Are Fig Newtons Healthy? 12 Things You Should Know

Are Fig Newtons a healthy snack option?

No, Fig Newtons are not a healthy snack option due to their high sugar content and low fiber content.

Continue reading to find out more and check your knowledge!

Ingredients to be cautious about

  • Added sugar: Newtons have more than double the amount of added sugar compared to natural sugar, contributing to health issues such as obesity, weight gain, and increased risk of chronic diseases.
  • Corn syrup: Newtons contain corn syrup, a highly processed sweetener that has been linked to obesity, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and elevated cholesterol levels.
  • Palm oil: Fig Newtons contain palm oil, which is high in saturated fat and has been associated with increased risk of heart disease and high cholesterol levels.
  • Sodium benzoate: Newtons contain sodium benzoate, a preservative that has been linked to increased risk of cancer and can potentially damage DNA.
  • Artificial flavor: Newtons contain artificial flavor, which can contain harmful chemicals and additives that may have a negative impact on overall health.

Possible short-term side effects

  • Obesity
  • Weight gain
  • Increased risk of chronic diseases
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Potential damage to DNA
  • Negative impact on overall health

Possible long-term side effects

  • Obesity
  • Weight gain
  • Increased risk of chronic diseases
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Potential damage to DNA
  • Negative impact on overall health


  • High in fiber
  • Made with real fruit
  • Contain whole-grain wheat flour
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Low in sodium
  • Can be eaten in moderation on a weight-loss diet
  • Relatively low in added sugar
  • Can help refill glycogen stores after a workout
  • May be healthier than other cookies
  • Suitable for a vegan diet, although some vegans may choose to avoid them due to the sugar filtering process

Healthy alternatives

  • Apple slices
  • Carrot sticks
  • Greek yogurt
  • Oatmeal cookies
  • Nut butter on whole wheat toast

Did you know...? 🤔

Are Fig Newtons a healthy snack option?

Do Fig Newtons contain artificial preservatives?

Are Fig Newtons made with real fruit?

Related videos

Fig Newtons aren’t your average cookie. They actually have real fruit, along with whole wheat flour, too. That’s nice to see. But at the same time, they have more total sugar per cookie than Oreos… So, what’s up with these fruity cookies? Are they healthy?

Fig Newtons are a bit healthier than most cookies, but they’re still not very good for you. Only 1/3 of the sugar in Newtons comes from fruit—the rest is added sugar. Newtons have some fiber, but only about 1/3 as much as 100% whole-grain snacks like Triscuits.

Below, we’ll look at Fig Newtons nutrition in detail. We’ll analyze the sugar content and explore whether these cookies cause weight gain. We’ll see how they compare to Chips Ahoy and Oreos, whether they cause acne, and more.

Are Fig Newtons Bad for You?

Below are the 12 questions I’ve answered about Fig Newton nutrition. Click to skip to any section, or keep reading for the full analysis:

  1. What Are Fig Newtons Made Of?
  2. Are Fig Newtons High in Sugar?
  3. Do Fig Newtons Make You Fat?
  4. How Much Exercise Does It Take to Burn Off a Fig Newton?
  5. Are Fig Newtons Low Fiber?
  6. Are Fig Newtons High in Sodium?
  7. Can Fig Newtons Cause Acne?
  8. What Happens if You Eat Fig Newtons Every Day?
  9. Are Fig Newtons Bad for Your Heart?
  10. Are Fig Newtons Good for Building Muscle?
  11. Are Fig Newtons Healthier Than Other Cookies?
  12. Are Fig Newtons Vegan?

1. What Are Fig Newtons Made Of?

Let’s start by looking at the ingredients for Fig Newtons:

Newtons Ingredients: Figs, Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Sugar, Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, Riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, Folic Acid), Corn Syrup, Invert Sugar, Canola Oil, Palm Oil, Salt, Baking Soda, Calcium Lactate, Malic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Sodium Benzoate (Added To Preserve Freshness), Natural And Artificial Flavor, Sulfur Dioxide [(Sulfites) Added To Preserve Freshness].

