Itʼs that time of year again…bowls of tempting candy pop up everywhere, from check- out counters to office desks. Well-meaning friends and family give big boxes of store- bought candy or other sweets as holiday gifts, and before you know it, youʼve eaten pounds of sugar between October (Halloween) and February (Valentineʼs Day)! Then the chocolate bunnies start appearing on store shelves…
Unfortunately, holidays and celebrations can get pretty sugar-coated, especially if you share the festivities with children.
ʻSaversʼ know how detrimental sugar is for your bones, and research indicates it compromises the immune system (the last thing you need during cold and flu season!). But sugar is not the only ingredient in popular candies that can harm your health and weaken your skeleton. From artificial colors and toxic preservatives, candy is not the sweet, innocent treat it appears to be.
You might get discouraged when you read this, because you know itʼs just impossible to be perfectly disciplined when sweets are so readily available. But thereʼs good news!
Even if you donʼt follow everything in the Program all the time, youʼre still way ahead of the curve when it comes to bone health. But, as you know, Iʼm always looking for ways to make it easier on you to stick to the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
So in todayʼs post, weʼll delve into just what toxins are hiding in those popular candies, and ways to find bone-healthy alternatives. You can actually “cheat” your way to better bone health, and in the process, you can share with your loved ones (especially candy- craving grandchildren) the concept that treats can be delicious and healthy at the same time.
Popular Candies are Loaded With Toxic Bone-Damaging Chemicals
No packaged candy is truly good for you, and some are worse than others. Letʼs take a look at four popular candies to use as examples (details on the ingredients themselves in a moment):
- Skittles: Sugar, cornsyrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, apple juice from concentrate, citric acid, dextrin, modified corn starch, natural and artificial flavors, yellow 6 lake, red 40 lake, yellow 5 lake, blue 2 lake, yellow 5, red 40, yellow 6, blue 1 lake, blue 1, ascorbic acid.
- Nerds: Dextrose, sugar, malic acid, corn syrup, artificial flavors, carnauba wax, carmine color, blue 1, blue 1 lake, blue 2, blue 2 lake, red 40, red 40 lake, yellow 5, yellow 5 lake, yellow 6, yellow 6 lake.
- Twizzlers: Corn syrup, flour, niaicin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, sugar, cornstarch, palm oil, salt, artificial flavor, mono- and diglycerides, citric acid, potassium sorbate, red 40, mineral oil, soy lecithin, glycerin.
- Butterfinger: Corn syrup, sugar, ground roasted peanuts,hydrogenated palm kernel oil, cocoa, molasses, whey, confectioner's corn flakes, nonfat milk, salt, lactic acid esters, soy lecithin, soybean oil, cornstarch, artificial flavors, TBHQ, citric acid, yellow 5, red 40.
Aside from the fact that sugar and corn syrup are the most prominent ingredient, thereʼs more to avoid in these candies. Letʼs take a closer look at some of them.
This sweetener is obtained by a multi-step process that begins with a mixture of cornstarch and water. ʻSaversʼ already know that most products derived from corn are made from the genetically modified variety (GMO), which is really harmful to your bones and to your overall health.
Found in colorful candies like the Nerds above, carmine is also found in juices and ice cream. It is a red dye made from cochineal beetles…the bugs are dried, crushed, and boiled to produce the dye. In addition to a pretty high “yuck” factor, carmine has been known to cause severe allergic reactions in some people who ingest it.
Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
Youʼll see this ingredient in the Butterfinger list, but itʼs far from unique to Butterfinger candy. In fact, TBHQ is not only found in various candies; itʼs also found in lighter fluid.
This sounds innocent enough, but unfortunately, the “natural flavoring” umbrella covers any flavor derived from a natural source, such as animal urine. Castoreum is a flavoring that is derived from the perineal gland and urine of beavers, and can be included in candy (and any food) under the heading “natural flavoring.” Itʼs usually found in candies with a berry or vanilla flavor.
Most of the candies above have an enormous list of artificial colors. As I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, artificial colors acidify the bodyʼs pH, and Blue 1 and Blue 2, Red 3, and Yellow 6 have been linked to cancer.
In 2007, the highly-respected medical journal The Lancet published a study to test “whether intake of artificial food colour and additives affected childhood behavior.”1 Their conclusion:
“Artificial colours or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.”1
In other words, artificial colors directly affect on the brain.
In addition to the harmful effects noted here, all of these (and other) candies will create a toxic, acidic environment in your body, which harms your health and deteriorates your bones.
So How Can You Avoid These Toxic “Treats”?
As mentioned earlier, you donʼt have to be perfectly disciplined to succeed at building your bones naturally. But itʼs great to find alternatives to foods that damage your bones, so you can enjoy delicious treats when you crave them, especially during the holidays.
Here's a delicious one:
Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters
- 8 ounces almonds
- 6 ounces dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Coconut flakes (for topping)
- Chop chocolate into small pieces
- In a double boiler place chopped chocolate, honey, coconut oil and pinch of sea salt once water is boiling. Stir the mixture constantly until it combines and about three quarters of the contents are melted.
- Remove the top part of the double boiler off of the heat, and stir until everything melts evenly.
- To cover the almonds with the mix, drop them in the bowl, and get them out with a fork, shaking off the excess chocolate and placing it on a cookie sheet. Place four or more chocolate covered almonds together to make a cluster.
- Sprinkle coconut flakes and refrigerate until chocolate hardens and enjoy!
Till next time,
1 McCann,Donna,PhD, et al. “Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3- year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomized, double- blinded, placebo-controlled trial.” The Lancet. Volume 370, Issue 9598, Pages 1560 – 1567, 3 November 2007 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61306-3