Every grocery store, department store and pharmacy has at least one aisle jam packed with candy as corporate America attempts to cash in on Halloween at the expense of our children’s health.
If recent history has shown us anything, it’s that we can’t rely on the food industry to develop healthier options, and we can’t rely on the government to step in and regulate foods and ingredients that are killing us.
So who can we rely on?
Meet Nicky Bronner. The day after he went trick-or-treating, the then-13-year-old awoke to the ultimate post-Halloween nightmare – most of his candy was repossessed by his father. Nicky decided to prove to his father that the candy wasn’t very unhealthy, but his research awakened him to just how bad candy is – much worse than he thought.
Nicky learned that most of the junk in candy is there to make candy cheaper and give it a longer shelf life, not make it taste better.
Nicky set out to prove that candy could taste better without the junk and high sugar levels. He was determined to find a chef who would be willing to take on this challenge.
Nobody was willing. His older brother, Kris, led him to a New England food science professor, who referred him to a chef in Spain named Adam. Adam loved the idea.
Adam collaborated with a group of European chefs in an attempt to reinvent the most popular candy as he and Nicky sought to “unjunk the world,” and UNREAL candy was born.
The first step was to cut out the junk – corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The second step was to reduce sugar by 50 percent per serving.
Junk has been replaced by ingredients like cacao, real caramel, and more protein and fiber from natural whole foods, resulting in a lower glycemic index, and coloring now comes from mostly vegetable juices.
As for sugar, they’re up to a 40-48 percent reduction, and they’re committed to keep going until they get to 50 percent. Because there are no preservatives, UNREAL candy will go bad after a certain period of time, as all natural, unprocessed food should.
The great story here is that a 13-year-old had the initiative and the responsibility to lead the charge in developing healthier candy. The sad story is that this 13-year-old has shown more initiative and responsibility than the food industry and government combined – and he had to go to Europe to find help with his cause.
I want you to enjoy Halloween and have fun trick-or-treating. I don’t expect you to reinvent your favorite candy bar. All I ask is that you use good judgment when you give out and consume treats, and share the UNREAL story with your kids. This is the year of our family. If we’re going to take back our health, looking for UNREAL candy and other healthier treats would be a great start. You can find UNREAL here at their Amazon Shop and in many local stores.
What healthy treats do you give to trick-or-treaters on Halloween?
Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician and health educator who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise for the past two decades has been in physical rehabilitation, and he has successfully established himself as a spinal specialist. In his practice, he advocates the science of functional medicine, which takes an integrative approach to treating patients by addressing their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs. Alarmed by the escalation of complex, chronic illness in our country, Dr. Proodian has been speaking to companies and organizations through his “Wellness at Work” program since 1994, motivating thousands of people to make positive lifestyle choices and lead healthier, more productive lives. He can be heard weekly on his radio program, “Proodian Healthcare By Design,” on Tandem Radio.