Here’s what I notice about these ingredients:

  • Newtons have figs as the first ingredient. Figs are fruit, and fruit is healthy (generally speaking). So, this is certainly a positive point. However, as you’ll see below, when you measure Newtons by weight, only about 1/3 of the sugar is natural from fruit.
  • Newtons have whole-grain wheat flour. Newtons are made with a blend of flours, but the biggest part of that mix is whole-grain wheat. That means Fig Newtons have a bit more fiber than most cookies, which is good. (Most people don’t eat nearly enough fiber.)
  • Newtons also have refined flour. Fig Newtons are not 100% whole grain. They also have “unbleached enriched flour,” which is a more highly processed flour. This lowers the nutritional value compared to if they were made solely with whole grains.
  • Newtons have added sugar, corn syrup, and invert sugar. Unfortunately, the sweetness in Newtons does not come solely from the figs. Newtons have two times the added sugar than they have of natural sugar. See below for more on Fig Newtons’ sugar content.
  • Newtons have vegetable oil. Fig Newtons are made with canola oil and palm oil. These oils are highly processed, high in calories, and relatively low in nutrients. Palm oil also adds saturated fat, which most health authorities recommend limiting. Read more below on whether Fig Newtons are bad for your heart.

Overall, Newtons have a mix of good and bad ingredients. The first two ingredients look good—figs and whole grain wheat flour—but after that, things get a lot more processed.

The sugar content is probably the most concerning aspect of Fig Newtons’ nutrition, so let’s look more closely at that next.

2. Are Fig Newtons High in Sugar?

Fig Newtons are relatively high in sugar, with 12g of total sugar per two-cookie serving (6g per cookie). About 2/3 of the sugar in Fig Newtons is added sugar, while only 1/3 is from fruit. On a per-cookie basis, Newtons have more total sugar than Oreos or Chips Ahoy.

To break it down another way—each Fig Newton cookie has about 4g of added sugar and 2g of natural fruit sugar. For comparison, a single Oreo cookie has ~4.7g of added sugar, with no fruit sugar.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily added sugar limit of 25g for women or 36g for men. So, eating about six Fig Newton cookies would use up your entire daily added sugar intake for women, and nine Fig Newtons for men.

Here is a table comparing the sugar content of Newtons to other cookie brands:

CookieServing SizeTotal SugarAdded Sugar
Fig Newtons2 cookies (29g)12g8g
Nilla Wafers8 wafers (30g)11g10g
Oreo3 cookies (34g)14g14g
Chips Ahoy! Original3 cookies (33g) 11g11g
Sugar Content of Cookies by Brand.

As you can see, the total sugar content of Fig Newtons is pretty similar to other cookies on a per-serving basis. The added sugar content is a bit lower than other cookies.

But any amount of added sugar should likely be viewed as a negative. It is not needed for health, and it’s taking up space in your diet that could be filled with more nutritious foods.

And keep in mind: Added sugar is generally considered worse than fruit sugar, but in terms of glycemic index, sometimes fruit sugar (especially from dried fruit) may still raise blood sugar. So, exercise caution if blood-sugar control is important to you.

3. Do Fig Newtons Make You Fat?

Fig Newtons could potentially lead to weight gain, as they have several high-calorie ingredients like sugar, flour, dried fruit, and oil. They are also relatively low in protein and fiber, so they may not be very filling. However, Fig Newtons can be eaten in moderation on a weight-loss diet.

Remember: The most important thing for weight loss is your total calorie balance. And if you want to make weight loss easier, the best things to eat are foods with a low calorie density.

Low-calorie-density foods are typically high in fiber and water. Think vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. They fill up your stomach and help you feel full on fewer calories. (Protein also helps you feel more full.)

Fig Newtons are nearly the opposite. Although they have some whoole food ingredients (figs and whole wheat), they also have many calorically dense ingredients like refined flour, sugar, and oil. However, it is still possible to lose weight while eating Fig Newtons.

Eating 1 or 2 Fig Newtons will not make you fat. But eating a whole package every day might. It’s all about the big picture.

In general, one food will not automatically make or break your diet. Portion sizes and total calorie balance are some of the most important factors when trying to lose weight.

