Are Nakd bars good for you?

Do you LOVE Nakd bars? They are by far one of your favourite health snacks and you find yourself enjoying them quite often. However with all the stuff about sugar recently, do you wonder if Naked bars are good for you?

It’s a very common question I get asked these days, so I decided to help you out and lay out all the facts so you can make your mind up in line with your own personal situation…

Before I continue, I will say that the lovely Natural Balance Foods sent me a load of these bars to review and this was when I was quite new to blogging.

I was in a bit of a quandary because at that point I was what I call quite ‘sugar sensitive’  –  I was in a stage of my transition where I needed to be more cautious around some of my former favourite sugar fixes to avoid slipping back to the unhealthy habits I had with them.

Having a whole box of Nakd bars in my house and not reverting back to old ways was going to be a test…


Nakd Bars Reviews

Fair to say, ‘Natural’ healthy bars used to be my thing.

I would try out and hunt the latest ones on the market like my life depended on it because they were the most guilt free way I could satisfy my sweet fix.

At one point, these Nakd bars completely fed my ‘sugar addiction’ on a daily basis (it’s a strong term but you know what I mean).

I was eating 1-3 of them a day. Everyday. I had a ritual of eating them after a meal and in the afternoons and sometimes (also) for breakfast. I was hooked on these because in my head I could label them ‘healthy’, however, I was VERY accustomed to having a decent bit of fructose in my life everyday (read what you need to know about fructose here).

If you feel you’re in a similar place with these, you’re not alone and you should definitely read on….

Are NaKd bars good for you? The for and against…

Firstly, I want to highlight some really great points about these bars. They:

  • Are made with 100% natural ingredients i.e. not overly processed.
  • The Nakd bars recipe is simple with just a few ingredients
  • Contain mainly just fruits and nuts. Not refined sticky rice puffs like other cereal bars
  • Are pretty substantial and do definitely fill a hunger gap
  • Suffice as a source of some protein which comes from the nuts
  • Taste really delicious (I LOVED the cocoa orange one)

However, let’s not beat around the bush, on a sugar front they are not so great, due to the following:

  • Most bars are made with dates and raisins. Nearly all of them are made with approximately 50% dates and then another 10-15% raisins on top.
  • Dates and raisins are two of the highest and most concentrated forms of sugar (and fructose) around.
  • They are big portions of dried fruit. 35g in a packet equals a decent amount of your daily sweetness intake.

So how much sugar in Nakd bars?

On average we’re talking 14-15g sugar per bar. This is near enough 4 teaspoons of sugar if you were to convert it to white refined, which is quite a lot when you think of it in actual physical teaspoons.

The danger of this much sugar is that it’s likely to make you crave sugar again later on and continually build up your preference for sweet food in general.

To put it into perspective, I very roughly aim to eat about 25g of natural sugar a day.

So, relatively speaking, one of these Nakd bars is quite a big proportion of that (over half). This is similar to other health food bars – see the below image from The Daily Mail.


Some can be less sugar, for example a small Special K bar can be around 7g, so Nakd are still over double that. Natural sugars yes, but high in sugar nonetheless.

To help you with the range, here’s a list of the lowest to highest sugar content by flavour:

  • Ginger Bread 11g
  • Pecan Pie 12g
  • Cashew Cookie 14g
  • Cocoa Orange 14g
  • Cocoa Delight 15g
  • Cocoa Mint 15g
  • Berry Delight 16g
  • Caffe Mocha 17g
  • Rhubarb & Custard 18g

To be honest the lower sugar ones are my favourite anyway. You may also find seasonal ones like the Christmas Pud one which is about 17g if I remember.


So should I eat them?

This really does come down to you and where you’re currently at with sugar. Are you actively trying to reduce your sweet cravings to get more control? Are you trying to just make ‘better’ healthy swaps? Are you just in need of some quick release energy after exercise or running?

1. What to do if you’re trying to get control & reduce cravings

I’d say pull back on eating these for a while. They don’t have to go off your radar forever, but it may be worth you going through more of a tastebud recalibration period. Their high fructose content and addictive deliciousness won’t help with the end goal of getting more control over sweet food (trust me on this one!)

2. What to do if you’re trying to just make ‘better’ healthy swaps

If you’ve decided you’re going to eat something sweet and are about to reach for a chocolate bar, a flapjack or a full on dessert, these are a WAY better substitute. They were a definite ‘bridge’ for me in terms of switching bad foods to ‘better’ foods. However, know there are even lower sugar ‘better’ swaps like a small square of dark chocolate (1-5g) or some full fat greek yoghurt (contains the less addictive lactose sugar). Remember, this is a progressive journey.

