Foodie Life Lessons: Too much of a good thing…

A popular sugar-free gummy candy, sold in mammoth five-pound bags on, is apparently taking the calorie-counting world by storm… And ‘storm’ is a particularly apt descriptor, in this case! Yes, these gummies are more than a trend – in fact,they’re literally a movement!

Its a classic case of The Good, The Bad and… The Runny.

The Good…

Haribo brand gummy bears are entirely sugar-free, they taste great and they come in a huge bag that almost begs you to overindulge – but without the usual sugar guilt! Many purchasers on have given them four- and five-star ratings. A win-win, right?

The Bad…

They taste great and they come in a huge bag that almost begs you to overindulge. But overindulgers will reap the wages of their sin…

The Runny…

…Because, in place of sucrose (regular white sugar), the makers of these ‘healthy’ miracle gummies use a substance called lycasin, described as a ‘sugar alcohol’ containing a fruit sugar called malitol, found naturally in apples and berries. But they use a truckload of it. What’s wrong with that? What’s right with it is also what’s wrong with it. Malitol is apparently absorbed into your system much more slowly than sucrose and other sugars and, so, is less likely to be sucked up by your metabolism and stored away as fat. Alas, that also poses problems for your digestion, as malitol’s slow absorption rate coincidentally slows the absorption of water from one’s waste stream. And that can lead to digestive issues.

Yes, in large doses, malitol acts as a very effective natural laxitive. Some reviewers of the gummies on described their experience as a gassy one while others reported full-flung explosive diarrhea. Guess it depends on how many you eat. One reviewer went so far as to characterize the sweet treats as ‘fully weaponized’! Others used terms like ‘gastrointestinal Armageddon’ and ‘The Gummy Bear Cleanse’ to describe their Haribo adventures.

The moral(s) of the story…

1. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Moderation in all things.

3. Read the label!

4. Beware of wolves in sheep’s (or gummy) clothing.

5. The Grapes of Wrath probably contain malitol.

Indulge responsibly.

~ Maggie J.


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