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Are Gummy Bears Bad For You?



Short answer

Gummy bears are basically pure sugar which causes many of the common health problems we see in today’s society. They are not a healthy snack. Even the sugar-free variety are harmful.



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Long answer

Gummy bears bring back sweet childhood memories, and who doesn’t love that kind of nostalgia? The reality is, though, that these chewy treats are loaded with sugar and are only encouraging America’s addiction to sweets.

Some say that gummy bears are actually a good snack after a workout because they are high in protein. This is true. Although some find this fact appalling: the leftover bones, cartilage, and skin from animals used to make gelatin is a good source of protein. So relatively speaking this would be the least harmful ingredient found in gummy bears. But keep in mind that the animals that were used to produce the gelatin would most likely come from overpopulated, unclean and disease-ridden farms (which are sadly very common conditions today).

Even if you were to eat gummy bears just for the protein, they still wouldn’t be good for you because of all the sugar. There are much healthier sources of protein out there.

So let’s talk more about the sugar. Corn syrup and sugar are the first ingredients for the popular gummy bear brand Haribo. What’s interesting is that statistics show that Americans are eating less fat and more sugar and the obesity rate continues to go up. This is because when sugar is processed in the body, especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), some of it turns into fat.

Here’s how:

HFCS is made from glucose and fructose. 80% of the calories from glucose are used up by the body and the rest goes to the liver, eventually becoming fat with little damage done. However, 100% of the calories from fructose go straight to the liver with other toxic wastes causing a trickle effect of negative side effects. Too much HFCS can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, obesity, insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) and a fatty liver. Fructose also blocks the brain from being able to see leptin which tells you that you’re full.

Okay, so why not try the sugar-free option of Haribo’s gummy bears since it’s the sugar that’s bad for your health? Unfortunately, there have been many disturbing complaints received from sick consumers who have tried them. They were warned from Amazon that: "This product is a sugarless/sugarfree item with ingredients that can cause intestinal distress if eaten in excess.” Many have experienced (what to them seemed unexpected) gut rumbling explosive side effects…

Why does this happen? Instead of corn syrup and sugar they use lycasin (a hydrogenated syrup). Lycasin is mostly maltitol which is not easily digested by the body, so it ferments away in our stomachs causing flatulence, bloating, tummy-rumbling and loose stool. 

Gummy bears are not a good option unless you make them yourself at home. That way you can also avoid the harmful “natural” and artificial flavors and colors as well.

Possible short-term side effects

  • hyperactivity in children
  • flatulence
  • bloating
  • tummy-rumbling
  • loose stool

Possible long-term side effects

  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • heart disease
  • obesity
  • insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes)
  • fatty liver
  • overeating
  • cancer

Ingredients to be aware of

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

SmartSweets Gummy Bears

  • Low sugar content
  • Only 110 calories
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Gluten-free snack
  • Assorted flavors
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Aubrie Robinson
Published on: 05-04-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Aubrie Robinson
Published on: 05-04-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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