Are Smarties Healthy? The Truth Behind Iconic Candy

Smarties are a popular type of candies produced by Smarties Candy Company since 1949. 

These are small, disk-shaped candies that come in a variety of colors, typically packaged in a cylindrical roll wrapper.

These candies are a staple in many childhood memories and are still loved by many candy lovers.

And while they taste fantastic and are undeniably addictive, are Smarties healthy?

Short answer: Smarties are not healthy as they lack nutrition value, contain added sugar and are loaded with artificial flavors and colors.

Read on to find out more about Smarties, including their ingredients and why they are bad for you.

Also read: Are Peanut M&Ms Healthy? The Truth About These Candies

What are Smarties made up of?

The Smarties are made up of Dextrose, Citric acid, Calcium stearate, Natural & Artificial flavors and Artificial colors.

Dextrose is a simple sugar derived from corn. 

Citric acid provides a tangy twist to the candies. 

Calcium stearate act as a flow agent and maintains the smooth texture of the candies.

Moreover, the blend of Natural & Artificial flavors provides an irresistible taste. 

And lastly, the rainbow of colors is achieved through artificial food colorings such as Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6 and blue 2.

Each Smarties Candy roll contains multiple candies, usually around 10 to 15 pieces.

Furthermore, Smarties are free of common allergens like peanuts, gluten, and dairy.

4 Reasons Smarties are not healthy

Smarties rolls

1. Contain added sugar

Each serving of Smarties, which is one roll(7g), contains 6g of sugar. That’s about 20% of the daily sugar limit for men and 25% for women.

The sugar in Smarties comes primarily from dextrose, which is a simple sugar derived from corn.

While 6g may not seem like a very high amount of sugar, it’s worth noting that Smarties are quite highly addictive.

Once you start munching on them, stopping at only one roll can be challenging. And you may end up consuming 2 or more.

Even if you consume 2 Smarties rolls throughout the day, it will provide approximately 40% of the recommended daily sugar limit for adults and 50% for children.

It’s strongly established that excess sugar intake can result in various health issues, such as,

  • Weight gain
  • Tooth decay
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease

2. Contain artificial colors

After sugar, another big reason that makes Smarties bad for your health is the artificial colors in them.

Smarties contain artificial colors like Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue 2. 

While these colors improve the visual appeal of the candies, they have been linked with various health issues.

For example, Red 40, or Allura Red AC, has been associated with allergic reactions, including hives, asthma, watery eyes, and skin irritation[1].

It also has been found to contain benzene which is a cancer-causing substance.

Moreover, colors like Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 have been found to be contaminated with carcinogens like benzidine and p-Cresidine. 

On the other hand, Blue 2 has been shown to cause hypersensitivity reactions, particularly in children. [2].

So don’t be surprised if your kiddo gets hyper after regularly consuming these candies.

3. Contain artificial flavors

While all artificial flavors are not necessarily harmful or unhealthy to consume, some may be, especially those undisclosed by the food companies.

Smarties contain artificial flavors, but what and how many are used is not disclosed.

This makes it difficult to assess their potential health effects.

If you are someone with specific dietary restrictions or sensitivities, it might be a concern for you to eat Smarties.

4. Zero nutritional value

Smarties are among the less nutritious when it comes to candies.

They have no protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Now, some people might wonder who eats candy for nutrition.

I understand that not all foods need to be nutrient powerhouses, and sometimes people simply enjoy candies for their taste and fun factor.

However, there is no bad if candies provide some extra vitamins and minerals.

But unfortunately, Smarties don’t fall into that category.

Are Smarties good for weight loss?

Smarties may not be the best choice for weight loss. While they are small and relatively low in calories, they primarily consist of sugar and provide no nutritional value.

Additionally, they are addictive, which increases the risk of consuming multiple servings. This may hinder your weight loss efforts.

However, if you stick yourself to only serving and that too occasionally, they might not impact your weight.

Remember that weight loss does not depend only on one food but on your overall diet and lifestyle.

Are Smarties vegan?

Smarties are vegan as they do not contain any animal-based ingredients. 

In addition, they are also peanut, gluten and dairy-free.

Are there better alternatives to Smarties?

It’s pretty clear now that Smarties are not healthy for you.

And you might be feeling a bit disappointed, especially if they were your favorite candies.

However, there’s no need to worry. 

I’ve got you covered with a list of alternative candies that are much better for your health.

The candies on this list are not only lower in sugar than Smarties but also free from artificial colors.

1. Unreal Milk Chocolate Gems

Unreal milk chocolate gems are made from natural ingredients (milk chocolate) and are a good source of protein, with 3g per serving. 

In addition, they are packed with several other nutrients, such as sodium, calcium, iron and potassium.

Although they contain sugar (14g per 30g serving), it’s still less than what you’d find in Smarties.

2. Lily’s Sweets Gummy Bears

Lily’s gummy bears are made primarily from soluble corn fiber, making them a great source of dietary fiber with 25g in a 50g serving. 

They have no added sugar and are sweetened with allulose and stevia extract. 

If you’re looking for a sweet option to satisfy your cravings(without sugar), these gummy bears are a good choice. 

3. Smart sweets caramel

Smart sweets caramel are chewy candies made from coconut cream. These candies are a good source of fiber, with 15g per serving(45g). 

These candies are extremely low in sugar, containing just 1g. 

Furthermore, they contain no artificial ingredients such as colors, flavors, or preservatives.

4. Numa banana cream taffy

Numa banana cream taffy are creamy, chewy candies primarily made from rice syrup and milk powder.

They are a good source of protein with 4g per serving, and are packed with several vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, vitamins A, C etc.

Although these candies contain 8g of sugar per serving(26g), it’s still less than what you’d find in Smarties. 

The best part is everything is natural in these candies.

Final words

Smarties might be favorite candy for many due to their terribly good taste, but they are not a healthy choice.

They lack nutritional value, contain added sugar and are loaded with artificial flavors and colors.

If consumed on a regular basis, they can increase the risk of various health issues (especially for children).

While no candy is indeed 100% healthy, you can always look for better alternatives.

Eating Smarties won’t make you smart.

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Yatender is the founder of Investohealth! He provides thoroughly researched, unbiased reviews analyzing packaged foods' ingredients, nutrition, and health impacts. Join him on a quest for healthier, more informed eating habits.

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