Upgrade Your Sugar Stash: Healthy Halloween Candy 101

Hidden dangers: It’s tempting to toss the typical Halloween candy into your shopping cart this season, but you may want to slow your (tootsie) roll. Halloween candy is loaded with chemicals, trans-fatty acids, artificial colors, harmful sugars, and some of the worst preservatives – conventional candy and chocolate bars are bad for your health and can lead to an array of nasty conditions. They can impact behavior and mood as well, causing hyperactivity, insomnia and even depression. This year, opt healthy Halloween candy instead…especially since the natural alternatives are just as tasty!

What you should avoid: The first ingredient to steer clear of is high-fructose corn syrup. Present in almost all candy bars, HFCS has been proven to cause diabetes, obesity, dementia and cardiovascular disease. It has also been found to contain the heavy metal mercury, which is a known neurotoxin. Corn syrup is also a genetically modified ingredient just like soybean oil, which may lead to infertility, sterility, allergies, cancer and liver damage. Next up is trans-fatty acids. Labeled as hydrogenated oil or fat, shortening or partially hydrogenated oil, these fats are directly linked to heart disease, raising cholesterol, and increasing the risk for a stroke and diabetes. Candy and chocolate bars also typically contain artificial colors such as FD&C Blue No.1, Yellow No.5, and Red No.40. Research shows that artificial colors lead to hyperactivity, diminished concentration and lack of focus, and exacerbate ADD and ADHD. Finally, candy is loaded with harmful preservatives and chemicals which can easily be identified by their “impossible to read” names. These are known to damage organs, stress the nervous system and lead to cancer.

Avoid: GMO oils, trans fats (hydrogenated oil), high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, preservatives and chemicals

Here’s what to do: Rejoice in the fact that the healthy Halloween candy options taste and look just like the originals! We doubt your kids will even notice the difference. Thanks to many health food brands, there are loads of candy and chocolate-bar alternatives to choose from. Look for brands that use fruit sugar, spices and juice for coloring, GMO-free oils, and cacao (unsweetened chocolate). Make sure they are free of preservatives, chemicals and artificial flavorings and use organic sugar. If DIY is your thing, you can always make your own version at home like these “Reese’s” Almond Butter Cups, and Raw Banana Bites.

Pick: Natural fruit colors and sweeteners, GMO-free oil, cacao, organic sugar

TCM PickS: Caramels from Quin Candy, Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks, Surf Sweets Jelly Beans, YumEarth Organic Lollipops, YumEarth Sour Beans, Terrifically Tingly Sun Cups, Amy’s Chocolate Candy Bars, Heavenly Organic Honey Patties

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