The Dangers of Artificial Food Dyes

Artificial food dye, Blue 1, Blue, 2, Green 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, FD&C Lakes, Citrus Red 2, Artificial color--whatever name it appears as in nutrition labels, it’s pretty much all the same thing in concerns of health risks.

Artificial food coloring gives the processed foods that many people love a bright and colorful appeal, but at what cost? There’s no pot of gold at the end of the food dye rainbow--educate yourself on where these vibrant threats hide and why you should try to reduce your consumption.

What foods contain artificial food colorings?

Thousands of common foods contain artificial food dyes and some of them may surprise you! The obvious foods that contain food dye include colorful cereals and candy. But they are also added to sodas and other beverages, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and even dog food and processed meats like hot dogs and sausages. The good news is they are easy to spot. Simply read your food labels and look for additives which usually contain some sort of combination of colors and numbers.  

What risks do artificial coloring pose?

Consumption of food dye has increased over 500% in the past 50 years. YIKES! With the popularity of food dye on the shelves increasing research is imperative to fully understand their health threats. Most food dyes out there have not been tested, but the ones that have are believed to be linked to certain kinds cancer. Here’s the downlow of what studies have found:

  • The Center for Science in the Public Interest has linked Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, and Yellow 6 to hyperactivity and behavior problems in children.
  • In an unpublished study Blue 1 caused kidney tumors in mice.
  • Blue 2 linked to bladder tumors in mice and rats, as well as allergic reactions.
  • Yellow 6 has been associated with cancer of the adrenal glands, as well as allergic reactions.
  • Possible link between thyroid cancer and Red 3.

Yes, most of these studies do not provide fact, but you still shouldn’t risk your health. Reducing your intake of food dyes is a smart choice. Many foods that contain a lot of artificial food dyes are processed and bad for you anyways, so why not just cut them out of your diet to be safe?

At Boxtera we offer organic snack options with that contain no artificial food coloring or flavors, no artificial sweeteners, and no high fructose corn syrup. Read our nutrition labels to see for yourself! Protect your health, and choose smart snacks from Boxtera!

The Skinny on Thanksgiving

Did you know that the average caloric intake on Thanksgiving Day between snacking, main course, dessert and drinks is about 4,500! For a 180 pound man to burn off those extra 2,000 calories he would have to walk for 5 hours!

You’re probably thinking to yourself, it’s Thanksgiving of course I’m going to stuff my face--and trust me we aren’t saying you shouldn’t! But unless you plan on walking to the state border and back after dinner, you may want to consider opting for some healthy alternatives.

In hopes of  inspiring you all to have a healthy Thanksgiving we have curated a list of holiday friendly, and diet friendly recipes. They’re so tasty we promise your guest (and waistline) won’t even notice the difference!

  • 1.  Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad
  • This fresh Autumn salad with apple slices, dried cranberries, walnuts, and feta cheese is the perfect starter for any Thanksgiving meal. You could even get creative and add some of Boxtera’s Organic Dried Apricots! This 10-minute recipe will be a for sure hit with your guests. Find the recipe here.

    2.   Mashed Cauliflower

    Mashed potatoes are a favorite thanksgiving side dish. They’re creamy, buttery, delicious, and loaded with calories! A calorie smart alternative is mashed cauliflower. It’s a simple recipe with only cauliflower, garlic, and herbs. Find the recipe here.

    3.  Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

    What’s Thanksgiving without overdosing on turkey and passing out on the couch? Turkey is truly the most important part of Thanksgiving dinner. Swapping out butter for olive oil, and sticking to just the breasts cuts down on a lot of fat. Find the recipe here.

    4.  Quinoa “Stuffing” with Butternut Squash

    Okay, so it’s not actual “stuffing”, but it’s a quite delicious and healthy alternative to the traditional stuffing recipes out there that are super fattening. It’s also a great option for those folks who are gluten free, vegetarian, or vegan. Find the recipe here.

