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Oct 24, 2007 03:21 PM

Sugary Treats For Kids (No Corn Syrup!)

I am trying to find some type of candy to hand out during Halloween that doesn't have corn syrup in it. Also, I hope that it doesn't cost $5 per candy.

Can someone recommend something?

Also, it should be good tasting and not weird looking or in a strange package...I'm a single adult and I don't want to scare the kids with strange candy!

I just want to not feed them any corn syrup (causes diabetes, obesity, etc).

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  1. Have you checked your supermarket selection? I believe you can buy little packets of doritos or cheetos -- packaged especially for Halloween.

    Some years I give out dimes.

    1. This may be too expensive, but what about those fruit packages I've seen recently? With cut apples or grapes.

      Maybe fruit roll-up type things or sugar free gum?

      1. You mean HFCS - high fructose corn syrup, right? I think that's different than regular corn syrup. The HFSC is the bad stuff.

        1. Regular corn syrup is almost completely glucose. "High fructose" corn syrup is about 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Just like sucrose (that is, sugar), which is one molecule of fructose and one molecule of glucose. You'd have a hard time convincing me that HFCS has a different effect on the body than regular sugar (there are studies showing fructose is worse than glucose, which many people confuse with thinking that HFCS is worse than sugar). The bad thing about HFCS is just how many products they sneak it into. So if you are worried about obesity and diabetes, you should be concerned with the sugar content, in the form of regular sugar OR HFCS.

          7 Replies
          1. re: JGrey

            This is correct. The OP is misinformed about sugar being "better" than HFCS, which does not "cause" obesity or diabetes in and of it self. Both, in excess, contribute equally to those problems.

            Teaching kids healthy eating habits and moderation is the best thing to prevent diabetes/obesity. Better to not give out candy at all than to make these misleading distinctions.

            1. re: Mandymac

              It can be better for some people. HFCS (fructose) has to be processed in your liver, whereas sugar can be broken down by nearly any cell in your body. Overloading on HFCS can simply be hard on your liver (particularly for people who have liver issues to begin with). But as far as causing diabetes, well, any sugar/simple carbohydrate can contribute to that. I think the difference is that you simply can't get things sweetened with sugar anymore from a standard grocery store (e.g., Safeway), and there is SO MUCH sugar in things these days (even juices--if the first ingredient isn't HFCS, than it is the second after water; even yogurts these days--yoplait, dannon, etc.--are corn syrup sweetened) that it is hard to have an even comparison between people who eat products sweetened w/HFCS and those who eat only sugar.

              1. re: TimeMachine

                And, it's not only in sweetened products. Pretzels, bread, crackers, all seem to have it added when you go to regular stores.

                1. re: chowser

                  Yep--it totally sucks for me too because I have a nasty little digestive intolerance to corn. Basically, I can't shop in places like Safeway unless I'm only buying produce or staples like flour and certain Ben & Jerry's flavors(!). Corn is also usually the base for maltodextrin, dextrose, and malt, which essentially knocks out all processed or pre-packaged foods. It's a healthy diet though--corn intolerance; I hardly ever eat processed foods.

                  HFCS is a preservative so, in addition to it being cheaper than dirt, it is used for this reason.

                2. re: TimeMachine

                  Sorry, but scientifically, this is not so. Both sugar and HFCS are a combination of fructose and glucose. Your body breaks them down in the same way. It's not like I'm a defender of processed foods (far from it). I understand there are a lot of politics involved in the rise of one sweetener over another, but I hate seeing people toss around unscientific assertions (though I used to be one of them, until I actually looked into it).

                  1. re: Mandymac

                    I have also done a lot of research on the subject. Regarding fructose, it IS only broken down by the liver from everything I have read (and HFCS is a product where they have converted the glucose into fructose, which is sweeter, making usually a combo of fructose and sucrose--although sometimes you find an 80/20 concentration of fructose with glucose; still, a lot of fructose in there).

                    This article:
                    Says that the liver is the only organ that contains enzymes to actively metabolize fructose.

                    Another interesting one about fructose and diabetes actually:
                    Talks about the issues surrounding too much fructose in the diet and subsequent liver issues.

                    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (November 2002 Vol. 76, No. 5, 911-922) States exactly that glucose can be metabolized by every cell in your body but fructose can only be metabolized by the liver.

                    Most fructose bashing articles:

                    Yes there IS glucose on occasion in HFCS, but it is vastly overshadowed by the fructose (which in the concentrations it occurs, can cause problems). And yes fruit is good for you and contains fructose, but it also has things like fiber, which help to regulate the rate of metabolism. And glucose and fructose are absolutely NOT broken down by your body in the same way.

                    1. re: TimeMachine

                      I think you're not getting the fundamental nature of sweeteners, whether they are natural or not. BOTH sugar AND HFCS have glucose and sucrose. In HFCS, it can range from 80/20 to near even, like sugar. No matter what you consume, your body is processing both glucose and sucrose. I only point this out because people get so caught up in demonizing HFCS, they throw around false distinctions: let me not give the kids things with "unhealthy" HFCS, let me give them "healthy" sugar. Neither is healthy. No scientific study has born out this conjecture that gets thrown around that HFCS is "worse" for your body than sugar. For that matter fructose in fruit is not "healthy" either, it just happen to accompany things--vitamins, fiber, etc.--that are. That's all.

            2. it seems impossible today to find supermarket candy without corn syrup. maybe hit your local TJ's or Whole foods, maybe they have something? or maybe bags of pretzels? if you can't find anything, give out dollar bills. kids love money, although they might just by candy with it. which would defeat the purpose