How many carbs are in Pelon Pelo Rico?

Quick Answer

Pelon Pelo Rico is a Mexican candy with a tamarind and chili-flavored candy shell and a soft filling. One piece of Pelon Pelo Rico contains approximately 16-18 grams of carbohydrates. This is based on nutrition information estimates for similar Mexican candies. The carb count can vary slightly depending on the exact size of the piece.

What is Pelon Pelo Rico?

Pelon Pelo Rico is a popular Mexican tamarind candy produced by Dulces Vero. It features a hard candy shell with chili and tamarind flavors surrounding a soft, chewy fruit filling. Pelon Pelo Rico translates to “Delicious Bald Guy” in English.

This candy has been produced in Mexico since 1985. It is well known for its unique combination of sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavors. The tart tamarind and subtle heat from the chili powder create a complex, tropical taste profile.

Pelon Pelo Rico comes wrapped individually in wax paper. It is sold in small bags containing 5-6 pieces of candy. The candies are small, round lollipops, a little smaller than a ping pong ball.

Tamarind is commonly used in Mexican candies and sweets. It provides a sweet yet sour fruity flavor. Chili powder gives the shell a subtle spiciness. These flavors contrast nicely with the sweet, sticky filling in the center.

Pelon Pelo Rico Nutrition Facts

Since Pelon Pelo Rico is produced by a small Mexican candy company, complete nutrition facts are not available.

However, we can estimate the nutrition breakdown, including carbohydrates, based on data for similar candies:

Nutrition Facts Per 1 piece (18g)
Calories 70
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 5mg
Total Carbohydrate 18g
Sugars 12g
Protein 0g

As you can see, a single Pelon Pelo Rico piece likely contains around 18 grams of carbohydrates. This carb count comes mostly from sugar.

The candy shell itself is primarily made from sugar. The soft filling also contains sugar, glucose syrup, fruit purees and thickeners like pectin or starch to create the chewy texture.

So the majority of carbs in Pelon Pelo Rico come from added sugars. There is little to no naturally occurring sugars from fruit or dairy.

Carb Count Per Serving

Pelon Pelo Rico candies are sold in small bags containing 5-6 pieces.

If we estimate 5 pieces per serving, that equals:

– Total Carbs: 90 grams
– Sugar: 60 grams

Consuming the entire small bag would provide a significant amount of carbs and sugar.

However, many people may consume only 1-2 pieces of Pelon Pelo Rico at a time.

For example, 1 piece would contain:

– Total Carbs: 18 grams
– Sugar: 12 grams

This is still a high amount of sugar from such a small candy. But it may fit into a balanced diet in moderation.

Pelon Pelo Rico Ingredients

To understand where the carbohydrates come from, let’s look at the ingredient list:

– Sugar
– Glucose syrup
– Tamarind pulp
– Chili powder
– Malic acid
– Wax
– Colorings

The main sources of carbs are sugar and glucose syrup. These are both simple sugars that are high on the glycemic index.

Tamarind pulp contributes a small amount of natural sugar. But the majority comes from the added sugars.

This explains why the carb content is so high for a relatively small candy. The high sugar shell and filling drive up the carbohydrate count.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) is a scale that ranks foods by how quickly they raise blood sugar levels.

High GI foods cause rapid spikes in blood glucose. Low GI foods cause a slower, more gradual rise.

Pelon Pelo Rico likely has a high glycemic index of 70 or greater. This is due to its high sugar content from added sugar sources like sucrose and glucose syrup.

For comparison, pure glucose has a GI of 100. Table sugar has a GI around 65.

The tamarind pulp adds a small amount of fiber and fruit sugars. But the overall glycemic impact of this candy is high per serving size.

Keto Friendliness

The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a very low carb diet. It limits daily net carbs to 20-50 grams per day.

With 18 grams of total carbs per piece, Pelon Pelo Rico would not fit into a keto diet. Even a single piece could potentially knock someone out of ketosis.

On keto, the daily carb limit is often around 25 grams. Consuming one Pelon Pelo Rico piece would provide nearly all of the allowed carbs in one small serving.

