Who wants to deny the kids a sweet treat on Halloween? If it’s just once a year, can a sugar splurge be so bad? The problem is that Halloween has evolved far beyond a one-day candy-fest.
The average American now eats 3.5 pounds of sweets during the increasingly lengthy Halloween season. The average trick-or-treater totes home more than 21 ounces of pure sugar. (The recommended maximum daily intake is only three-quarters of an ounce.)1 2
And it’s not just sugar that is harmful. A typical mass-produced candy bar handed out on Halloween has an ingredient list that is a witch’s brew of dangerous chemicals:3 4
- Artificial flavors. They are often derived from petroleum. And they aren’t individually listed on the label. So you don’t know what you’re eating. There are more than 3,000 artificial flavors used in processed foods. They’ve been linked to cancer, allergies, headaches, and many other health problems.5
- Artificial colors. The three most widely used ones are Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40. They contain the compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl. Both are linked to cancer.6
- TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone). This preservative is made from butane. That’s a gas used as lighter fluid. It’s banned in Japan and other countries, but not the U.S. It’s linked to cancer.7 8
- Vanillin. This is a synthetic, chemical substitute for natural vanilla extract. It’s linked to headaches, allergies, and contains neurotoxins.9
- PGPR (polyglycerol polyricinoleate). This is a cheap chemical substitute for cocoa butter. It’s often used in mass-market chocolates. It’s linked to liver and kidney problems.10
Other potentially harmful ingredients include caramel color, the preservative BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), and trans fats.
10 Healthy (and Tasty) Halloween Treats
You don’t have to deprive the neighborhood kids or yourself on Halloween. Here’s a list of candies with natural, healthy ingredients:
- Endangered Species Organic Chocolate “Bug Bites”
- Nutiva O’Coconut
- OCHO Caramels
- Justin’s Mini Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- UNREAL Dark Chocolate Crispy Peanut Butter Cups
- TruJoy Sweets Organic Fruit Chews
- Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears
- Yum Earth Organic Pops
- Yum Earth Organic Candy Corn
- Black Forest Organic Gummy Worms
The best part? All these candies taste great. Trick-or-treaters won’t even know they’re eating something healthy. The kids will love them…and so will you.