Are Twizzlers Keto-Friendly?

twizzlers keto calories

Twizzlers are a favorite treat among many, but is this licorice candy Keto friendly?  Twizzlers are high in sugar and clock in at 36 grams of carbs in just 4 sticks. This candy is not a good option for those following the Keto diet.

How Many Carbs are in Twizzlers?

There are 36 grams of carbs and 19 grams of sugar in just 4 sticks of Twizzlers candy.  One stick of the candy contains 9 grams of carbs. 

How Many Calories are in Twizzlers?

There are 160 calories in a 4 sticks serving of Twizzlers candy; which equates to 40 calories per stick. Twizzlers make a better suited candy option for those following a calorie reduction plan or a low fat diet, rather than a low carb diet, like Keto.

Origin of Twizzlers Candy

The original manufacturer of Twizzlers candy, Young and Smylie is one of the oldest confectionery firms in the United States. The company established Y&S as its trademark in 1870.  In 1902, it became National Licorice Company through the merger of the following firms: Young & Smylie, S.V. & F.P. Schudder and H.W. Petherbridge.

A new plant was opened in Montreal in 1908 and then in 1929 the Twizzler brand was founded.  In 1968, the company changed its name again to Y&S Candies Inc., which was acquired by Hershey Foods in 1977.  

From 1970 through 1999, the candy was made at a plant in New Mexico, but moved the operation to Memphis.  Since 1999, all Twizzlers licorice candy are manufactured at their Memphis and Lancaster locations.

Nutrition Facts

The nutritional breakdown of this candy product is comprised of 3% fat, 3% protein, 2% iron and a whopping 94% carbohydrates. 

Twizzlers candy is essentially devoid of nutrients, with the exception of trace amounts of protein, fat and iron.  The carbohydrates in this candy come from corn syrup, wheat flour, and sugar.  Just 4 sticks of the candy contain 19 grams of sugar.  In addition to the exorbitant amount of sugar, Twizzlers are also loaded with unhealthy artificial coloring and flavoring.

Twizzlers Ingredients

Strawberry Twizzlers Twists

Corn syrup, wheat flour, sugar, cornstarch, contains 2% or less of palm oil, salt, artificial flavor, glycerin, citric acid, potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial color (red 40), and soy lecithin.

Black Licorice Twizzlers Twists

Corn syrup, enriched wheat flour (flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid), sugar, cornstarch, contains 2% or less of: licorice extract, palm oil, salt, natural and artificial flavor, glycerin, potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial color (red 40, blue 1), caramel color, sulfur dioxide, mineral oil, soy lecithin.

Medicinal Benefits of Black Licorice

Because of its beneficial effects, the licorice root has been dubbed a medicinal plant.  The benefits of licorice candy depend on whether the candy contains real licorice root from the licorice plant. Red licorice candy never contains actual licorice root, but sometimes this substance is contained in black licorice.   However, most licorice candy in North America consists of mainly sugar and artificial coloring and has no real health benefits.  

Black licorice made from real licorice root or extract can have significant health benefits, but it may also carry certain health risks. Ask your doctor about the potential hazards of eating large amounts of real licorice root or taking licorice supplements.

The active ingredient which occurs naturally in the licorice plant and in licorice extract is called Glycyrrhizin – not to be confused with glycerin. Black Licorice Twizzlers contain a very trace amounts of licorice extract and the glycyrrhizin levels are well below the U.S. FDA’s limits.  Glycyrrhizin may also be found in higher amounts in other black licorice candies that are manufactured in other continents.

Believe it or not, licorice has a long history of medicinal use in both Eastern and Western hemispheres to treat stomach problems, from ulcers to indigestion. Real licorice may help soothe sore throats, treat respiratory infections and relieve oral cancer sores in the mouth.  When ground down and used as a body cream, licorice root may help heal skin conditions like eczema.  

