Yes, Lucas candy is bad for you. Not only does it contain high amounts of sugar (like most other candies), but it also contains high levels of sodium and possibly even lead.
There really is nothing good about a candy which is sometimes snorted, causing nasal lining damage. A product of the Mexican division of Mars Candies, the ingredients in Lucas are (in order from most prevalent to least): sugar, salt, citric acid, chili powder, silicon dioxide, maltodextrin, and coloring (Yellow 5 Lake and Yellow 6 Lake). Perhaps the only ingredient on that list which could be argued to provide any health benefits is the chili powder. Unfortunately, the other ingredients negate any positive effects it may have, other than a contribution of vitamin A (there is 2% of the daily value in one package).
While you will find vitamin A, which helps boost the immune system, the 2% present in one package comes at the cost of over 900 mg of sodium and well over 10 grams of sugar. An excess consumption of sodium can lead to problems ranging from headaches to heart attack and stroke. Excess sugar can lead to weight gain (despite the lack of fat or cholesterol in Lucas), type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Added sugars have also been linked to various cancers and can act as a food source for harmful microorganisms.
Citric acid, while generally considered to be safe by the FDA, can cause a sore throat, cough, and/or shortness of breath in some people, along with the potential to erode tooth enamel over a prolonged period of time. The artificial colors (Yellows 5 and 6 Lake) have been implicated in childhood hyperactivity, upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting.
A final concern is lead, which according to some, is being phased out of Lucas. Due to us not being able to find any definitive source stating it actually has been phased out, erring on the side of caution is the best way to go. Among the many effects lead poisoning can have, a few include brain damage, kidney damage, and stunted growth.
Possible short-term side effects
- hyperactivity in children
- nausea / vomiting
- blood sugar spike
Possible long-term side effects
- weight gain
- heart disease
- lead poisoning
Ingredients to be aware of
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Written by Jeff Volling | 01-05-2016
Written by Jeff Volling
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