Sour gummy bears happen to be a popular snack for a lot of adults and most especially kids. They are tiny, sour fruit gummy candies, almost like a jelly baby as known in certain English-speaking nations. They are usually in 5 flavors. The pineapple flavor has no color, while the orange flavor takes on the orange color. Raspberry flavor, on the other hand, is red and the lemon flavor is yellow. The strawberry flavor gummy bear has a green color. Sour gummy bears are two centimeters long and take on a bear’s shape.
One good thing about gummy bears is that they usually don’t contain much fat. That is even if they contain any fat at all. More so, the gelatin in them contains some protein. However, they may not be so healthy because of the high amounts of sugar that they contain. Experts have made considerable progress in the technology of making gummy bears for those who love the snack. Now we have gummy vitamins. Experts made this option to encourage vitamin consumption since the product is very palatable. A growing number of vitamin brands now make gummy varieties of their nutrient supplements. Well, let’s talk about gummy bears, their nutrition profile, and how they may impact your health.
Nutrition Facts of Sour Gummy Bears
It would be a lie to say that gummy bears are very healthy snacks. Let’s be honest here. They contain too many sugars. But then, you can make your homemade gummy bears with healthier ingredients.
The primary ingredients in gummy bears include sugar, glucose syrup (usually from corn or wheat), gelatin, and dextrose. They also contain flavorings (natural and artificial). Some manufacturers list the same ingredients for all their gummy bear varieties. However, these varieties often have different flavors and colors.
One serving size of gummy bears (Haribo Gold-bears to be precise) is about 13 pieces and weighs 30 grams. You will get 100 calories from this serving size, as well as 23g carbs and 2g protein.
Of the 23g carbs, sugars account for a whopping 14 grams. This means you will be getting more than 1g of sugar from each piece. This is quite high.
If you eat halal or kosher, you can get gummy bears that fit into your diet. Some gummy bears meet the standards of halal and kosher. Some can even fit into a vegetarian diet because they make use of starch instead of animal gelatin.
However, there are no vegan gummy bears. This is because these products need beeswax for them to have the typical gummy texture.
Health Concerns with Gummy Bears
Like every other candy, a sour gummy bear has good and bad effects. To start with, they contain vitamin-C, which is very good for our health. You need this amazing vitamin for many vital functions in the body.
Gummy bears, however, could be very sticky. That’s what makes them “gummy”, isn’t it? But then, when they stick to your teeth, they may promote tooth decay. Anyways, gummy bears also contain xylitol. This additive helps to combat cavities.
More so, the proteins in gummy bears are negligible. Essentially, they are nothing but empty calories. Anyways, most other junk foods are worse than gummy bears.
You are still likely to be within FDA’s recommended sugar limits even after eating multiple servings. For many junk foods, only 1 serving would break the limits. But if you consume gummy bears above 3.5 servings in a day, it would already be unhealthy and could damage your health.
Products that contain ingredients, such as corn syrup and wheat syrup are quite dangerous for your health. This has nothing to do with moderation. Even if you are moderate about their consumption, they are still no good. They can increase your risk of cardiovascular problems.
How about if you find a sugar-free variety? That should solve the problem with sugar, right? Let’s see if the sugar-free varieties are any better.
The sugar-free variety of gummy bears contains lycasin, a product of maltitol. If you buy this variety, you would not be consuming too much sugar consumption. More so, maltitol does not contain as many calories as sugar. But it creates another problem.
The human body will not process maltitol the same way it processes sugar. Your body may not even be able to fully digest this sugar alcohol. So while sugar alcohols might be okay in minimal amounts, if you consume too much, they may give you some GI side effects.
In fact, if you consume so much sugar alcohol, it will pass through your body in one fell sweep. This can cause adverse effects like diarrhea, cramps, and bloating. This is why the FDA insists that any food that uses sugar alcohols may include warning label(s) on their package.
Aside from maltitol, other sugar alcohols include:
The first time gummy bears entered the American marketplace was in 1982. That was when Haribo began operating in the country. Their factory was in Baltimore. But you can also find the same product in different other shapes aside from bears.
Before there was any gummy bear in America, there were already gummy “worms”. These worm-like candies intrigued kids but it grossed out many parents. Bears, on the other hand, are considered to be classic.
Worldwide, people now enjoy gummy candies in various shapes, flavors, and sizes. The candies are both chewy and flavorful. And some will say that they are quite addicting. Producers are so confident that they say their annual production can go round the globe 4 times if lined tail to tail.
If you want to enjoy this snack, you should be moderate about it. But if you have a condition that necessitates that you avoid added sugars, sour gummy bears might not be good for you. Health-conscious adults should avoid gummy bears or eat them only once in a while and moderately too. The added sugars (or sugar alcohols) in it are the major problems. They may cause serious side effects.