Related Questions:

  • How many calories are in 1 Fig Newton? Each Fig Newton has about 50 calories. (A serving of two Newton cookies has about 100 calories.)

4. How Much Exercise Does It Take to Burn Off a Fig Newton?

To burn off the calories from one Fig Newton (around 50 calories), most people would need to run or walk about half a mile.

Generally, you can burn about 100 calories from each mile you run. That rule actually applies whether you are running fast or slow—and even if you’re walking. Each Fig Newton has ~50 calories, so that’s about a half a mile to burn off a Fig Newton.

Don’t like walking or running? Alternatively, you could do approximately 15 minutes of jumping on a trampoline, 10 minutes of gardening, or 5 minutes of kickboxing. (source)

5. Are Fig Newtons Low Fiber?

Fig Newtons have about 1g of dietary fiber per serving (two cookies). Newtons have more fiber than most cookies due to being made with real figs and whole wheat flour. However, their fiber content is still much lower than 100% whole-grain snacks.

Most people don’t eat enough fiber, and it’s a big key to improving your nutrition. Low-fiber snacks often spike blood sugar more and fill you up less, potentially leading to overeating. And if your diet is low in fiber overall, that can cause more problems.

Oreos have “less than 1g” of fiber per serving, while Nilla Wafers have 0g. So compared to those cookies, Fig Newtons aren’t bad. But what if you chose a whole-grain cracker instead? Triscuits have 3g of fiber per serving, about 3 times as much as Newtons.

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6. Are Fig Newtons High in Sodium?

Fig Newtons have 95mg of sodium per serving of two cookies. This is a pretty normal range for cookies. Chips Ahoy and Oreos have about the same sodium content per serving, usually a little more (depending on the flavor).

For reference: The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium to 2,300mg per day. But they are “moving toward an ideal limit” of only 1,500mg per day. That would still be over 31 Fig Newton cookies per day. So, Fig Newtons are not that bad when it comes to sodium.

7. Can Fig Newtons Cause Acne?

Our understanding of the relationship between diet and acne is still evolving. But increasingly, there is significant evidence that diet does play a big role in acne. And there are a couple foods that are widely acknowledged as problematic.

The first big problem food for acne is dairy: Milk, cheese, ice cream, and so on.

But the second acne problem food is definitely relevant to Fig Newtons: Sugar. As covered above, Fig Newtons have a fair amount of sugar in each serving—12 grams total, with 8 grams of added sugar. Plus they have more processed carbs from the grain-based flours.

Milk and sugar are suspected to affect acne through similar mechanisms. It has to do with your body’s insulin response. Your body’s use of insulin is affected by eating dairy foods and also by spikes in your blood sugar from high-glycemic carbs. (source)

Interestingly, this means that for many people with acne, reducing acne is about stabilizing your blood-sugar levels. And often, that means cutting out higher-GI carbs like those in Fig Newtons—or at least minimizing them.

So, are Fig Newtons bad for your skin? Do they cause pimples? Well, for many people, they may. But acne science is still a developing field. If you want to learn more, I wrote more about how to potentially clear your acne in this blog post.

8. What Happens if You Eat Fig Newtons Every Day?

How Fig Newtons affect your body will depend on your overall diet. If you just eat one Fig Newton per day—and if your lifestyle is healthy overall—then you likely won’t face any bad consequences.

However, if you eat large portions of Fig Newtons—and if your overall diet and lifestyle is unhealthy—that could cause bad consequences long-term. What kind of specific issues?

Eating Fig Newtons could spike your blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes can have many negative short- and long-term effects. These can potentially include:

  • Lethargy (“sugar crash”) and hunger;
  • Insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes;
  • Hardening of the blood vessels, leading to increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Also, Fig Newtons may lead you to eat excess calories. Since they are a delicious food with high calorie-density, they are easy to overeat. And if you overeat calories too often, you could experience weight gain and associated health issues.

If your diet is consistently high in sugar, that has documented risks, too. High-sugar diets have been observed to raise blood sugar levels, triglycerides, blood pressure, heart disease risk, and obesity risk. (source)

So, is it bad to eat Fig Newtons every day? It depends on your overall diet. Eating one or two Fig Newtons per day may be fine for most people. But eating a large plate of them every day is certainly not very healthy.

