The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Nestle Candy Choices

Luka/Cultura/Getty Images.

Let's face it—candy isn't necessarily a health food. But, it can serve a purpose from time to time. For example, if you are someone who has diabetes and happen to experience a low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), a few pieces of sugary candy can help to raise your sugar.

In addition, candy can be a once-in-a-while indulgence because sometimes you just need something sweet. And if you can't reach for a piece of fruit or simply don't want to, it's always good to know which types of candies may be a bit more healthy and why. It's wise not to eat candy all the time, but if you had to choose, below you'll find the healthiest and unhealthiest types of the very popular Nestle candy.

Healthiest Nestle Candy Options

Finding healthy candy options isn't an easy task, as candy is typically composed of sugar and fat. Those items that contain healthier ingredients can also have high calorie and fat content.

It's always important to be mindful of the serving size and aim to keep your candy calories to about 100 calories per serving, regardless of what they are made of.

These particular items are on the healthier list because they either contain better-for-you ingredients, such as nuts and dark chocolate, or because a serving contains a reputable amount of a particular healthy nutrient such as fiber, or contains fewer calories than other competitors. Lastly, some of these are on the healthier side because they contain more natural ingredients and less artificial flavors and colors.

Nestle Damak

This particular candy is made of pistachios and either milk chocolate or dark chocolate. While it's not low in calories (containing 220 in 1/2 of a bar), it does contain some quality nutrients, including good fat from pistachios, plant protein, and dietary fiber.

Some studies suggest that eating pistachios and cocoa polyphenols found in dark chocolate can promote heart health by reducing inflammation. In fact, studies have shown that eating a small amount of cacao found in dark chocolate may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, insulin resistance, and vascular and platelet function. The reason for this is likely due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

When eating this bar, keep your portion-controlled. About one-fourth of the bar or less should serve you just fine. The fiber and protein from the pistachios help to keep you full and the fat content found in the pistachios and chocolate is satiating. You won't need to eat more than a few pieces to feel fulfilled. 

The following nutrition information is provided by the for 1/2 bar (40g) of Nestle Dark Chocolate Damak:

  • Calories: 220
  • Fat: 15g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 14g
  • Protein: 4g

Baby Ruth

The nutty, chewy taste of this lifetime favorite doesn't get old. If you are looking for something sweet that is also hearty and contains some heart-healthy fats, then Baby Ruth is for you. The combination of chocolate and nuts is filling and satisfying to your sweet craving. Aim to purchase the fun size or mini ones.

According to USDA data, one fun-sized bar (18g) of Baby Ruth contains:

  • Calories: 85.5
  • Fat: 3.9g
  • Saturated fat: 2.2g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Sugar: 9.7g
  • Protein: 1g

Dark Chocolate Raisinets

If you are allergic to nuts and are looking for a healthier sweet treat, then perhaps you can give Dark Chocolate Raisinets a try. We know that raisins are naturally high in sugar, but they also contain fiber which can aid in satiety, help to regulate bowels and blood sugar, and have favorable effects on cholesterol.

We're not suggesting that consuming Raisinets will help to lower your cholesterol, rather that fiber is an important nutrient in the diet. In addition, raisins contain a small amount of iron and potassium.

It is not clear what percentage of the dark chocolate is made from cacao here, but studies suggest that dark chocolate contains antioxidative properties. To eat these mindfully, aim to consume no more than 1/8 cup (or two tablespoons) per sitting.

Two tablespoons of Dark Chocolate Raisinets contain about:

  • Calories: 95 calories
  • Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrate: 15.5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Protein: 1g

Less Healthy Nestle Candy Options

The candies that made it to the unhealthiest list are those that contain mostly sugar as the ingredient and lack any type of fiber, good fat, and protein.


While these tiny fruit-flavored balls of sugar may seem harmless, one tablespoon of Nerds candy contains 60 calories and 14 grams of sugar (which contribute to almost all of the calories). The serving size is very small and the portion is easy to overeat.

The ingredient list doesn't include any type of whole ingredient, just different forms of sugar, artificial coloring, and artificial flavors. The ingredients include: dextrose, sugar, malic acid, less than 2% of corn syrup, artificial flavors, carnauba wax, color added, carmine color, blue 1, blue 1 lake, blue 2, blue 2 Lake, red 40, red 40 lake, yellow 5, yellow 5 lake, yellow 6, yellow 6 lake.

Since all of the calories come from sugar, you'll less likely feel full and more likely to overindulge because the candy is lacking fiber, fat, and protein.

100 Grand Bar

This decadent, caramel crunch bar may remind you of money, but it's also going to cost you quite a bit of calories and fat in a small portion. Made with milk chocolate, caramel, and crisped rice, one fun-sized 100 Grand Bar (21g) weighs in at 98 calories, 4 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 0.2 grams fiber, 11 grams sugar, and 0.5 grams protein.

This small bar provides the equivalent of almost 3 teaspoons of sugar. In addition, other red flag ingredients include high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring.

SweeTARTS Extreme Sours Chewy

Although these bite-sized sours are low in calories (60 per serving) and contain nearly no fat per serving (0.5 grams), the ingredient list isn't as impressive and the serving size is small (8 pieces). With the first ingredient listed as dextrose (sugar) and the second listed as corn syrup (another sugar form), these candies are mostly made of sugar and more sugar.

Excess sugar intake over time can cause you to become overweight or obese—conditions that are linked to diabetes and heart disease. Finally, excess intake of unusual amounts of carbohydrates may lead to sugar crashes, also called reactive hypoglycemia. Symptoms may include irritability, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, nausea, excess sweat, shakiness, dizziness, and jitters.

12 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them to Manage Your Diabetes.

  2. Fantino M, Bichard C, Mistretta F, Bellisle F. Daily consumption of pistachios over 12 weeks improves dietary profile without increasing body weight in healthy women: A randomized controlled interventionAppetite. 2020;144:104483. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2019.104483

  3. Sangiovanni, E.; Dell’Agli, M. Special Issue: Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Plant PolyphenolsBiomedicines. 2020;8(3):64. doi:10.3390/biomedicines8030064

  4. Corti R, Flammer AJ, Hollenberg NK, Lüscher TF. Cocoa and Cardiovascular HealthCirculation. 2009;119(10):1433-1441. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.827022

  5. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). FoodData Central: Candies, Nestle, Baby Ruth Bar.

  6. Olmo-Cunillera A, Escobar-Avello D, Pérez AJ, Marhuenda-Muñoz M, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Vallverdú-Queralt A. Is Eating Raisins Healthy?Nutrients. 2019;12(1):54. doi:10.3390/nu12010054

  7. Katz DL, Doughty K, Ali A. Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and DiseaseAntioxidants & Redox Signaling. 2011;15(10):2779-2811. doi:10.1089/ars.2010.3697

  8. Ferrara Candy Company. Nerds.

  9. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). FoodData Central: Candies, Nestle, 100 GRAND Bar.

  10. Ferrara Candy Company. SweeTARTS Extreme Sour Chewy.

  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity.

  12. Eckert-Norton M, Kirk S, eds. Non-diabetic HypoglycemiaThe Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2013;98(10):39A-40A. doi:10.1210/jc.2013-v98i10.39A

By Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, counseling patients with diabetes. Barbie was previously the Advanced Nutrition Coordinator for the Mount Sinai Diabetes and Cardiovascular Alliance and worked in pediatric endocrinology at The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center.