3. What to do if you’re intensely exercising

Because dried fruit is a quick releasing source of natural sugar for the body, these can actually be a great post workout fuel. However if you also fall into the first category I mentioned earlier where you’re also trying to get in control, you’re faced with a dilemma.

You need to try and refuel where you can with lower fructose options (I know this is hard). I suggest checking out my 101 sugar strategies guide for ideas and if you’re a sweet toothed runner, you may also find this post useful.

4. Another one… When you’re a bit hungover!

After a little excess, your body is processing the alcohol and as a result isn’t that great at processing other energy you have stored. That’s why you find yourself craving quick sugar (Lucozade anyone?!). A Nakd bar, or similar equivalent can hit the spot in a more natural way, but again just be mindful of the sugar in them and the impact on your cravings. If you can opt for a good hearty eggs based breakfast instead (get some spinach in that fry up!) then you’ll nicely steady your blood sugar without the sugar hit.

In summary…

I’m hoping this post has been helpful to you wherever you are on your low sugar journey. I do think Nakd bars have a fair bit of sugar (sweetness) in just a single bar and they certainly aren’t something I’d advise to eat if you’re actively looking to cut down or get a bit more control over things. I encourage those reducing their cravings away from them.

These are not something I eat regularly now, but do occasionally enjoy as a natural treat because I know there’s no danger of going back.

However, I appreciate, everyone is different and at varying stages of lowering sugar, so really, it’s your call. Some are mighty tasty and they are a lot ‘better’ than other sweet things. At least now you can save yourself some sugar credits by opting for the lower sugar ginger bread flavour and you’re fully aware of how much sugar you’re putting away when eating one.

If you tend to get a bit confused between natural sugars when reading label then you can download my free 6-step process to reading labels PDF guide  which will walk you through really logical steps. Honestly, get your head around this process and you’ll never look back!

If this has been useful please share, like, comment or wave 😉

What do you think of Nakd bars? I would really love to hear your thoughts on these….favourite flavour, when you eat them etc. 

39 replies
  1. ChocRaspberry
    ChocRaspberry says:

    I have to say I am a big fan of Nakd bars, although I am a bit dubious of the ‘natural flavours’ they add to the flavoured bars, for example with the rhubarb and custard they aren’t adding fresh rhubarb otherwise they’d state that on the label, so what they are adding is ‘natural’ flavouring which could be anything. And I agree that one and teh caffe mocha taste quite synthetic. I would much rather that they stated orange zest as an ingredient rather than natural flavour if that is what they are using, but I’m not sure if it is. Anyway those are my random thoughts on that subject. I do eat them on a semi regular basis, mostly because they are convenient, and much better than the alternatives. I’ve actually just ordered two cases of the new ‘crunch’ varieties, I wonder if the added protein will bring the amount of sugar down. Great review!

    • lauraj_thomas
      lauraj_thomas says:

      ChocRaspberry Thanks Ffion, yeah I wanted to do an honest review. I do think they’re tasty, especially the pecan one which I think is my favourite but I literally have avoided them till they sent them to me for this review. For ease and convenience I can see the attraction. Anyway glad you liked! Be interesting to see what the new variety are like as you say.

    • Charlie Keyes
      Charlie Keyes says:

      Nakd bars are, to my senses at least, a powerful reminder that as far as feeding our cravings goes, the food industry is utterly cynical and careless of our health, mental and physical. The ‘natural’ flavourings are anything but. ‘Nature Identicals’ were developed to cover up other flavours and smells that were considered unpalatable. They are seen as a cheap and easily synthesised, ‘chemistry set’ solution to the problem of selling the cheapest possible ingredients in the largest quantities, into the widest possible markets as if if this were a good and sound proposition! They are made by companies like International Flavours and Fragrances (IFF) based in New York. They have a factory in a corner of Suffolk, Haverhill. Visiting it is like being immersed in a gigantic air ‘freshener.’ We are being conned in other words. I would rather believe the claims of Homeopathy than ever smell an air freshener or a Nakd bar again. No real fruit ever lingered on and tainted our house like these so called ‘Smooshed’ (surely ‘Processed’) items did! I can still smell it now after ten hours, perhaps there was an error at the factory. One more thing. The ingredients are in five languages but not English. Why?

  2. munchforhealth
    munchforhealth says:

    Hi Laura, great review! The gingerbread one is my favourite so it’s good to see it has the lowest sugar content too. Like you I used to eat Nakd quite often to get my sugar fix, but I don’t really have them as much anymore because I’m trying to eat less processed foods. I’d be interested to try one of the new bars though!

