While the past century has brought incredible advancements in food preparation, most of the candy in today’s grocery stores contains additives and chemicals known to harm the human body. The best way to avoid these is to eat an all-natural diet high in fruits and vegetables.
Each of the following additives, sweeteners, and colors can have a negative impact on health if consumed regularly. Here are the 10 most toxic ingredients found in candy.
1. Artificial Colors
Artificial colors like Blue 1, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 have been linked to some cancers, and could even cause hyperactivity – particularly in children. If you have young children at home, be certain to check any candy wrappers for these colorings and consider choosing a healthier alternative if one or more of these colors are present.
T-butyl hydroquinone, or TBHQ for short, is a synthetic antioxidant. It is primarily used to prevent food from spoiling. While it is FDA approved, some scientists have claimed that it could potentially increase the risk of cancer.
3. High Fructose Corn Syrup
This sweetener is manufactured from corn starch sourced from genetically modified crops. It has replaced natural sugar in many candies and soft drinks and is linked to obesity, heart issues, arthritis, diabetes, and insulin resistance.
4. High Amounts of Sugar
Before purchasing candy or other sweet treats like donuts, remember to check the product’s sugar content. Many candy bars contain exorbitant amounts of sugar, which can contribute to weight gain, tiredness, and long-term health issues.
5. Polysorbate 60
Polysorbate 60 is an artificial thickener used in baked goods like donuts, bread, croissants, and other sweet treats like ice cream and milkshakes. Studies have suggested that it acts as a cancer-causing agent in animals, which means it could also be harmful to humans.
6. Camauba Wax
This chemical is used to give longevity to bubble gum. It can also be used as a glaze in other sweet foods. Camauba wax is thought to cause cancerous tumors.
While sucralose is often marketed as a healthier alternative to sugar, you should be aware of the dangers of consuming too much. Increased intake of sucralose is associated with shrinkage of the thymus gland and swelling of the kidneys and liver.
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) are related preservatives primarily used to extend the shelf life of candy and other foods. In recent years, both have been linked to the growth of cancerous tumors.
Aspartame is a widely used artificial sweetener, often found in a variety of low-calorie, sugar-free, and diet products. It’s approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), which allows for its use in small amounts to sweeten foods and beverages while contributing minimally to no calories. Aspartame is a compound made up of two amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine.
Aspartame gained popularity as an alternative to sugar for those looking to reduce their calorie intake or manage blood sugar levels. It is commonly used in products like diet sodas, sugar-free gum, diet iced tea, and light yogurt.
Despite its widespread use, aspartame has been debated and scrutinized over the years. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other international regulatory agencies have declared aspartame safe for consumption within recommended limits. These determinations are based on numerous studies assessing its safety.
10. Sodium Nitrate
Sodium Nitrate is often added to processed food to prevent the growth of bacteria. It has been linked to cancer in humans and is considered one of the most harmful food additives.