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Wait...can Skittles kill you?!

Skittles: the sweet and fruity alternative to M&M's. But could the rainbow candies secretly be harming you? A class-action lawsuit filed on July 14 claimed that Skittles contain a known toxin (aka titanium dioxide) and are "unfit for human consumption." Um, yikes! So what exactly does that mean for your health (and your pantry)? We're breaking it all down.

Why is titanium dioxide dangerous?

Titanium dioxide is a chemical compound used as a color additive in lots of food products, cosmetics and plastics. Skittles uses the substance to make those signature rainbow hues. But some experts have raised questions about its safety. Several studies have linked the chemical to an increased risk of inflammatory conditions, organ damage and even cancer (scary, right?).

The compound is banned in food in the European Union—but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration still deems it safe, as long as it doesn't exceed 1% of the food's weight.

Bottom line? Experts can't seem to agree on whether the additive is definitively harmful. But given that there aren't any health benefits to titanium dioxide, your best bet is to limit your consumption of it.

What can I eat instead?

You don't have to totally write off Skittles for good, but think about making some simple swaps. To avoid titanium dioxide, select sweets that don't contain added coloring—or that are naturally colored with fruits or veggies. Peep our fave all-natural options below!

Organic Giggles Candy Bites


YumEarth Organic Giggles Candy Bites, Thrive Market, $4.49

If you want the perfect Skittles dupe the same price, these gummies are exactly what you need. Not only do they have similar flavors, but there are also no artificial dyes. And they're gluten-free and organic. Win!

Organic Mango and Guava Whole Fruit Gummies


Organic Mango & Guava Whole Fruit Gummies, Solely, $7.99

Want a softer candy? These gummies have a unique, tropical flavor. There are no added sugars or colorings, and they're vegan. 

Low Sugar Candy Bites


Gummy Bears, Project 7, $23.99

If you're a quick snacker, these are the snack for you. These plant-based gummies are chewy and delicious—with only three grams of sugar. We love to see it!

Want some more healthy eating tips? Check these out: 
🍋4 protein-packed breakfasts to wake up your brain
🍋5 plant-based breakfast ideas to start your day right
🍋Cowboy caviar is a thing — and we're kind of obsessed

What's your fave healthy sweet treat? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

Slider image: Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash
Top image: Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash
All GIFs via GIPHY

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by Taylor Hancock | 7/29/2022
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