    5.  Skinny Pumpkin Pie

    For those of us who can’t resist dessert on Thanksgiving, but want to avoid feeling like a stuffed turkey by the end of the day here is a pumpkin pie recipe that won’t leave you regretting every bite. It contains half the calories but double the flavor! Find the recipe here.

    We hope with the help of these recipes you all have a happy, healthy, and guilt-free holiday! For delicious pre-dinner snack ideas stop by our shop! Happy Snacking!

    Eat More Chocolate! 8 Benefits of Cacao

    Chocolate lovers rejoice! The benefits of cacao can totally recharge your mental and physical health! For those of you who have no idea what cacao is, it’s a bean like seed from which cocoa, cocoa butter, and chocolate is derived from. This superfood is truly amazing, and is believed to enhance your mood, improve your memory, reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity, and increase your energy levels.

    Here at Boxtera we are absolutely crazy about cacao, and you should be too! Here are 8 reasons why cacao is truly a miracle food!!

  • It Makes You Happy
  • Ever wonder why one small bite of chocolate automatically puts you in a better mood?  It may be because cacao contains a mood improver, anandamide. Anandamide is the known as the bliss molecule because it triggers feel-good chemicals.

  • It Protects Your Heart
  • Cacao contains flavonoids which is an antioxidant that protects your heart. It may help you fight cardiovascular disease, reduce the risk of stroke, and help improve your overall blood circulation.

  • It Balances Hormones
  • It’s no secret that many women experience strong cravings for chocolate during PMS. The scientific reason behind this is because during this period women's serotonin levels drop significantly, and cacao is known to boost brain levels of serotonin. With the help of some chocolate, serotonin levels can calm hormones and restore your mood.

  • It Slows Down Aging
  • Cacao contains antioxidants that increase cellular life and keep us looking and feeling younger. The antioxidants found in cacao known as anthocyanins protect cells from premature oxidation and destruction.

  • It Can Help You Lose Weight
  • That’s right cacao can help you shed pounds! Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAO’s) found in cacao are known to decrease your appetite. It’s often found in diet pills which contain other dangerous ingredients, but on its own or added to coffee or milk, cacao can be the perfect dietary supplement!

  • It Gives You an Energy Boost
  • Ever reach for a piece of chocolate during your afternoon slump? You probably experience this sudden craving because cacao contains a ton of magnesium, which is known to increase energy levels and fight fatigue.

  • It Takes Care of Your Liver & Pancreas
  • Cacao is a great source of sulfur which is known to have health benefits on your liver and pancreas, as well as giving your shiny hair, strong nails, and a clear complexion!

  • It’s a Great Source of Fat
  • Everyone needs healthy sources of fat in their diet. Cacao contains a monounsaturated fat similar to olive oil. Check out our past blog that discusses the benefits of healthy fats here.

    If these health benefits have you stoked on cacao then check out our delicious Organic Super Green Energy Squares. Happy Snacking!

    Check out Boxtera’s Snack Shop Here.


    Halloween Healthy Snacks

    Halloween is upon us, meaning minions, ninja turtles, princesses, and superheroes will all be on the hunt for one thing, sweet treats. It’s no secret that Halloween goodies are far from healthy, but the good news is that you don’t have to deprive yourself of delicious snacks this holiday.

    Just to give you an idea of how unhealthy Halloween candy really is America’s favorite Halloween candy the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup has a total of 10.5 grams of sugar! And just a small bite sized Snickers Candy Bar contains 160 calories! With obesity being a huge issue in the United States, it’s important to choose, and encourage your children to choose, healthy alternatives even on Halloween.

    Boxtera has tons of healthy options with the same sweet and sour delight that many candies have. Here are some options you should consider this Halloween that are simply delicious!

    Marvelous Mango Chews

    You and your kids will love the chewiness and sweet flavor packed in our mango chews. They’re low in sugar, and packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants!

