When most of us think of the scary things associated with the Halloween holiday, we probably think of scary costumes, haunted houses, or eerie movies. But have you ever stopped to realize that the most alarming part of all the Halloween holiday is very likely the ingredients you’re putting in your body from the trick-or-treating, parties, and other festivities? Though watching a horror movie to get a Halloween chill might raise your heart rate and a few hairs, it’s the processed garbage we put in our bodies that truly has a scary effect on the body!
Sadly, the National Confectioner’s Association estimated that this year alone, Americans will spend an incredible $2.4 billion on Halloween candy (as reported by the Chicago Tribune)! All of this money is being spent on candy and foods loaded with sugar, coloring agents, preservatives, and other harmful additives.
If you pick up a piece of typical Halloween candy or food, you’ll see an ingredient list that is full of unnatural, synthetic, and health-damaging ingredients. When looking at the ingredient list for these foods, it is not uncommon to see a list of at least fifteen different synthetic and unnatural ingredients!
Knowing what to look for on the ingredient label can be confusing for many. Below, we will list some of the most damaging food and candy ingredients for your family to avoid during the parties and fun of the Halloween season!
1. Trans Fat: Trans fat is also synonymous with the common ingredient “hydrogenated oil.” If either of these is seen on the ingredient list or on the nutritional facts, throw it out! But beware! Just because the nutritional information might indicate that the food or candy has 0g trans fat, current laws make it so that a small amount of trans fat might actually be present and still allow the company to state that the food contains zero trans fat! If there is less than 0.5g of trans fat, then companies are allowed to say that there is no trans fat! Though this may seem like a small amount, in the body a little bit goes a long way in damaging cells. For this reason, it’s best to look at the ingredient label and avoid anything with hydrogenated oils or processed vegetable oils.
2. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): Among all the different sugars and sweeteners out there today, HFCS is among the worst of them all! This type of sweetener is made from GMO corn that goes through some very heavy processing. Furthermore, the type of sugar found in HFCS is primarily fructose, which in large doses is particularly hard on the liver and is highly linked with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
3. Food Coloring Agents: While there are many different coloring agents used today, some of the top and most common offenders include Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1, and Blue 2. These synthetic coloring agents are very toxic to the body and have been linked with a number of problems and disorders such as ADHD/ADD, allergies, depression, and cancer.
4. Natural or Artificial Flavoring: Most “natural” and artificial flavoring agents are synthetic chemicals used to enhance the flavor of a highly processed food. Companies aren’t obligated to list specifically what flavoring agent is used, they simply need to list natural or artificial flavoring, which means that you have no idea what you are actually eating! These unnatural ingredients have been linked to some of the same problems as food coloring, including allergies, depression, and cancer.
5. Preservatives: There is no shortage to the amount or types of chemicals put in our food today, and one of the top things added to our food are preservatives. These chemical ingredients, such as TBHQ and/or BHT and BHA are man-made chemicals that do preserve food for longer, but at a great expense to our health. Preservatives have been linked with a number of problems such as allergies and sensitivities, digestion problems, mental problems such as ADHD and depression, as well as cancer.
6. Vanillin: Vanillin is a synthetic ingredient that many companies use in place of using real vanilla. Vanillin is made in a lab using wood pulp. This synthetic ingredient is toxic and acts as a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) in the body.
7. Sodium Nitrite or Nitrate: These preservative ingredients are typically found in meats such as hot dogs or sandwich meat. They are synthetic and highly toxic. In fact, these ingredients have been highly linked with a number of deadly cancers.
8. Flavor Enhancers: When food is very highly processed, much of the appealing taste and texture is removed. For this reason, food manufacturers need to add something (synthetic) to the food to bring back the good taste and texture. They do this by adding ingredients such as MSG, yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast extract, and/or glutamic acid (glutamate). These chemicals are neurotoxic and cause such a degree of cellular stimulation that cell death occurs. Flavor enhancers have been linked with a number of problems including headaches and migraines, vision problems, and mental problems.
9. Alternative Sweeteners: For those who are diabetic or otherwise trying to cut down on their sugar intake, food manufacturers have created “sugar free” options that have no sugar! That sounds good until you realize that instead of using sugar, they have replaced it with a non-nutritive, synthetic sweetener. These sugar replacements, such as aspartame, splenda, sucralose, and/or Ace-K act similarly to flavor enhancers in the body, in that they stimulate cells and cause cellular death. These artificial sweeteners wreak havoc in the body and can actually still lead to weight gain and cravings.
The unfortunate thing is that most, if not all, traditional Halloween food and candy will have at least one of these extremely harmful ingredients. So, while it’s still important to decrease the amount of sugar and/or processed food, here are some popular brands that use good ingredients and aren’t loaded with these horrifying ingredients!
- Endangered Species chocolate bars
- Yummy Earth candy and gummies
- Justin’s chocolate and nut butter candy
- Unreal Candy candy bars
- Super Vital Foods CaViana raw chocolate covered treats
Additionally, healthier treats such as trail mix, raw chocolate, fruit or fruit leather, or air-popped popcorn balls are all alternatives to the highly toxic candy found on the grocery shelves! Enjoy this Halloween in a healthy, happy manner!!
Our amazing team of Sunwarriors creates the healthiest Plant-Based Proteins & Supplements. Our mission is to nourish & Transform The Planet.
Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research.. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.
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