Over the past few years, black food has become more popular, especially for the Halloween season. From black bagels to black ice cream and cake, everyone loves a spooky treat. But how do they make those foods that color? Some use black food coloring, but others use activated charcoal. While activated charcoal is edible, that doesn’t mean it’s completely harmless.
What’s the issue with this ingredient? In small amounts, activated charcoal is harmless, but in larger amounts, it can cause problems. For certain medications, the charcoal can absorb the drug and it will be like you never took it at all. For birth control and antidepressants, that can lead to some serious consequences.
You can probably imagine the consequences if your birth control doesn’t work. But for things like antidepressants and some pain medication, not being on them (and not realizing they haven’t taken effect) can lead to withdrawal or even lead you to take a higher dose of the medication than recommended.
Because of these effects, it’s always important to talk to your healthcare provider about supplements or foods with activated charcoal. This doesn’t mean you need to call your doctor every time you eat black ice cream, but it’s worth it to talk to them during your regular appointment about how this ingredient could affect your health.
Be careful when eating foods with activated charcoal this Halloween
And this goes for anything you’re ingesting with this ingredient, not just fun treats during the Halloween season. There are face masks and toothpaste that include charcoal as well.
This doesn’t mean you can’t partake in these things at all. It simply means you want to be careful when eating them and keep an eye on how many spooky snacks with activated charcoal you’re having.
Simply being aware of this issue is the first step you can take to ensure the ingredient doesn’t have a negative impact on you. It may be a cliche, but it’s true: knowledge is power.
Stay tuned to Guilty Eats for all the latest food and kitchen-related news!