Licorice root or licorice extract could even help you lose weight.  A study conducted in Japan in which subjects were given from 300 to 900 milligrams of licorice flavonoid oil daily and over eight weeks, participants taking licorice lost more body fat than those taking a placebo.  Participants who ingested the most (900 milligrams per day) showed a significant reduction in body weight, LDL cholesterol, and visceral fat.

There are some dangers to consuming too many candies made of real licorice or taking licorice root extract that contains glycyrrhizin for more than two weeks. Doing so can cause pseudoaldosteronism – a disorder that increases your sensitivity to a hormone produced by the adrenal glands.  Pseudoaldosteronism is a medical condition that could result in raised blood pressure, fluid retention and potassium deficiency.   

Individuals who have a history of heart problems or high blood pressure should avoid candies or supplements containing real licorice root or licorice extract. Licorice could also reduce testosterone levels in men.  Due to its effect estrogen, licorice may be problematic to pregnant women and those diagnosed with cancers of the breast or uterus.

Related Questions:

Are Twizzlers Vegan?

Twizzlers do not contain animal products like gelatin and are approved as vegan candy.

Are Twizzlers Gluten-Free?

Twizzlers products are not gluten-free as wheat is one of their main ingredients.

Are Twizzlers Kosher?

All Twizzler products are kosher and certified by the Orthodox Union.

Are Twizzlers Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

Real licorice candy contains glycyrrhizin, a substance obtained from the root of the licorice plant.  Glycyrrhizin is a substance which occurs naturally in the licorice plant and in licorice extract. 

Twizzlers Black Licorice contains a very small amount of licorice extract and the glycyrrhizin levels are well below the U.S. FDA’s limits (3.1% glycyrrhizin in soft candy).   

The red Twizzlers do not contain any glycyrrhizin whatsoever, so they are safe to eat during pregnancy.   Very little licorice candy manufactured in the United States contains glycyrrhizin, although licorice candy from other parts of the world may contain this active ingredient. 

A Finnish study found that real licorice could induce premature labor, do not take real licorice product while pregnant. Higher blood pressure and preterm delivery are known effects of licorice.  For this reason, licorice is listed as a food to be avoided for pregnant women in Finnland. 

Children exposed to large amounts of licorice while in the womb did not perform as well on cognitive reasoning tests and had a significantly lower IQ than children not exposed to licorice in utero.  Parents of these children also reported puberty in girls and more occurrences of ADHD in both girls and boys. 

Are Twizzlers Safe for Diabetics?

If your blood sugar level is already higher than recommended, it is not a good idea to eat high-carbohydrate, high sugar foods, like candy.  If your blood sugar level is normal, it’s still important for diabetics to test their blood sugar level right before eating the candy and after each piece to see how your levels are responding.   Keep portion sizes small, like a mini-pack or restrain yourself to eating only 2 sticks of Black LicoriceTwizzlers, since these are almost pure sugar.

Often times diabetics allow themselves a sugary treat on occasion, like a Twizzler or two during a low blood sugar incident.   If they feel their blood sugar is getting low during the day and they are between meals, they might have a small sugary treat to bring their blood sugar back up to a safe level.

Although black Twizzlers contain only a small amount of real licorice extract, other licorice candies may contain higher amounts.  It has now been discovered that real licorice root, the raw material for licorice candy contains substances that have an anti-diabetic effect.  The molecules of these substances reduce blood sugar and possess anti-inflammatory properties that are well tolerated by the body. 

In Berlin, Germany, a research team identified a group of natural substances within licorice root called amorfrutins, which are named after the fruit of the Amorpha fruticosa bush in which they are derived.  The study found that amorfrutins reduce blood sugar levels and inflammation present in the mice suffering from diabetes. In addition, ingesting the amorfrutins prevented the development of a fatty liver, another common side effect of diabetes

Amazingly, the reduced glucose levels from test subjects given licorice root resulted in the prevention of insulin resistance in test subjects and succeeding in blocking the main cause of type 2 diabetes. If licorice has the potential to prevent type 2 diabetes in mice, breakthroughs in treating humans with type 2 diabetes in the future with licorice root look promising.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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