9. Are Fig Newtons Bad for Your Heart?

Fig Newtons could be bad for your heart if eaten as part of a high-sugar diet. High-sugar diets have been shown to raise blood sugar levels, triglycerides, blood pressure, heart disease risk, and obesity risk. (source)

The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 25g of added sugar per day for women and 36g per day for men. It would only take about six to nine Fig Newtons to reach those limits—and that’s if you weren’t consuming any other sugar all day long.

What about the issue of saturated fat? The American Heart Association also recommends limiting saturated fat to reduce heart disease risk.

For someone with a 2,000 calorie diet, the AHA recommends only 13g of saturated fat per day. One serving of Fig Newtons (two cookies) has 0.5g of saturated fat. So, Fig Newtons are not dangerously high in saturated fat if you’re only eating a few.

Related question:

  • Are Fig Newtons high in cholesterol? Fig Newtons do not have dietary cholesterol.

10. Are Fig Newtons Good for Building Muscle?

When looking at foods for muscle building and bodybuilding, the two main things people discuss are usually calories and protein. So, how do Fig Newtons stack up in these areas?

  • Calories: Fig Newtons are high in calories. So, if you’re someone who struggles to eat enough calories to gain weight or build muscle, Fig Newtons may be an option that allows you to get more calories in.
  • Protein: Fig Newtons are low in protein, with only 1g of protein per serving. So if you’re aiming for a high-protein diet to help with muscle building, Fig Newtons will not help your macros.

From these two points, we can deduce the following:

Fig Newtons are not a great snack for cutting, since they have a lot of calories without providing much satiation or protein. But Fig Newtons may be fine if you’re bulking, since they can help you consume more calories, and it’s generally ok to eat a lower protein diet (by percentage) during a bulk.

Related question:

  • Are Fig Newtons good to eat after a workout? If you’re going to eat Fig Newtons, then after a workout may actually be a good time to eat them, since the high-glycemic carbs can help refill your glycogen stores. That said, a healthier source of simple carbs like whole fruit could also do the job.
  • Are Fig Newtons good for weight gain? Fig Newtons can be used for weight gain if they are eaten as part of a calorie surplus. But your overall daily and weekly calorie balance is what really matters.

11. Are Fig Newtons Healthier Than Other Cookies?

Fig Newtons may be healthier than most other cookies because they are made with real fruit and whole-grain wheat flour. However, depending on how you analyze the nutrition facts, they are not necessarily way better than other cookies.

For example, let’s compare Fig Newtons to two of the most popular cookie brands, Oreos and Chips Ahoy. Here’s a table comparing their basic nutrition facts:

SnackServing SizeSat. FatSodiumAdded SugarFiber
Fig Newtons2 cookies (29g)0.5g95mg8g1g
Oreos3 cookies (34g)2g135mg14g<1g
Chips Ahoy3 cookies (33g)3g105mg11g<1g
Are Fig Newtons healthier than Oreos and Chips Ahoy?

Fig Newtons have more fiber, less added sugar, less saturated fat, and less sodium compared to Oreos and Chips Ahoy. This likely makes Fig Newtons a healthier choice for most people.

About 1/3 of the sugar in Fig Newtons is natural fruit sugar, not processed sugar. Meanwhile, all the sugar in Oreos and Chips Ahoy (and most cookies) is all added sugar. So again, the Fig Newtons are probably a bit healthier for most people.

However, this doesn’t mean that Fig Newtons are healthy. They still have a lot of processed sugar, along with refined flour and oil. The fiber content is also still low compared to 100% whole-grain snacks.

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12. Are Fig Newtons Vegan?

Fig Newtons are generally considered vegan. They don’t have any obvious milk, egg, or meat ingredients. However, some vegans may choose to avoid Fig Newtons because of the processed sugar, which is likely filtered with animal bone char.

As is the case with most non-organic sugar, the sugar in Fig Newtons may be filtered with animal bone char. So, some of the most strict vegans may avoid Fig Newtons for that reason.

However, most vegans are okay with eating Fig Newtons. The sugar issue is generally only something that the most picky vegans worry about.

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