruit providing protein, vitamins, and minerals

Verdict: Kind Fruit and Nut Bars edge out Natures Bakery as the healthier choice due to more protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and whole food ingredients.

Clif Bars

– 130 calories vs 250 calories per bar – Clif has 92% more calories
– 13g sugar vs 21g sugar – Clif has 61% more sugar
– 2g fiber vs 3g fiber – Clif has 1 extra gram of fiber
– Clif provides more protein with 9g vs 2g but also more fat with 5g vs 4g.

Verdict: Natures Bakery is healthier than Clif Bars based on much lower calories, sugar, and fat content.

Quaker Chewy Granola Bars

– 130 calories vs 100 calories per bar – Quaker has 23% fewer calories
– 13g sugar vs 11g sugar – Quaker has slightly less sugar
– 2g fiber vs <1g fiber - Natures Bakery has more fiber - Quaker also contains more preservatives and additives Verdict: Pretty even but Natures Bakery takes the edge thanks to more fiber, no preservatives, and ingredient quality.

Are Natures Bakery Fig Bars Suitable For Various Diets?

Here is an assessment of how suitable Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars are for different diet types or nutritional needs:

Gluten-free: Not suitable – contains whole wheat flour

Paleo: Not suitable – contains wheat, sugar, and vegetable oil which are avoided on paleo diet.

Keto: Not suitable – too high in total carbs and sugar content.

Vegetarian/Vegan: Suitable – contains no animal products.

Dairy-free: Suitable – dairy free and vegan.

Low sodium: Suitable – very low in sodium at 65mg per bar.

Low sugar: Not ideal – sugar content is somewhat high at 13g per bar.

Low calorie: Fair – moderately low in calories but not extremely low.

High protein: Not suitable – very low in protein with only 2g per bar.

Low fat: Suitable – fairly low in total fat with 4g per bar, no trans or saturated fat.

High fiber: Fair – provides 2g of fiber per bar which is decent but not extremely high.

Diabetic friendly: Not the best choice – moderately high glycemic index and sugar content.

Weight loss: Not suitable – not extremely low in calories and high in sugars.

So in summary, Natures Bakery Fig Bars are suitable for vegetarian/vegan, dairy-free, low sodium, and low fat diets. They are not suitable for gluten-free, paleo, keto, high protein, or diabetic diets. For low sugar, high fiber, low calorie, and weight loss diets they are an “okay” option but not optimal.

Are Natures Bakery Fig Bars Good for Weight Loss?

Natures Bakery Fig Bars are probably not the best option for a weight loss diet, but could be incorporated in moderation as part of a healthy reduced calorie diet.

Here is an evaluation of how these fig bars could fit into a weight loss plan:

– At 130 calories per bar, they are a reasonably low calorie snack choice. Much lower in calories than many cookies, muffins, granola bars etc.

– The fiber content (2g per bar) helps provide satiety and satisfies hunger. High fiber foods can aid weight loss.

– Having a ready-to-eat pre-portioned snack helps prevent overeating compared to eating directly from a package.

– They are more nutritious and satisfying than potato chips, pretzels, crackers and other refined carb snack foods.

However, some downsides for weight loss include:

– The 13g of added sugar is a high percentage (30%) of carbs. Minimizing added sugars is best for weight loss.

– They lack protein, which is the most satiating macronutrient and helps build muscle during weight loss.

– Figs and refined grains may cause more of a blood sugar spike compared to nuts or high protein bars.

– Oils and fats contribute a good portion of the calories, even though they are the healthier types of fats.

So as an occasional snack in a reduced calorie diet, these fig bars are reasonable. But for optimal weight loss, bars with more protein, fiber and less sugar would be better options long term. Portion control is still important due to the calorie density.

Do Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars Have Added or Natural Sugar?

The sugar content in Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars comes from two main sources:

1. Added sugar – In the form of cane sugar added to sweeten the bars. Cane sugar is processed from sugar cane.

2. Natural sugar – Contained naturally in fig paste, made from dried figs. Figs contain natural fructose and glucose sugars.

According to Nature’s Bakery, their fig bars contain 4g of sugar per bar from added cane sugar. The remaining 9g would thus come from the fig paste.

So while the bars do contain natural sugars from fruit, they also contain a significant amount of added sugars amounting to around 30% of total carbs.

For optimal health, the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to:

– No more than 25g per day for women
– No more than 36g per day for men

One Nature’s Bakery fig bar contains 4g added sugars. So if limiting added sugars, most people would max out at 6-9 bars per day based on the AHA guidelines.

Of course, added sugars from all other sources (yogurt, cereal, pasta sauce etc) would also need to be accounted for.

While the added cane sugar makes these fig bars less healthy than whole food options, this sugar content is lower than many similar snack bars, cookies, granola bars, and other processed treats. The natural sugars from fig paste provide some micronutrient benefits.

Are Natures Bakery Fig Bars Made With Whole Grains?

Yes, Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars are made with whole grain wheat flour, according to their ingredient list.

The whole wheat flour used in the fig bars means they are made from the entire wheat kernel including the fiber-rich bran and nutrient-containing germ.

Whole grains provide a variety of health benefits:

– More fiber – Improves digestion and heart health

– More B vitamins – Aid metabolism and energy levels

– More minerals – Essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, zinc

– Lower glycemic impact – Help control blood sugar levels

– Aid weight loss – Increase satiety and reduce calorie intake

– Reduce risk of diabetes – Can lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 30%

– Reduce risk of heart disease – Shown to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood pressure

The whole grain content differentiates Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars from many similar highly processed snacks made with refined white flour that lack these nutritional benefits.

However, the fig bars also contain other refined grains like wheat flour and sugar that reduce the overall nutrition content compared to snacks made solely from whole food sources.

So while they are not a perfect whole grain food, the use of whole wheat flour provides a clear advantage over products made with only refined grains.

Do Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars Contain Preservatives?

No, Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars do not contain any preservatives. They are made with a clean, simple ingredient list:

– Whole grain wheat flour
– Dried figs
– Cane sugar
– Vegetable oil
– Baking soda
– Sea salt

The company highlights their commitment to avoiding artificial preservatives.

Many other popular brands of cookies, snack cakes, granola bars, and crackers contain preservatives like:

– BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) – a synthetic antioxidant
– BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – another synthetic antioxidant
– Potassium sorbate – antimicrobial preservative
– Sodium benzoate – antimicrobial and anti-fungal preservative

Consuming too many of these synthetic preservatives may have negative health effects. They have been linked to hormonal issues, neurological conditions, and cancer in animal studies.

By not using any chemical perservatives, Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars have a “cleaner” nutrition label than comparable processed snacks and treats.

However, preservatives allow a longer shelf life. So proper storage and observing the best by date is important when consuming preservative-free foods like these fig bars.

Overall, the lack of preservatives is a nutritional advantage for Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars compared to similar products. But they are still a processed food that should be enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet.


Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars are a decent healthy snack choice thanks to their ingredients like figs, whole grains, minimal added sugars, and lack of trans fats or preservatives. Their fiber and low sodium content are also nutritional pros.

However, the high amount of added sugars, lower protein, and glycemic impact reduce their nutritional profile compared to whole food options or bars made with nuts, seeds, and higher fiber.

Enjoyed occasionally as part of a balanced diet, these fig bars can add fruit, whole grains, and flavor. But for an optimal healthy snack, fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, yogurt, and other whole foods are superior options to provide more vitamins, minerals, protein, and less sugar.

Moderation is key with the fig bars. Those looking to lose weight, control blood sugar, or increase protein should be mindful of portion sizes and incorporate them as part of an overall nutritious eating plan.

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