Priscilla Barnes

Skittles, who doesn’t love them?

Honestly, they were my favorite candy growing up.

But recently, it’s not all rainbows for little Skittles.

Mars Wrigley North America, the maker of Skittles, is facing a lawsuit from a consumer stating that Skittles are not fit for human consumption.

What is the basis of this claim?

Skittles contain an ingredient, titanium dioxide.

Titanium dioxide is used in many foods as a whitening agent, texture agent, and preservative.

It is a known carcinogen (cancer causing agent) that the European Union has recently banned from being in food ingredients.

And this isn’t the first time in the US that our “version” of a food has many more harmful ingredients than the European version. (Check out a list of them, here.)

What’s the big deal with titanium dioxide?

Titanium Dioxide has been found to be genotoxic (among other things).

What does that mean?

It means it has the ability to damage DNA, leading to mutations in DNA, which potentially can lead to cancer.

In mice, titanium dioxide has been found to affect the gut lining and lead to inflammation.

I don’t know about you, but I have many friends, clients, and acquaintances with stomach issues (myself included). You, too, likely know someone, as well.

(Hello, 25-45 million people in the US with IBS.)

Could one factor be the ingredients in Ultra-Processed foods? Likely.

So what does this mean for you?

Should you run around grocery stores throwing away Skittles? Start fretting over the amount of Skittles you’ve consumed?

Absolutely not.


Because that’s not the real problem. Skittles are just the beginning.

Skittles are taking a beating, but they’re not the only guilty party.

Titanium Dioxide is found in: some brands of cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and many low-fat products (just to name a few).

It can be found with the label E171, or even, “natural coloring agent” as the FDA has labeled it as safe. So it’s in everything? That term is everywhere.

Studies have reported that it should be used with great care, even in “nano-size” doses.  

So let’s move forward.

Rather than freaking out, use this as a guide.

Think of how many ingredients are in foods that we consume DAILY that are not in our best interest.

Titanium dioxide really is just the tip of the iceberg.

BUT, shame on us if we don’t learn from it.

We live in a society that is immersed in toxic elements in food, beauty products, and air pollution.

Pro tip: Eat real food.

Avoid toxic products to the best of your ability. BUT, know it is impossible to completely avoid these all together.

The most important part is to support YOUR body's detoxification process - your liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, gut health, etc.

As much as toxins have the potential to cause health issues, our bodies also have the potential to reverse damage. It’s phenomenal.

How do you do this?

Eat a diet that promotes life.

Eat macro-balanced, healthy sources of fat, protein, and carbohydrates to the best of your ability.

Focus on daily movement.

Focus on decreasing inflammation.

Focus on stress management.

And one more thing: embrace the mentality that all foods don’t fit.

Promoting this belief of “all foods fit” is perpetually blinding people of one truth: food choices might be the cause of many health concerns.

In the name of being inclusive, and promoting food freedom, would you eat a giant bag of Skittles, knowing what you know now?

Rather, focus on including more whole food sources and balance in your life. It will help you heal your mind and your body.

Need help finding balance? Want to start a health journey to hit your goals and prevent disease? Apply to work with me.

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