Let's be honest, there are few things better than enjoying a frozen treat on a hot summer day! Though popsicles are often touted as a 'healthy' treat since they are low in calories, they aren't exactly the ideal treat they are made out to be. Commercially made popsicles have many less than desirable ingredients such as:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup/Corn Syrup: Often the main ingredient, talk about HFCS has been everywhere in recent years. Corn syrup provides absolutely not nutritional value, it is just sugar. In addition, fructose is metabolized in the body differently than glucose. Fructose is metabolized by the liver so often won't raise blood sugar levels as much as glucose but can affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels and deposit as fat. Corn byproducts such as syrup are often sourced from GMO crops and corn is a major allergen.
- Artificial Colours: Read food dyes. These are found in many, if not almost all, processed foods, but did you know they are usually derived from petroleum by-products or coal tar? Sound appetizing? They have also been linked to behaviour issues in children. You can read a bit more about food colouring here.
- Natural and Artificial Flavours: "Flavours are complex mixtures that sometimes comprise more than 100 chemicals. In addition to flavours themselves, these mixtures contain chemicals that have other functions. Solvents, emulsifiers, flavour modifiers and preservatives often make up 80-90% of the mixture. The main difference between a natural and artificial flavour is the origin of the flavour chemicals. Natural flavours must be derived from plant or animal material. Artificial flavours are synthesized in the lab. The actual chemicals in theses two kinds of flavours may be exactly the same: the chemical structures of the individual molecules may be indistinguishable.- EWG.org " Yum??
- Sugar, Sugar: Popsicles provide little more than sugar. Sure, some have added Vitamin C supplemented in, but aside from that they provide zero protein, zero fat and zero nutrition.