    Honey Cinnamon Pretzels

    Commonly compared to the popular snack Teddy Grahams these sweet pretzels will without a doubt be a hit with your children.

    Apple Cinnamon Crisp

    Who doesn’t love apple and cinnamon flavor this time of year? Our Apple Cinnamon Crisp are delicious on their own or with milk added!

    Whole Wheat Lemon Bars

    Okay, so it may not be a chocolate candy bar, but the fig filling sweetened with lemon flavor is to die for! We promise your kids will love the sweet and sour kick!

    Tropical Fruit Salad

    Do you have trouble convincing your kids to eat fruit? Our Tropical Fruit Salad contains 6 different fruits and has that sweet and sour tart that tastes similar to the popular candy Sweet Tarts!

    So this Halloween - we know you’re going to eat some candy - but we’ll be there to nurse your candy-hangover.


    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Over the past few years gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular, and people swear by the health benefits of cutting gluten entirely out of their diets. Unfortunately gluten is in a lot of packaged and processed food, making snacking a challenge.

    For those of you who haven’t jumped on the gluten free train yet, gluten refers to the proteins found in in wheat endosperm (a type of tissue produced in seeds that’s ground to make flour). Gluten both nourished plant embryos during germination and later affects the elasticity of dough, which in turn affects the chewiness of baked wheat products.

    Although gluten isn’t necessarily bad for everyone, there are a lot of folks out there that are gluten-intolerant. The most common form of gluten-intolerance is called celiac disease, which according to NIH affects 1 in every 141 people in the United States. When someone with celiac disease consumes gluten it triggers an immune system response that damages their intestines, which prevents their body from absorbing important nutrients.

    Foods such as wheat, rye, and barley should always be avoided by people suffering from celiac disease. If you not been diagnosed with celiac disease but notice that you suffer from unexplained iron deficiency, fatigue, bone or joint pain, depression or anxiety, and any other symptoms listed here then you should visit your doctor to discuss the probability of gluten causing your health issues.

    A Box for Gluten-Free Folks

    For those individuals who already cut gluten out of their diets try building a custom gluten-free box with these 9 delicious Boxtera snacks!

  • 1.  Organic Super Green Energy Squares
  • Are you looking for an energy booster? Look no further. You won’t be able to find anything like our Organic Green Energy Squares at the grocery store. Made with raw cacao these little squares are packed with nutrients!

  • 2.  Chili Mango
  • Our Chili Mangos are another unique snack that you won’t be able to find at your local grocery store. We’ve taken our original mango chews and added a kick! These mango chews are covered in chili, and boy do they pack the heat (the perfect amount).

  • 3.  Toasted Original Corn Bites
  • Finding a salty snack to satisfy your craving that is also gluten free can be difficult. But our Original Toasted Corn Bites offer that crunch and salty taste we all love, without the gluten!

  • 4.  Hibiscus Flowers
  • Chances are you haven’t tried Hibiscus Flowers, and trust us you’re missing out. These beautiful flowers taste a whole lot like fruit roll-ups making them a kid favorite

  • 5.  Organic Muesli
  • Another unique snack we offer is Muesli. They’re loaded with raisins, dates, almonds, and walnuts, making them a great snack or cereal!

  • 6.  A-maize-ing Pops
  • Sometimes popcorn tends to be too soft, and corn nuts are too crunchy, but our A-maiz-ing Pops are just right! These half-popped kernels are simply delicious and come in original and cheddar flavors!

  • 7.  Cherry Almond Crunch
  • No granola brand compares to our Cherry Almond Crunch! The cherries add the perfect touch of sweetness, while the almonds give it the crunch we love. Perfect over yogurt or on its own!

  • 8.  Diced Dates
  • People loved it so much in our trail mix that we decided to make them their own snack! Our diced dates are ideal for adding to muffins, cakes, granola, energy bites, or even bread pudding!

