Are you really gonna eat that?!?

I know around this time of year especially, everyone is eating a lot of candy. I don't know many people who don't like candy. But if you are health conscious, like me, you might want to keep reading! Too often we don't really think about everything that is in that piece of candy. We just mindlessly pop it into our mouth and enjoy that sugary treat! But is it worth it?
Even if you read labels, often times you still have no clue what half of that crap listed even is! All the high fructose corn syrup, sugar and food coloring! And what do all those food coloring numbers mean? Red #40? Yellow #5? Huh? Let's break this down a little so y'all are well informed!

Let's first talk about food dyes and artificial coloring. I honestly wish companies would just stop adding this stuff in our food. And sadly, it's not just in candy. Read labels on products you typically buy and you will see artificial coloring in so many things! Many brands of yogurt, cereals, fruit snacks, salad dressings, macaroni and cheese, and many snacks like Cheetos and Doritos. It's not just in food, but drinks also; Mountain Dew immediately comes to mind. There is no taste to these additives, no preservative qualities, and of course no nutritional value to them. It is simply to look better and be more appealing to you. Most of them are chemicals derived from petroleum. Yeah, you know, the same petroleum we fuel our vehicles with. Today, the U.S. uses over 15 million pounds of food dyes each year...which is five times more than fifty years ago. These synthetic food dyes have been shown to cause an increase in hyperactivity in children. So sometimes that "sugar rush" people talk about when giving children candy, might actually be partially from the dyes, not just the sugar.

The number system of these dyes have a few purposes. Each one you see means that the FDA approved the coloring for consumer consumption. Don't let that fool you though, that DOES NOT mean it is healthy for us. It only means they allow it, and sadly they allow a lot of things that are not good for us. Also, each dye number basically is used instead of listing the actual chemical name. It's easier to identify it that way. So, when you see these colors and numbers listed on a label, just think to yourself, "...bad chemical this, and awful chemical that...". Now, the good thing here? If you pay attention and know what to look for, you can avoid these chemicals. Some products have colors added using natural ingredients. That is good! Some of these natural food colorings come from beets, berries, carrots and things like Turmeric. You can look for products that use these natural options, and not the synthetic chemicals! Most candy however will not have such an option, but fruit snacks, salad dressings, and yogurt will. It just takes a few minutes to look and compare products. ”Artificial food dyes (in combination with a common preservative) could make even children with no known behavioral problems hyperactive and inattentive.” “The science shows that kids’ behavior improves when these artificial colorings are removed from their diets and worsens when they’re added to the their diets.” and “While not all children seem to be sensitive to these chemicals, it’s hard to justify their continued use in foods—especially those foods heavily marketed to young children.” “According to scientific studies, these dyes are causing behavioral problems and disrupting children’s attention.”
Another thing to watch out for is high fructose corn syrup. Since the late 80's, companies have replaced sugar with this synthetic substance. Why did they start doing this? It's's all about money. This is a cheaper option for the companies to use. However, high fructose corn syrup is actually worse for us health wise, than regular sugar is. Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup can lead to a huge increase in the likelihood of developing diabetes, elevated levels of triglyceride and LDL (bad cholesterol), and can cause destruction of your liver. Nice, huh? Also, high fructose corn syrup is often loaded with alarmingly high levels of mercury. One study found mercury in over 50% of samples tested. Mercury exposure can result in irreversible brain and nervous system damage, especially in young, growing children. Knowing this, we see there are far too many foods aimed at children that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup!

Ok, so what about regular, plain old sugar then? Well, we know small amounts of sugar is ok. But there are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar…just pure energy. Sugar can be addictive for a lot of people. Much like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain. Not surprisingly, people who consume the most sugar are by far the most likely to become overweight or obese. Many studies have examined the link between sugar consumption and obesity and found a strong statistical association between them. The link is especially strong in children. Also, even more alarming, multiple studies show that people who eat a lot of sugar are at a much higher risk of getting cancer.

So, before you or your kids go crazy on candy and sweets, just keep these things in mind. And as I touched on, it's not only candy to be cautious of, but most of the food on the store shelves. Not many people have the willpower to cut out all candy and junk food, so just keep this in mind...everything in moderation. At least give your body a chance by not overloading it with chemicals and carcinogens.

Do you read labels? Are there things you avoid? Or do you just not worry about it and eat what you want?


  1. It is absolutely disgusting to me how much crap they put in everyday foods. I read Every label of Everything I buy. Did you know that the main over the counter Vitamin drops that they give to newborns contains caramel coloring? When I found that out I called the company and demanded my money back. Then asked if they thought my newborn cared what color her vitamin drops were!!! It is a Big problem. Our children should not be the lab rats!!! Sorry you totally got me on my soap box :)

    1. Yes, exactly! You know those Flintstones vitamins parents love to give their kids for their "good health"...check the label on those! ugh...

  2. also back to Halloween.... Head over to our blog and check out our Switch Witch tradition we do with our kiddos. It is a good solution to get all of that unwanted candy out of your house!!

  3. It's really sad how bad our food is for us and that our country allows these things to be approved. In other countries all these dyes and additives are not allowed in their food. Best to stick with fruits and veggies. Thanks for the informative post! Sometimes it hurts less to not know but it really is better to know!

  4. i sooooo try to watch these foods! this is a big deal for me... love this information!

  5. Yikes. SO GROSS and scary. I love your new header by the way.

  6. I've been working on cutting sugar out of my diet as much as possible. It's crazy! Sugar is literally as addictive as cocaine.

  7. I am totally a label reader - I love to eat, but I want to make sure that the food is at least semi-healthy. Food can taste awesome without a ton of artificial ingredients. Great post for the Halloween season!


    I'd like to invite you to join my weekly link up, we love to grow our blogging community, and would love to have you! Stop by this weekend if you want, here's the direct link for the weekend The Cozy Reading Spot

  8. I need to be more health conscience--I literally just bit into a snickers and spit it out because it was NASTY. I do not eat much candy nor do I eat a lot...(or any for the most part) of processed food, but then I do not read the labels. We rarely buy things with labels...for the most part everything is homemade.


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