Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Are Twizzlers Bad For You?

Also Known As: red ropes



Short answer

Yes, Twizzlers are bad for you. They are full of sugar and artificial color and flavoring, like many candies. They are not dangerous to consume in low amounts, but should not remain a staple in the weekly diet.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

It is no secret that candy is not an ideal treat to snack on, but some are definitely better than others.  Twizzlers are not much different from other non-chocolate candies.  A serving size is six Twizzlers.  In those six, you will find 18 grams of sugar, 95 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, and .5 grams of fat.  Six Twizzlers can go by quickly, especially since they are not as sweet as other candies—so the average person will likely consume, at minimum two servings.  Sugar is a large concern because of its propensity to cause inflammation in the body, resulting in a multitude of other ailments. Though it is difficult to avoid entirely, it is advantageous to limit sugar content as much as possible.  In addition to inflammation, the large increase of sugary foods significantly contribute to the rise in obesity.  Dentists are not a fan of Twizzlers because not only are they full of sugar, but their sticky nature makes them likely to stick to the teeth and even hide between teeth.

Another lurking enemy to the body is Red dye #40.  This artificial color shows up in a lot of candies, foods, and beverages.  Research has strongly correlated Red dye #40 with hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), allergic reactions, and moodiness. It is also a known carcinogen.

The Twizzlers’ label includes “artificial flavoring” on the ingredients list. There is not any specific information regarding the ingredients.  However, we know that it is “fake flavoring”.  That generally means a chemical is created in a lab to give a specific taste, such as strawberry. The chemical is mixed with the other ingredients to create the tasty treat. It should be no surprise that there are no crushed up strawberries inside Twizzlers, just “pretend strawberries.”

On the positive side, Twizzlers is processed in a plant that is free of peanuts and tree nut products.  Unfortunately, so many products are made in plants that also process these high allergens, that it those who are allergic are limited in the candies (or foods) they can enjoy.

Twizzlers have similar nutritional data to other candies in its class. For those of us that have a relentless sweet tooth, a few Twizzlers will likely not be catastrophic.  However, Twizzlers should be consumed in as a treat, not a daily snack.   

Possible short-term side effects

  • hyperactivity
  • fatigue
  • allergic reactions
  • bodily inflammation

Possible long-term side effects

  • cancer
  • obesity
  • cavities
  • add/adhd

Ingredients to be aware of

Healthier alternatives

  • organic fruit ropes
  • organic fruit strips
  • whole fruit

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

YumEarth Organic Licorice

  • Allergy friendly
  • Gluten-free treat
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Vegan snack
  • No artificial additives
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 04-21-2016
Last updated: 11-30-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 04-21-2016
Last updated: 11-30-2023

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