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  • Taylor Richter, RDN, LD

Haunted Halloween Candy: Unmasking the Spooky Secrets!

With Halloween just around the corner, kids and adults alike are gearing up for a night of spooky fun and, of course, loads of candy. But before you indulge in those vibrant, gleaming treats, it's essential to be aware of the hidden dangers that might be lurking in your Halloween loot. Some of your favorite candies may contain toxins that could potentially harm your health. These toxins can be stored in fat tissue when they are consumed in large amounts. This can pose a problem for your liver and how efficiently it detoxifies the body. Who wants toxic material just sitting around in your body? Keep reading to uncover these sinister ingredients and get some tips on how to enjoy Halloween sweets in a safer, healthier way.

Titanium Dioxide: The Dark Side of Candy's Gleaming Colors

When you unwrap a piece of candy with a shiny, eye-catching color, it's often due to the presence of Titanium Dioxide. While it may make your sweets look appealing, there's a sinister side to this common additive. Titanium Dioxide has been linked to DNA damage and hormone disruption, making it a cause for concern, especially when considering that it has been declared unsafe for human consumption by the European Food Safety Authority. This revelation might make you think twice before reaching for candies like Skittles, Starburst, Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, and Trolli Gummies, as they often contain this harmful additive.

Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ): The Sneaky Preservative

TBHQ, another hidden preservative lurking in many popular candies, may be extending the shelf life of your favorite treats, but at what cost? Research has shown that this compound is connected to various health concerns, including immune system decline, reduced flu vaccine effectiveness, and an increased risk of food allergies. As Halloween approaches, it's crucial to stay vigilant and check the ingredient list before indulging in candies. Beware of products like Reese's, Baby Ruths, Butterfingers, and Snickers, which often contain this additive.

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT): An Eerie Ingredient with Grave Consequences

This Halloween season, the spooky charm of Rice Krispie Treats and Charms Blow Pops might tempt you. However, there's a less charming presence in these candies: BHT. This eerie ingredient has been linked to cancer in animals and endocrine disruption, casting a shadow over its suitability for human consumption. The presence of BHT in Halloween candies is indeed a cause for concern, urging consumers to be cautious and opt for alternatives without this sinister additive.

Synthetic Dyes: The Ghosts of Vibrant Treats

Synthetic dyes are the spectral forces behind the vivid colors that make candies so appealing to the eye. Yet, these seemingly innocent additives have a haunting side effect. Research suggests that synthetic dyes are linked to an increased risk of cancer and can contribute to behavioral difficulties, particularly in children. What's even scarier is that these dyes haunt over 2,000 products, not just limited to Halloween candies.

As you prepare for Halloween, make a conscious choice to avoid these spectral additives. Opt for candies made with natural coloring alternatives or, better yet, choose dye-free options. By doing so, you can ensure that your Halloween celebrations are not only colorful but safe for your health and that of your loved ones.

How to Enjoy Your Halloween

  • Read the Labels: Always check the ingredient list on candy packaging. Opt for candies without harmful additives like Titanium Dioxide, TBHQ, BHT, and synthetic dyes.

  • Choose Organic and Natural Alternatives: Organic candies and treats made with natural ingredients are often free from harmful additives. Look for candies labeled organic or those made with real fruit extracts for a safer indulgence.

  • DIY Halloween Treats: Get creative in the kitchen and make your own Halloween treats. This way, you have full control over the ingredients, ensuring a healthier and safer option for you and your family.

  • Things in Moderation: Enjoy the season in moderation. Choose a few candies to enjoy without consuming the entire haul!

Some of Our Favorite Alternatives

We get it, why spend money on treats when you just got a whole bag from trick or treating? It might not be everyones cup of tea, but if you still want to give your kids Halloween treats without worrying about the ingredients, here are some of our favorite options!

  • Unreal dark chocolate: These delicious dark chocolates don’t contain any preservatives or artificial colors. They even use organic ingredients.

  • Perfect Peanut Butter Cups: This product provides healthy fats and does not use artificial sweeteners.

  • Yum Earth Pops: This alternative is still a sweet treat. It does not have any unhealthy preservatives, but I would not consider it a health food. It is simply an alternative to lolly pops with lots of unhealthy preservatives.

  • Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks: These delicious bunnies are a good alternative to gummy bears or worms with preservatives in them.


This Halloween, let’s prioritize our health and well-being by being mindful of the candies we choose to enjoy. By avoiding candies containing harmful toxins like Titanium Dioxide, TBHQ, BHT, and synthetic dyes, we can ensure that our Halloween celebrations are both fun and safe. Let’s unmask the scary truth behind these additives and make this Halloween a truly spooktacular and healthy experience for everyone!

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