Top 5 Scariest Things About Halloween Candy

By Nancy Massotto, Ph.D, Founder and Executive Director of Holistic Moms Network

Halloween is just around the corner and if ghosts and ghouls don’t scare you, consider what’s in your kids’ candy. Underneath the colorful wrappers and packaging, there are some pretty frightening things lurking. Here are the ones that give me the heeby-jeebies.

Top 5 scariest things about Halloween candy:

1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Parents are waking up to the dangers of HFCS, and it should come as no suprise. HFCS is everywhere and has been linked to obesity, rising rates of type-2 diabetes, and hypertension. Not to mention that mercury has been detected in HFCS as well!

2. TBHQ. TBHQ, or tertiary butylhydroquinone, is a form of butane that is added as a preservative to a variety of foods, including popular Halloween candies Reese’s Peanut Butter CupsTM and Nestle CrunchTM.

3. Artificial Colors. Unless you’re a carrot or a sweet potato, chances are bright Halloween orange is not your natural color. Artificial colorings such as FDC Blues 1 and 2, Red 3, Green 3 and Yellow no. 5 are ever-present and have been banned in many countries because of their link to cancer. (Yellow 5 is currently under review and many artificial yellows and oranges have been banned already.)

4. Hydrogenated Fats. Think you’re doing better handing out chips and crackers instead of sweets this year? You may have to think again. Hydrogenated fats in many products, including chips, crackers, and chocolate, have long been recognized as dangerous for their link to heart disease. More recent research also links these trans fats to rising cancer rates throughout the US.

5. Refined Sugar. Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, and considerably more during our spooky and scary Halloween season! What’s wrong with a little sugar? It not only ruins your teeth, but strips your body of vital nutrients and can damage your immune system. And, of course, we all know what too much sugar does to our children’s moods and behaviors!

What are your tips for having a healthier, more holistic Halloween?

Want to learn more about Holistic Living? During October, we celebrate Holistic Living Month and I hope you’ll take the opportunity to connect with us somehow – whether you can make it to our 9th Annual Natural Living Conference in Chicago, connect with a local chapter, or join us online for one of our many events scheduled throughout the month – we’d love to meet you!

A leading voice in the natural parenting movement, Nancy Massotto, Ph.D, is  the Founder and Executive Director of the Holistic Moms Network and mother to two boys.  An articulate and knowledgeable writer and speaker on holistic living, natural parenting, and eco-conscious lifestyles, she shares her passion with a wide variety of audiences as a presenter and author.  She is passionate about empowering women, supporting mothers, and raising her children as naturally and sustainably as she can.


Want to give up the junk with out giving up the candy? Here are some ideas for where to find certified organic, all natural candy, chocolates and other yummy goodies:

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10 Responses to “Top 5 Scariest Things About Halloween Candy”

  1. Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama
    October 10, 2012 at 8:19 AM #

    Thanks for this info! Pinning and sharing!

  2. Thanks for posting a fact sheet about some of the ills of Halloween candy. It’s fine for some, but too many feel it’s permission to indulge when they’re bodies aren’t ready for all of the chemicals in the ‘treats’. I like to recommend rich custards, homemade gelatin gummy candies, and nutrient-dense cocoa or ice cream. Those treats are just as sweet but much more satisfying and a great way to keep the foods healthier without feeling cheated.

    We’re going to start with some rich, hearty foods and a spoonful of fermented cod liver oil to fill our bellies and make us feel satisfied. Then, we’ll finish up with my spiced cranberry apple cider and kombucha jello (my daughter’s request). I hope that’s enough to keep us warm trick-or-treating and keep *me* away from the brightly colored candy that brings back the illusion of youthful happiness.

    We’re doing a toy trade-in for the candy, so I’ll probably let my daughter have a Yummy Earth lollipop if she’s feeling left out. Luckily, one’s enough for her since we so rarely eat candy. Healing diets are a great way to keep you from falling too far off the wagon. :)


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