The Truth About The Colorful Snacks Your Kids Love

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When you hear the word petroleum, the first thing you think about is probably gasoline for your car. But what if we told you that there are many petroleum-based products in some of the most popular foods that kids (and adults) love to eat?

We’re not here to judge, but we are here to educate. Countless studies have found that behavioral problems and chronic health conditions in kids are often linked to their diets. Sure, high sugar foods can make kids act out of sorts and cause illness. You already knew that. But the truth is that it’s about far more than just the sugar.

Artificial dyes in popular foods, many of which are marketed to kids, are actually a primary cause of behavior challenges and chronic illness, and most of these problem-causing dyes are made from petroleum.

If you didn’t know that, you’re not alone. Let’s take a look at some other foods that contain petroleum and the concerns that the ingestion of these products brings about.

Petroleum-Based Foods

Anything with artificial food dyes is likely to contain petroleum. More specifically, Blue #1, Blue #2, Yellow #5, and Red #40 are almost always petroleum-based. These dyes are commonly found in candy (such as dum dums and M&Ms), pop tarts, fruit snacks, Cheetos, many beverages like sports drinks and sodas, breakfast cereals, baked goods, yogurt, jello, pickles, honey, mustard, pudding, gum, popsicles, and much more. Additionally, many of these petroleum-based products can be found in cosmetics, mouthwashes, and medicines.

The Problem with Petroleum

Since petroleum is primarily used to power our vehicles, it shouldn’t shock you that it’s not good for you to consume it in food or beverages. But more than just the sheer gross factor involved, petroleum-based products have shown to be quite toxic to the human body, disrupting normal functions and causing a great deal of dysfunction in various bodily systems.

Ingestion of petroleum-based products can cause obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity/ADHD. These products have also been linked to headaches, insomnia, asthma, hives, eczema, allergies, and hypersensitivity. They have also been linked to cancer, chromosomal damage, and cellular dysfunction. Some studies have found that when rats consume these types of products, they bring about tumors and abnormal cell development in the lab rats.

Identifying Petroleum-Based Foods

Now that you know the dangers of consuming these products, it’s important to be on the lookout for them. That way, you can make safer food choices and empower and educate your children to do the same. As previously mentioned, many of the colored dyes are petroleum-based:

  • Yellow #5
  • Yellow #6
  • Blue #1
  • Blue #2
  • Red #3
  • Red #40

Other names that these products or other petroleum-based products go by include the following:

  • methyl benzoate
  • ethyl methylphenylglicidate
  • E127 or Erythrosine
  • tertiary butylhydroquinone or TBHQ

Generally speaking, anything that states “artificial color added” or something similar contains one of these petroleum-based products. It is best to avoid them for yourself and your kids to minimize behavioral issues, headaches, health problems, and chronic conditions.

If you have any more questions about the impact these products can have on your body and your health, get in touch with Greater Life Chiropractic to learn more about how to help your body function at its best. Dr. Grant Lisetor is a chiropractor in Charlotte who is passionate about educating his community about the many benefits of chiropractic care and how to live the greatest and healthiest life possible. Contact Greater Life Chiropractic to set up your consultation today.


Arnold, L.E., Lofthouse, N., Hurt, E. “Artificial Food Colors and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Symptoms: Conclusions to Dye For.” Neurotherapeutics, 2012 Jul; 9(3): 599-609.

Seltenrich, N. “Food dyes linked to attention and activity problems in children.” Environmental Health News.


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