6 Toxins in Halloween Candy
Trick o’ treating from door to door, lighting up our homes, and coming together in celebration are perhaps some of the most enjoyable aspects of Halloween.
And as a kid, Halloween is probably the only time when receiving such enormous quantities of candy is acceptable. In fact, grownups themselves indulge freely for a few days (or weeks/months!) during and after Halloween.
But all these processed sweets come with a high cost to your health and well being. While these negative effects may seem negligible, as Halloween comes only once a year, the toxins in processed candy should be avoided whenever possible.
Here are a few harmful ingredients you’ll find in the bulk of Halloween candy today.
1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
HFCS is added to nearly every sweet processed food in the market today, including (and especially) candy. Consumed in excess, HFCS can lead to adverse health problems due to the high concentration of fructose. Our bodies absorb small quantities of fructose, occurring naturally in vegetables and fruits. But during Halloween, we’re getting a lot more high fructose corn syrup than our bodies are capable of handling. This overdose of fructose has been linked with inflammation which can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. BOOOOO!
Artificial preservatives are the norm in today’s market, and can be found in most packaged food items at the grocery store. And most Halloween candy is full of preservatives that can be extremely detrimental to your health. YIKES!
While it may seem like it’s become a natural part of our diets, preservatives can be quite dangerous when ingested. Perhaps the most harmful effects come from nitrosamine preservatives which interact with gastric acid to form carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) in the body. And much of our Halloween candy contains small quantities of this harmful substance.
Cakes, confectionaries, and creamy treats are an integral part of Halloween, and much of the candy distributed during the festival contains dairy products in some form.
Butter, cream, and milk fat, ingredients which are commonly used in Halloween candy, have been shown to cause issues with insulin absorption. This, coupled with the inflammation response incited by dairy leads to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Aside from this, cows in dairy farms are pumped with growth hormones and antibiotics. These toxins seep into the milk, which is ultimately consumed by us every time we eat Halloween candy that contains dairy.
4. Food Coloring
Halloween candy is made to look colorful and exciting to suit the occasion, but the methods used to color the candy and make it look attractive are questionable.
Certain industry food colors have been linked to a variety of health concerns, from the formation of brain tumors to advanced neurological disorders.
For example, the food dye ‘Yellow #5’, also known as Tartrazine, has been linked to violent behavior, lymphomas, hyperactivity, thyroid tumors, and insomnia. And that’s just one color!
So while coloring does make candy look more attractive, it doesn’t add anything to the taste and can actually harm you in the long run.
5. Artificial And Natural Flavors
Artificial flavors are created by combining chemicals made from inedible ingredients such as paper pulp or petroleum. It’s not hard to imagine why ingesting a substance made from these ingredients would be harmful.
However, natural flavors are just as harmful, and flavor labs don’t actually use natural ingredients to make these flavors. Instead, a natural flavor is simply recognized and then recreated in a flavor lab using flavor molecules. You can learn more about natural flavors and why we should avoid them in this article our in-depth blog here!
This is perhaps the most pervasive ingredient, found in nearly every mass-produced candy, and you can bet that most of the candy consumed during Halloween is made from genetically-modified crops.
Most of the sugar in Halloween candy comes from the herbicide-resistant sugar beet, which has been created as a result of GMO techniques. If that isn’t enough, high fructose corn syrup is usually added as well, which comes from genetically-modified corn.
Certain candies also use soy lecithin, a dried sludge which is the byproduct left behind from refining soybean oil. If that doesn’t sound toxic enough, consider the fact that almost 90% of the soy grown in the U.S. is a GMO crop.
And for years now research has shown that GMOs can have a serious impact on your health, leading to health complications like mental disorders and cancerous tumors.
Go Natural This Year
While all this may seem quite scary (which is actually a fitting theme for this festival!), you can always vouch for a safe and toxin-free Halloween this year. Look up social media accounts of people or small startups making DIY organic candy with safe, whole food plant-based ingredients!
You’ll find plenty of recipes on our Instagram so you can make your own healthy, toxin-free Chocolate Magic treats to munch on.
With safer treats we can truly enjoy the festivities without contaminating our bodies. So this Halloween, let’s put a stop to these harmful toxins and grant our body the safety that it deserves!!