I have mixed feelings about Halloween. I love the creativity and joy humans feel dressing up. If just for a day, children become something else. But then…there’s the candy.
I think for my son, trick-or-treating is more of a sport. He doesn’t eat the candy. The ladened bag of treats sits on the counter waiting to be rehomed. I am thankful his sweet tooth is more inclined towards pumpkin pie than candy, especially considering what is actually in those treats.
What’s in Halloween Candy?
Trick-or-treating means coming home with a huge sack of toxic candy. Do you really want your children eating that crap?
Here is a list of toxic ingredients to avoid in Halloween candy.
Trans fats / partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
Trans fats are known to raise bad LDL cholesterol, as well as contribute to memory loss, heart disease, and obesity. It is found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil present in some kinds of candy. Most companies have been phasing out partially hydrogenated vegetable oil due to a FDA requirement that it be removed by 2018. The FDA recognizes partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is NOT”generally recognized as safe” for use in human food.1)http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/16/health/fda-trans-fat/
Many candy manufacturers has switched to palm oil instead of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. The demand for palm oil has caused massive deforestation affecting endangered species.2)http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/palm_oil/ Woodland Park Zoo offers a list of palm oil free candy. There is also concern about the saturated fats in palm oil, and studies have confirmed similar effects of raising LDL cholesterol as the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil it replaces. 3)http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/07/25/205486197/palm-oil-in-the-food-supply-what-you-should-know Also be wary, as palm oil can be disguised in ingredient lists. According to the World Wildlife Fund, palm oil can be present under the following ingredients:
INGREDIENTS: Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hyrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol
CONTAINS: Palm oil4)http://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/which-everyday-products-contain-palm-oil
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a cheap, industrial sweetener. Dr. Hyman writes of the concern:
We are consuming HFCS and sugar in pharmacologic quantities never before experienced in human history–140 pounds a year versus 20 teaspoons a year 10,000 years ago.
High fructose corn syrup is always found in very poor-quality foods that are nutritionally vacuous and filled with all sorts of other disease promoting compounds, fats, salt, chemicals, and even mercury.5)http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/05/13/5-reasons-high-fructose-corn-syrup-will-kill-you/
HFCS contains unregulated mercury, and it is linked to obesity and diabetes.
That brightly colored candy may appeal to young trick-or-treaters, but it comes with some risk. Artificial colors and flavorings have been linked to hyperactivity and attention problems in children. Some candy manufacturers like Mars are phasing out the use of artificial colors. They have been banned in the EU.6)http://ecochildsplay.com/2016/02/07/artificial-food-dyes/
It’s not just the candy ingredients you need to fear this Halloween but also the wrappers. Many candy wrappers contain toxic PFC.
The inevitable overload of candy can be switched for alternatives. I usually take my children to the health food store and swap it out for healthier versions. My son did get plenty of organic lollipops this year, but they were mixed in with many candies that are unhealthy. I am thankful he has no desire to eat them.
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