Beware This Halloween – 3 Killer Candies

For some people, Halloween is the best day of the year. It is filled with horror movies, spooky decorations, costumes, and plenty of candy. The bountiful candy is delicious, but it is important to practice moderation. Too much of a good thing can be bad, this is especially true for sweets. The ingredients in some candies can cause alarming health issues. Beware eating too much of them, because it might just kill you.

Different colored licorice candies.
Licorice has a compound that can cause heart issues if too many are eaten.

Black Licorice

In ancient times, licorice was used for healing purposes for conditions such as heartburn, and bronchitis. However, in the present day, these candies have proven to be more deadly than medicinal. The compound known as glycyrrhizin is the key ingredient that causes health concerns. Not only does consuming too much licorice cause heart problems, but kidney issues as well. 

Research shows that eating two handfuls of black licorice a day for two weeks can cause abnormal heart rhythms. People in the study also experienced abnormal kidney function. The glycyrrhizin causes kidneys to create too much potassium, which causes water retention, increased blood pressure, lethargy, and heart defects. This is dangerous, especially for those with cardiovascular issues because the abnormal heartbeats licorice produces can cause a heart attack. 

Sugar-Free Candies

People living with diabetes will opt for sugar-free candies. This is a great way to enjoy some sweets without worrying about rising glucose levels. But, large amounts of  sugar-free candy can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues. The sugar substitute, sorbitol, used in sugar-free candies has fewer calories, but can cause gastrointestinal symptoms if over-consumed. You might think you are safer enjoying sorbitol instead of sugar, which is true, but only to an extent. If you eat too much, expect to be in the bathroom often. Just 10 to 50 grams of sorbitol can cause mild gas, cramps, and severe diarrhea. Beware feeding children too much of these candies as they are affected by smaller amounts.  

Candy Corn

Candy corn was voted one of the most hated candies in the U.S. Whether you hate it or love it, eating too much of it can kill you. Researchers at the American Chemical Society are warning people to consume less sugar because it can

Candy corn in a pumpkin shaped plate.
Candy corn can kill you if you eat a certain calculated amount within your bodyweight.

lead to death. In a test animal group, the lethal dose for a 50% death rate of LD50 of sugar is 13.5 grams per pound.

To figure out how much candy you can have before it kills you, simply multiply your weight by 13.5 grams of sugar. For example, if I take my weight of 126 x 13.5= 1,701. This means that the lethal dose for me would be 1,701 grams of sugar. 

Candy corn contains 1.5 grams of sugar per kernel, so about 1,627 pieces is the average lethal dose. To determine how many kernels of candy corn you actually can’t stomach, multiply your weight by 13.5 and then divide by 1.5.  So, 126 lbs x 13.5= 1,701 and then take 1,701/1.5= 1,134. So about 1,134 candy corns might kill me. 

Halloween is the second highest holiday when it comes to candy sales, raking in billions of dollars. Whether you are trick-or-treating, handing out candy, or just buying some next day discounted candy for yourself, beware of over-consumption. Too much candy and its sugar can cause heart issues, glucose issues, and eventually, death. Halloween is all about ghouls, and all things scary, but death by sugar should not be one of them.

About The Author:
Cassandra Love

With over a decade of helpful content experience Cassandra has dedicated her career to making sure people have access to relevant, easy to understand, and valuable information. After realizing a huge knowledge gap Cassandra spent years researching and working with health insurance companies to create accessible guides and articles to walk anyone through every aspect of the insurance process.

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