  • 9.  Ridiculously Good Fruit Chips
  • Our thin and crispy Ridiculously Good Fruit Chips are enjoyed by kids and adults alike. This unbelievably yummy snack includes banana, pineapple, honeydew, apple, and star fruit chips!


    Boxtera’s Red Banana Pepper Chips for the Win

    Boxtera's Red Pepper Banana Chips

    Yes, you read the title correctly--Boxtera has turned the beloved munchie snack into a healthy fruit hybrid! Our Red Pepper Banana Chips is a different take on the traditional sweet banana chips, and will blow you away with their kick of chili pepper flavor. Put down the bag of greasy potato chips, and make the smarter choice for your tastebuds and health.

    To truly outline the many health benefits of our Red Pepper Banana Chips we will be comparing key aspects of their nutritional value to the popular Lays BBQ Flavored Potato Chips.


    According to the American Heart Association too much sodium in your system results in your body retaining too much water. Excess water in your body creates a burden on your heart and blood vessels, which increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Lay’s BBQ Flavored Potato Chips contains 6% of your daily value of sodium--yikes. While our Red Pepper Banana Chips contains none!

    Red Pepper Banana Chips: 1, Lays BBQ Flavored Potato Chips: 0


    Many of us associate fiber with bodily functions we’d rather not think about. However, eating foods high in dietary fiber does much more than keep you regular. It’s known to lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, improve your skin, and help you lose weight. Lays BBQ Flavored Chips contains only 6% of suggested daily value, while our Red Pepper Banana Chips contains 12% of daily value. By snacking on high fiber snacks you will be sure to look and feel your very best.

    Red Pepper Banana Chips: 2, Lays BBQ Flavored Potato Chips: 0

    Healthy Fats

    In our previous blog we discussed various foods that are healthy sources of fats. A big part of this category was healthy oils that are great sources of fat. Our Red Pepper Banana Chips are cooked in the healthiest oil we could find, coconut oil. Coconut oil contains fatty acids that help with weight loss and brain function! On the other hand, Lays BBQ Flavored Chips are cooked in canola oil, which is low in essential nutrients.

    Red Pepper Banana Chips: 3, Lays BBQ Flavored Potato Chips: 0

    Our snack option is the clear winner here! Make the smart choice, and choose Boxtera’s Red Pepper Banana Chips next time you have a craving for a crispy snack!


    The Truth About Fats

    We have been told our whole lives that “fats are bad”, and many of us will spend a lot of energy trying to cut them out of our diets. News flash people, fats are an essential part to a balanced diet! The important thing is that you are choosing the right sources of fat. Are you not sure what that means? No worries--we are here to outline the good, the bad, and the in between.

    Trans Fat is a Bad Fat

    First thing first, avoid trans fats! These fats are not natural, and raise your bad cholesterol and increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.  Trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid, and are found in a ton of processed foods like cakes, cookies, frozen pizza, margarine, and more. Avoid the temptation and cut trans fats out of your diet!

    Saturated Fat is a Bad Fat

    Although, not as bad as trans fats, saturated fats are another type of fat you should limit in your diet. Similarly to trans fats saturated fats raise your bad cholesterol, and also contain a lot of calories. They can be found in fatty meats, lard, cream, butter, and cheese. The American Heart Association suggests aiming for a dietary pattern that achieves 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat. That means if you need about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of them should come from saturated fats.

    Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats are Good

    Finally, the good fats! Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are great for you because they are beneficial to your heart, cholesterol, and overall health. They are also a great source of Vitamin E, which most people are not getting enough of. Foods that are good sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats include many types of oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, fish, and peanut butter. 

    We hope that you now have a better understanding of the different kinds of fats out there. If you are looking for good sources of healthy fat we suggest checking out Boxtera’s Holy Guacamole Bites, Toffee Peanuts, or Barbecue Toasted Corn Bits.  

    Happy Snacking!