The countdown to Christmas has officially begun, which means trimming the tree, shopping for gifts and indulging in a few of our favorite holidays treats. One of those beloved holiday treats are candy canes. Although the classic white and red striped treat is very merry, this candy’s ingredients is primarily made up of controversial ingredients that you and your family might want to avoid this holiday season. More specifically, if you check out our FoodFacts app you’ll notice that most candy canes contain at least 2 artificial colors which can be harmful to you and your kids.
Whether you enjoy candy canes that are the classic peppermint flavor or prefer ones that are of a fruity flavor, most mainly consist of sugar, corn syrup, natural and/or artificial flavors and artificial colors. For example, both Bob’s Peppermint Candy Canes and Brach’s Mini Peppermint Candy Canes contain the same five ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, peppermint oil, Red 40 and Red 40 Lake. The only ingredient that isn’t bad for you in both products is the peppermint oil and two out of five of the ingredients are artificial colors.
Furthermore, the more colorful the candy candy, the more artificial colors it contains. For example, Spangler Candy Canes Cherry Flavor contains seven ingredients and four out of the seven are artificial colors: Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Blue 1. Similarly, Life Savers Fruit Flavored Candy Canes contains all four of those artificial colors as well as natural and artificial flavors. The fruit flavored candy canes are typically loaded with more natural and artificial colors and/or flavors.
Even candy canes that are trying to come off as more “natural” still contain controversial ingredients like natural flavoring and/or coloring. For example, Sweet Nature Candy Canes Strawberry, Apple & Cherry Flavor are naturally colored with vegetable juice and turmeric, however, the candy still contains natural flavor, sugar and corn syrup. Likewise, Sweet Nature Candy Canes Peppermint may not use a large amount of artificial coloring, but it still contains caramel coloring as well as sugar, corn syrup and natural flavor.
With all that said, if you’re a candy candy lover and still want to have a candy cane or two this holiday season we understand that and want you to enjoy your festive treat of choice. As always, our goal is to simply make you more aware of what you’re putting into your body and to make a conscious effort to not overindulge in treats that contain so many harmful ingredients. Whether it’s the Christmas season or any season, we want you to create a healthy eating balance that consists of primarily choosing foods that are good for you and full of nutrients, and occasionally choosing foods that may be not so good for you, but contain the least amount of controversial ingredients.