Twizzlers… Some people love them and others not so much. At one time, there were twenty different flavors and shapes of Twizzlers sold in stores!
Whether you’re buying candy at the movie theater or looking to treat yourself after a long day, you might stop and wonder, “Are Twizzlers gluten-free?”
are twizzlers gluten-free?
Unfortunately, Twizzlers are not gluten-free. While licorice root, by itself, does not contain any gluten, Hershey’s popular licorice candy is made with gluten. One of the top ingredients is wheat flour, which is used to bind the candy together.
Below, I’ll give you an in-depth explanation of why Twizzlers aren’t good for a gluten-free diet and how to find gluten-free substitutes. I’ll also show you some of my other favorite popular candies that are naturally gluten-free. Today, I’m here to help you treat yourself!
Why You Should Avoid Twizzlers On A Gluten-Free Diet
Alright, so maybe you still don’t believe me…
So, let’s take a quick look at the main ingredients in Twizzlers:
- Corn Syrup.
- Enriched Wheat Flour.
- Corn Starch.
While sugar, corn syrup, and cornstarch are safe on a gluten-free diet, enriched wheat flour is not. If you eat Twizzlers on a gluten-free diet, then expect to feel the same as if you just ate a slice of wheat bread, as the amount of gluten in both products is fairly similar.
So, what happens when somebody who’s gluten-sensitive eats Twizzlers? Simply put, the gluten protein in the wheat flour wrecks havoc on your digestive system. People who are sensitive to gluten develop an immune response when their small intestine picks up on the gluten and starts to absorb it.
Depending on how sensitive you are to gluten, you could experience symptoms ranging from a light stomach ache to severe headaches and even intestinal bleeding. Like many people, I wasn’t born with gluten sensitivity. The older I got, the more I realized that I would get stomach aches and headaches after eating bread, drinking beer, and eating certain candies. That’s when I found out that I might be sensitive to gluten and started making some changes to my diet. A few years later, I decided to launch Gone Gluten to help others do the same!
Check out how Twizzlers are made here:
Is Licorice Gluten-Free?
Believe it or not, licorice itself is actually 100% gluten-free. So, if you happen to eat a meal or drink a tea that contains licorice, you’ll be perfectly fine.
Here’s another fun fact: Twizzlers don’t contain any real licorice at all! The licorice flavor is completely artificial.
So, not only are Twizzlers bad for a gluten-free diet but they don’t have actually contain licorice. Some people may not care either way; but if you’re telling yourself that you need your licorice fix, then Twizzlers aren’t the answer.
Are There Gluten-Free Licorice Products?
If you’re looking for a sweet treat, then you’ll need to look for other options on the candy aisle. If you love licorice and you’re stuck on Twizzlers, though, there are a few gluten-free licorice candies made by gluten-free candy manufacturers. You’ll just have to pay a little bit extra.
The main difference is that they use rice flour to bind the candy together instead of wheat flour. The difference in taste is negligible and they taste very similar to Twizzlers. Plus, many of them also contain real licorice (something that Twizzlers can’t claim).
Here’s a brief list of some of my favorite gluten-free licorice candy:
- Organic GF Black Licorice by Yum Earth.
- St. Claire’s Organic Licorice Sticks.
- Smart Sweets Red Twists Licorice Candy.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for gluten-free licorice. However, if you’ve got a serious hankering for Twizzlers, these should satisfy your craving.
What Other Candy Can I Eat On A Gluten-Free Diet?
Several chocolate-based candies are gluten-free. Just make sure that the chocolate you’re looking at is free from cross-contamination and doesn’t contain any added ingredients that contain gluten (like Crunch bars, for example).
Just because you’re on a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge your cravings from time to time! Of course, the safest choice is to buy certified gluten-free candy. However, gluten-free specialty candy can be a bit pricey. If you’re looking for more affordable gluten-free candy, I recommend that you get used to reading ingredient labels.
Learn to recognize common gluten-containing ingredients (like the wheat flour in Twizzlers) and stay away from those.
If you’re looking for more gluten-free candies and sweets, then be sure to check out my sweet foods blog on Gone Gluten for more great recommendations and tips!