  3. JoyceWeeks
    JoyceWeeks says:

    Found this very interesting as I have two bars that were in a birthday hamper from my daughter, who was doing her best to supply me with healthily food. I haven’t eaten them yet but think I may pass them onto my hubbie, who is also having to eat my low fat, high sugar yoghurt since I changed them to total Greek since reading your website. Keep up the good work, fab!

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Thanks Joyce, sorry for the delayed reply here. I seem to missing some comment notifications on occasion. The Nakd bars are a tough one and they are everywhere now. If you’re trying to get to that next level of control over cravings then let the hubbie enjoy them as a healthy alternative to chocolate and seek some lower sugar snacks 🙂 Hope it’s going well! x

  4. europehealthtv
    europehealthtv says:

    Interestingly, we have a competition in this month’s issue of HealthTriangleMagazine dotcom to win some exclusive backpacks full of Nakd bars. Not many healthy products taste as good as this!

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      They do taste good and I still like them but they were dangerous for me at a point. I think it’s just important for everyone to understand they’re not completely saintly if they’re trying to get control over your sugar cravings and fructose dependence. A whole backpack of them is reasonable if it lasts you a year rather than a week 😉

  5. Perri
    Perri says:

    Thanks for the great analysis Laura. I have only tried the Gingerbread and was such a fan I thought of ordering them in by the boxful, but after your post, I realised that of course they must be high in sugar (even if natural sugars) and that’s why they’re so yummy. I’ll keep them for a treat now,
    Cheers, Perri

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Thanks for your comment Perri. I don’t want to completely demonise natural sugars but I do think it’s important to be aware, especially if you’re suffering from cravings and are particularly partial to dried fruit like I was. Glad you found this helpful 🙂

  6. Mark Corder
    Mark Corder says:

    What I don’t see in this review is whether the Nakd bars are healthy or not, because they contain fruit and nuts and in a mixed variety. The emphasis seems to be on sugar rather than the healthy benefits.

    I say this because a plain and simple apple has 23g of sugar. A peach has 15g of sugar. A large banana has 17g of sugar. Personally I find quite a few fruits quite boring and tedious, but in an effort to eat healthily, I’ll have a Nakd bar and hope that I’m no worse off for it.


    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Mark, thanks for your comment. Nakd bars are a healthy substitute for many (instead of chocolate etc) but this blog and my articles are people who are looking to reduce their sugar intake and reduce their cravings. Because they are concentrated sources of fructose, they don’t help if you’re trying to increase your sensitivity to sweet and get control over your cravings. I found personally I was eating a Nakd bars nearly everyday and I was craving them and all kinds of sugar. When cut back on everything like this, I found that small portions of fruit and these days 1/2 Nakd bar suffices for the little natural sugar I have in my diet.

      Healthy for some, but for people with a troublesome relationship with fructose then it’s important to be aware I feel. Hope that helps?


  7. Karen
    Karen says:

    I have tried my first nakd product. FRUIT & NUT BITS cocoa and orange. Smooshed together. There are very very very very few nuts, very little orange flavour, no cocoa flavour what so ever, not a very nice consistency, certainly not chewy with a huge price tag.

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Karen, thanks for your comment. I’ve seen those but haven’t even tried. I just expected them to be pretty sugar heavy. Like you say the Nakd brand has got so big they’re going to bring out new products and variations to keep the sales up. At least you’ve tried for yourself and won’t be tempted if they’re expensive and not that worth it! x

  8. PC
    PC says:

    I keep trying to quit sugar and am always struggling to do so. I agree that products like Nakd bars are quite dangerous to those of us addicted to sugar. I tried to only eat natural sugars from fruit, but I found it set off my sugar cravings again. The worst one was dried dates – they tasted sickly sweet and totally made me crave sweets again. I’ve since realized that there is no such thing as a healthy sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar, whatever form it takes.

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Phil,

      It’s great that you’ve managed to observe what dried fruit does to your cravings. Have you read the post I wrote about dates? – I had a real problem with them too so know you’re not alone. I’d definitely try to move away from them and the Nakd bars for a while to help you establish your habits without them and then one day you can enjoy them as the sweet treat they really are but with caution until you feel safe.

      What else do you feel you’re struggling with? If you’d like some extra support don’t hesitate to get in touch or just let me know which other topics might might helpful for posts.

