If you're like most people, you love eating gummy bears. They're small, delicious, and probably the cutest candy around!
It's also easy to buy them in bulk without overthinking the future consequences — which are usually only visible after you finish the entire bag in one sitting.
And no, we're not talking about gaining weight. These sweet treats can actually cause negative physical reactions that are more severe than just having to squeeze into your jeans again.
This article discusses the side effects of eating too many gummy bears before you decide to binge on this tasty treat.
We'll also be sharing some better alternatives to this gelatin-filled deliciousness.
Let's get to it!
What are Gummy bears?
Gummy bears, as the name suggests, are tiny bear-shaped gummy candies similar to jelly babies.
They are popular gelatin-based chewable sweets available in different forms and colours.
Haribo, one of the world's leading manufacturers of gummy sweets, was the first company to create Gummy Bears.
Every day, Haribo produces 160 million Goldbears — one of the company's most popular gummy bears.
Ingredients used in producing Gummy Bears
Here are the ingredients used in the production of Haribo Gummy Bears
Glucose syrup is created by hydrolyzing sugar molecules in starchy foods such as wheat or corn, producing a concentrated, sweet liquid with a very high glucose concentration.
Glucose syrup serves mainly as a sweetener and thickening.
Glucose syrup has long been the go-to ingredient for food makers. They contribute to the soft, chewy feel of Haribo Gold bears.
Each serving (13 gummy bears) contains 14 grams of sugar, equivalent to three and a half sugar cubes.
That may not seem like a lot, but it may quickly mount up, especially if you consume more than 13 gummies in one session, which most of us usually do.
The American Heart Association recommends that males take no more than 36 grams of added sugar daily, and women consume no more than 25 grams.
Citric acid occurs naturally in citrus fruits and is often added to foods to prolong their shelf life.
Citric acid helps to give Haribo gummy bears their tart nature.
Beeswax is added at the end of the manufacturing process to make the gummy bears shiny and prevent them from sticking together in the bag.
The only difference between white and yellow beeswax is the filtration process, which produces various colours: Yellow beeswax is closer to the natural colour of beeswax.
Carnauba wax is used in the same way as beeswax. The glossy appearance of Haribo gummy bears is due to a glazing agent.
Natural and Artificial Flavours
Natural flavours are produced from actual food sources, whereas artificial flavours are chemical compounds synthesised in a laboratory that mimic a natural flavour in some way.
These flavours might be a bit unhealthy. However, studies have shown that artificial flavours cause no harm as they are usually consumed in minute quantities.
Fruit flavours available in Haribo Gold bears include apple, strawberry, raspberry, orange, lemon, and pineapple.
The specifics of these tastes are strictly protected.
To achieve the various colours in its gummy bears, Haribo employs a mix of FDA-approved colour additives: Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 1.
Gelatin is obtained from various animal tissues — flesh, bones, and cartilage.
It is a kind of collagen, a protein present in connective tissues throughout the body.
When producing gummy bears, gelatin causes collagen molecules to release, spread out, and bond together to transform what would otherwise be a syrupy liquid into a wiggly solid.
Gelatin is responsible for the chewy texture of Haribo gummy bears.
Can I eat too many Gummy Bears?
Yes! Just four gummies containing 10 mg of niacin per serving can put you at the OD level, above which you could experience flushing, burning, red, tingling sensation on the skin, nausea, or vomiting.
Excessive intake of iron can cause stomach pains and convulsions or some other fatal health issues at worst.
More than 3.5 servings of gummy bears per day would lead to a poor diet.
Even when consumed in moderation, foods containing substances like wheat and corn syrup are not very healthy.
Eating too many Gummy Bears - side effects
Eating too many gummy bears places you at risk of several health problems.
Gummy bears are almost entirely made of sugar.
A serving of gummy bears (approximately 17 or 18 pieces) contains about 21 and 22 grams of sugar.
That quantity of sugar is equivalent to 5.25 to 5.5 teaspoons.
The American Heart Association recommends that women limit their daily sugar intake to 6 teaspoons and males to 9 teaspoons.
Consuming more sugar than that raises your chances of obesity and heart disease.
According to research, taking too much sugar causes inflammation and high blood pressure.
Fructose also prevents the brain from seeing leptin, which informs you when you're full, leading to overeating and obesity in the long run.
Gummy bears, according to some, are great for a post-workout snack since they are high in protein. This is correct.
Although some people find this shocking, the leftover bones, cartilage, and skin from animals used to manufacture gelatin are good protein sources.
So, regarding safety, this is the least dangerous ingredient in gummy bears.
However, remember that the animals used to manufacture the gelatin were most likely sourced from overcrowded, filthy, and disease-ridden farms, which are unfortunately all too common today.
It is also very advisable to go for other protein sources out there because the sugar content contained in Gummy Bears is terrible for your health.
Vitamins and minerals
A serving of gummy bears has no vitamins or minerals such as iron, calcium, or vitamin C. When you eat gummy bears, you're still getting calories, between 110 and 140 per serving.
This means you'll have less room in your diet for more healthy items like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Short-term effects of Gummy Bears
Here are the short-term effects of Gummy Bears:
- Hyperactivity in children
Long-term effects of Gummy Bears
Here are the long-term effects of Gummy Bears:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Insulin sensitivity (type 2 diabetes)
- Fatty liver
Healthier Gummy Bears Alternatives
Gummy bears won't harm your health or your diet if you take them as a treat rather than as a regular meal.
If you do decide to eat something gummy, it's much better to go for gummy vitamins instead.
It is also crucial that you go for healthy brands like Chewwies.
Chewwies is a natural, nutritious alternative to Haribo.
Sugar, gelatine, alcohol, gluten, dairy, allergies, artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives are all absent from each pack of Chewwies gummy.