Occasionally enjoying a small piece may be possible on keto if it fits within your carb limit. But this candy is too high in carbs to consume regularly on a ketogenic diet.

Diabetes Friendliness

For people with diabetes, moderating carbohydrate intake is key to controlling blood sugar levels.

Pelon Pelo Rico would be considered a high carb food due to its sugar content. This makes it a poor choice for diabetics looking to limit carb intake.

Consuming this candy could cause a rapid spike in blood glucose levels. The high glycemic index means it is digested and absorbed quickly into the bloodstream.

Occasional small servings could potentially be worked into a healthy diabetes diet. But it would need to be accounted for with meal planning and medication.

For most people with diabetes, Pelon Pelo Rico should be considered a high sugar treat instead of a daily snack option.

Gluten Free Status

Pelon Pelo Rico is naturally gluten free.

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye and barley. Since this candy does not contain any grain ingredients, it is safe for gluten free diets.

The main ingredients – sugar, tamarind and chili powder – do not contain gluten. So this Mexican candy can be enjoyed by those avoiding gluten.

Always check the packaging when purchasing. Look for any advisory statements regarding allergens and manufacturing processes.

For very sensitive celiac disease patients, cross-contamination is still a risk. The candy is likely made in facilities that also process wheat. So trace amounts may occur.

But overall, Pelon Pelo Rico is a gluten free friendly sweet treat. Those following gluten free diets don’t have to worry about the carb content coming from grains.

Vegetarian/Vegan Status

Pelon Pelo Rico is completely vegan and vegetarian friendly.

The ingredients contain no animal products or byproducts. No meat, dairy, eggs or animal-derived gelatin are present.

This makes the Mexican tamarind candy a good option for plant-based diets or those avoiding meat and dairy.

Be sure to check labels for each flavor variety. Some releases, like the Pelon Pelo Rico Dulces y Picositos, add flavors that may not be vegan. These can include honey, milk and egg components.

As long as you stick with the classic Pelon Pelo Rico recipe, these candies are 100% vegetarian and vegan approved.


The low FODMAP diet is used to manage digestive issues like IBS. FODMAPs are certain carbs that may cause gas, bloating or other discomfort in sensitive people.

Pelon Pelo Rico is likely low FODMAP at a serving of 1 piece. The main carb sources – sugar and glucose syrup – are permitted on the diet.

However, some people may be sensitive to chili powder or tamarind. So you’ll want to monitor individual tolerance.

Eating several pieces at a time could result in high osmotic load from the sugar alcohol content. This may contribute to digestive issues in larger amounts.

In general, Pelon Pelo Rico is low FODMAP in moderation. But those with IBS should introduce it slowly and assess personal tolerance.

Allergy Information

Pelon Pelo Rico does not contain any major food allergens like milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat or soy.

However, tamarind may cause reactions in people with sensitivity to sulfites. Dried tamarind can contain high levels of sulfites as a preservative.

The chili powder could also trigger symptoms for those with allergies to nightshade vegetables like peppers.

As with any food, allergic reactions are still possible even when major allergens are not present. Discontinue use if any discomfort occurs. Check with a doctor for diagnosis of any suspected food allergy.

Carb Count Compared to Other Candies

Pelon Pelo Rico has a relatively high carb count compared to some other popular candies.

Here’s how it compares per piece:

Candy Carbs (g)
Pelon Pelo Rico 18
Skittles 13
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup 17
M&M’s 12
Twizzlers 22
Swedish Fish 12
Lindt Chocolate Truffle 9

As you can see, Pelon Pelo Rico is on the higher end for carb content per piece compared to other candies.

It’s lower in carbs than Twizzlers, but significantly higher than options like chocolate, peanut butter cups or Skittles.

The main reason is Pelon Pelo Rico’s small size and high ratio of sugar shell to filling. The high sugar content packs in carbs and drives up the glycemic index.