      Laura 🙂 x

      • Charlie Keyes
        Charlie Keyes says:

        Dear Laura
        I would just like to ask you one question, did Nakd solicit your opinions and send you some samples to try? My concern is with the ‘Natural Flavourings’ rather than the sugars in Nakd bars. I appreciate the opportunity to vent my feelings on this sensitive topic. Allergies and and hypersensitivity to chemicals are common in society and are not going to go away. Migraines, sweeteners, (especially Aspartame) and air fresheners are disruptive of a healthy life just as obesity, ‘fast food’ and chemical sprays are in my opinion. These things are all connected and you do not have to be a Philosopher to know that….
        Thank you again and good luck with the blog.

  9. Rachael
    Rachael says:

    I love nakd bars as it is just natural ingredients
    And they taste good
    My favourite is berry.then bakewell tart I like the fruityness..could be bigger though.
    I tried a trek peanut protein bar and it was lovely…had crunchiness from the soya crunchies and a peantty flavour.a big chunky filling bar.

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Rachel, how many bars are you eating a week I would ask? If you get cravings might be something to consider?

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      No it doesn’t contain anything in terms of refined sugar or sugar substitutes but it’s just worth being aware of the high fructose content of the bars if you’re trying to reduce your cravings 🙂 x

    • Charlie Keyes
      Charlie Keyes says:

      I am more worried about ‘Natural Flavourings’ than sugar. They disrupt my senses! They linger in the air, and this is supposed to be a healthy food item! I am talking about Fruit Salad Fruit and Nut Nibbles which my wife seems to have become addicted to in place of chocolate…. Any thoughts?

  10. Adam
    Adam says:

    Sugar from natural fruit is not bad for you and won’t make you fat. Some of the fittest people on earth live on mainly on fruit.

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Adam, I think everyone is different – I just wanted to highlight the impact of fructose on cravings which could then make you eat less healthy sweet things that obviously can lead to weight gain. I don’t think fruit sugar is bad (had some myself this morning!) but I just want to highlight how it can play into cravings and the dangers of too much over a period of time.

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Charlie, thanks for all your super thoughtful comments on here! Really glad you’re sharing and will make many others reading this aware. I obviously was more focussed on the sugar due to helping people who are suffering badly from cravings but I agree that ‘natural flavourings’ are likely to have issues around them and to be honest you sound like you have a deeper knowledge of this than me so I’m glad you’ve mentioned all your points. Nakd bars did send me these to try but my opinions were all my own. Bear in mind I did write this over three years ago and my knowledge has evolved since then too. To be honest, I buy very little processed food these days and encourage clients and readers to do the same so that they just don’t even take the risk of trusting a food company in terms of what they put in something. I know Fruit Salads have got stuff added yes which just doesn’t seem right. Mabye your wife could make her own nut nibbles or sugar-free snacks made from some nuts and a little dried fruit to avoid things in a packet? Laura

  11. Alice
    Alice says:

    Good review, however whilst the high sugar content may not be good news for your teeth, the bars do not contain any unnatural sugars or processed sugars, only natural ones (from the dates/fruit) these sugars have not been shown to correlate with weight gain and are definitely much better than the sugars you’ll find in plenty of other cereal bars. They’re pretty healthy! I eat them most days as part of a healthy vegan diet and they’ve never been, to me, seen as a “treat”, simply goodness to keep me going.

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Alice, absolutely they are better than many other cereal bars and are natural sugars. The thing to watch is just how your cravings are with having them as some can find they drive up the sweet tooth which means wanting other sources of not as healthy sugar. It’s the fructose in these that I refer to with the links to weight gain as an excess can increase fatty acids. I found personally that I craved a lot less without Nakd bards in my diet as much. Glad you’ve found they help your health though – everyone is different so I really appreciate your comment and view. Laura x

  12. Juliette
    Juliette says:

    Hey! I don’t usually comment on stuff- but cheers for such an un biased down to earth article!! So much love for people who say it as it is instead of branding sugar as evil and to be avoided unless u want to die…. Have a chronic illness n when i was like 15 n still trying to keep up with “normal life”i like you was an addict to these purely for sugar rush as was running on empty, & the same “guilt free” ness ahaha… nvm. just eating my first one in like 2 yrs now- best treat ever!! xx

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Juliette, THANK YOU so much for commenting! This was lovely to read and so pleased you appreciate my approach. Hope you enjoyed it and I enjoy the odd one of these (or half/a bite of one!) as a bit of a sweet treat these days! Good luck with all your health stuff 🙂 Laura x

  13. Laura
    Laura says:

    Hi Kevin, I do still like them don’t get me wrong, but I was also feeding my sugar addiction with them at one point so I just have them every once in a while now as a real treat or even just eat half at a time! They are so much better than a full on chocolate bar so I appreciate them as a healthy food for many. The cashew one is definitely my favourite. What flavour did you buy? Or mixed?


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