Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Truth About Your Food - Skittles

Continuing with my series, The Truth About Your Food (see Doritos)...

What's Really in Original Skittles...1 pack = 250 calories, 2.5g fat (saturated), 47g sugar
They're sweet, chewy and brightly colored. Now, what are they? Well, the basic formula for each chewy neon orb is a gross mashup of sugar, corn syrup and hydrogenated palm kernal oil. That explains why every gram of fat is saturated and each package has more sugar than two twin-wrapped packages of Peanut Butter Twix.

So, those three ingredients plus a few extra fillers are basically all it takes to get the general consistency and flavor, but to achieve that color spectrum, Skittles brings in a whole new list of additives. When a Skittles ad tells you to "taste the rainbow", what it is really telling you to do is taste the laboratory-constructed amalgam of nine artificial colors, many of which have been linked to behavioral and attention-deficit problems in children, which prompted the Center for Science in the Public Interest to petition the FDA for mandatory labels on artificially colored products. The FDA's response: we need more tests.

In the meantime, there's a very large-scale test going on all across the country, and every Skittles eater is an unwilling participant. And that doesn't even factor in the blood-sugar roller coaster you go on when you ingest a Skittle's bag worth of sugar.

David Zinczenko


  1. I loved your doritos post and talked to my kids about it - their response... "but they taste so good". I think it is the same with skittles - they are bad for you, you know they are bad for you, but kids love them because they are full of sugar. This is always where I hope we can mostly do well in other areas, so occasional skittles eating will not be the worst thing in the world. I get more worked up about things that are trying to claim they healthy but are really full of preservatives/GMO's,MSG, etc. At least w/Skittles, I'm expecting them to be bad!

  2. Hi Kim! LOL! I totally understand! We live by the 80/20 rule at our house - 80% of the time we eat clean, wholesome food that is good for us, 20% of the time we eat the best we can with an occasional item that is on the Do Not Eat list.