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Are Nerds Bad For You?



Short answer

Nerds are heavily processed and contain artificial colors and preservatives. They should be eaten in extreme moderation, if not avoided entirely.



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Long answer

Nerds are a popular candy amongst children and are a product of the commercial giant “Nestle”. Nerds are basically pure sugar, much like most candy products and feature the ingredients dextrose, malic acid, corn syrup and a multitude of relatively unknown artificial colors and flavors. Dextrose is commonly added to refined foods as it is a cheap ingredient that is easily sourced. It is a form of sugar that is derived from nature, however, it is still refined. A diet high in both dextrose and sugary products will create an acidic environment within the body, allowing bacterial or fungal infections to thrive, therefore lowering your immune system.

Malic acid is used in Nerds as a preservative. It is also used for flavoring. While malic acid naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables and can be seen to carry some positive health effects, you have to remember it is an artificial additive when used in the production of candy. It, therefore, does not carry the same health benefits as naturally sourced malic acid. Given Nerds contain sugar, dextrose, and malic acid, all of which are detrimental to your dental health, Nerds increase the risk of tooth decay.

Corn syrup or “high fructose corn syrup” (HFCS) has been under hot debate in recent years as it has been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and a variety of other diseases. It is used as a very inexpensive sweetener and contains high levels of mercury. Mercury is a heavy metal that can build up within the body and cause adverse reactions to your memory, immune system, and vital organs. More research is currently being carried out as to the suspicion of further unfavorable chemicals being present in HFCS.

It is important to remember that all ingredients found within Nerds are made within a commercial factory and are therefore processed and man-made. Nerds contain zero nutritional qualities and should be consumed in moderation, if not skipped entirely.

Possible short-term side effects

  • nausea
  • hyperactivity in children
  • increased body acidity

Possible long-term side effects

  • tooth decay
  • weight gain
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • damage to vital organs
  • weakened immune system

Ingredients to be aware of


  • short-term energy boost

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

SmartSweets Sour Candy

  • Low Sugar (3g)
  • Only 100 Calories
  • No Artificial Sweeteners
  • Plant-Based Ingredients
  • Gluten-Free Snack
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 12-29-2015
Last updated: 11-30-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 12-29-2015
Last updated: 11-30-2023

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