Carb Count of Pelon Pelo Rico Varieties

In addition to the original Pelon Pelo Rico, Dulces Vero makes assorted flavors:

– Mango – Mango-flavored shell with mango filling
– Sweet and Sour – Sweet and sour tamarind shell with sweet mango filling
– Oaxacan Pasilla Chili – Shell flavored with smoky pasilla chilis
– Gummy – Gummy bear-like texture and assorted fruit flavors

These variations may have slight differences in carbohydrate content depending on the filling.

However, the general carb count will remain similar at around 16-18g per piece. This is because the sugar shell makes up the majority of the candy.

For example, the mango or Gummy versions may contain a bit more natural fruit sugars. But added sugar is still the main carb source.

Regardless of the flavor, Pelon Pelo Rico candies are high in sugar and carbohydrates. So all varieties will have a similar glycemic impact.

Ways to Reduce Carbs and Sugar

Pelon Pelo Rico is a sweet treat best enjoyed occasionally in small amounts due to its high carb and sugar content.

Here are some ways to reduce your carb and sugar intake from this candy:

– Consume only 1-2 pieces at a time
– Share the bag with others instead of eating the entire thing yourself
– Balance intake with lower carb foods like vegetables, nuts, meats or dairy
– Avoid eating on an empty stomach to help stabilize blood sugar response
– Focus on portion size and try not to overindulge
– Save Pelon Pelo Rico for special occasions instead of daily snacking
– Opt for lower glycemic treats like chocolate, nut butters, jerky or cheese
– Manage carbohydrate totals for the day by accounting for this candy’s carbs

With some mindful portion control and planning, you can still enjoy the unique flavors of Pelon Pelo Rico while maintaining a healthy diet overall.

Is Pelon Pelo Rico Healthy?

Pelon Pelo Rico is not particularly healthy, but can be enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet.

The pros of Pelon Pelo Rico are:

– Gluten free and vegan
– Provides some antioxidants from tamarind
– Small portion size of each piece

However, the cons include:

– High in added sugar and low in nutrients
– High glycemic index can spike blood sugar
– Potential allergens like sulfites and chili powder
– Low satiety and high calorie density

In general, Pelon Pelo Rico would be considered an unhealthy food choice. But for those without diabetes or food allergies, an occasional serving can be accommodated as a treat.

Practice portion control, read labels carefully and balance intake with more nutrient-dense foods. This allows you to satisfy a craving while maintaining overall diet quality.

Healthier Candy Alternatives

For a healthier candy swap, look for options that are:

– Lower in sugar
– Contain more fiber and protein
– Made with whole food ingredients

Some examples of healthier candy alternatives include:

– Dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher)
– Fruit leathers sweetened with juice concentrates
– Dried fruit like mango, pineapple or apple
– Trail mixes with nuts, seeds, coconut and dried fruit
– Popcorn drizzled with melted dark chocolate
– Greek yogurt bark made with honey and nuts
– Chocolate-dipped frozen banana slices
– Protein bars with limited added sugar
– Nut butter cups using portion-controlled nut butter and 85% dark chocolate

These provide more nutrition and satisfaction. The fiber, protein and fat help slow digestion while curbing cravings.

Homemade candies allow you to control ingredients and portions. But read labels carefully on store-bought varieties to find ones that suit your dietary needs.


Pelon Pelo Rico is a classic Mexican tamarind candy with a sweet, sour and spicy kick. Each piece contains around 16-18 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from added sugar.

The high glycemic index means this candy can spike blood sugar quickly. So it’s best enjoyed occasionally in moderation, especially for people with diabetes or on low carb diets like keto.

Those with food sensitivities should also be mindful, as Pelon Pelo Rico contains potential allergens like sulfite and nightshades. Check labels carefully for specialty flavors that may contain additional allergens.

Overall, practice mindful portion control to indulge your cravings while maintaining a healthy diet. And choose healthier candy alternatives like dark chocolate, nut butters, dried fruit, and Greek yogurt bark whenever possible.

This allows you to satisfy your sweet tooth wisely and limit negative impacts on your health. With some balance, you can enjoy unique ethnic candies like Pelon Pelo Rico. Just consume in moderation while pairing with more nutrient-dense foods.

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