Halloween Candy: More Trick than Treat

Happy Halloween everyone! It is time for fun, scares, ghouls, and fools. Halloween is not complete without delicious sugar filled candy. Whether giving it away to knocking trick-or-treaters, or eating it yourself, Halloween would not be the same without our sweet treats. Unfortunately, as sweet and wonderful as Halloween candy makes us feel, our bodies beg to differ. It would behoove all of us to cut back on these indulgences for the greater good.

Takes a toll on the body

The two scariest ingredients in candy is sugar and fat. Too much fat in the diet over time can cause serious health conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Experts agree that saturated fat should not take up more than 10% of your daily intake. For example, if you take in 2,000 calories a day, only 200 calories should be from fat. Eating too much fat can increase your weight gain, possibly leading to obesity.

Obesity brings a whole other set of spooky health problems. Weighing too much puts too much pressure on the joints, leading to pain and stiffness. Overweight people have a higher risk of diabetes, which affects 30% of the overweight population.

Sugar not so sweet

Sugar in excess can cause weight gain and poor nutrition. The American Heart Association recommends that people only consume up to 100-150 calories per day from sugar. That is really not much when you consider how much sugar is in our everyday foods. Even certain foods you would not think have much sugar. Foods like low-fat yogurt, ketchup, granola, flavored coffee, sports drinks, cereal, and protein bars.

Sugar is also the main cause of cavities, which lead to expensive fillings. Candy with sticky ingredients like caramel squares and Tootsie Rolls, as well as hard candies like lollipops and jaw breakers, are exposed to your teeth longer than most candies, thus the chance of harming the teeth becomes higher. Acidic candies like gummy worms also cause tooth damage. The acid in these types of candies wears down enamel and leaves teeth vulnerable to cracking, chipping, and of course, cavities.

Can I have at least SOME Halloween candy?

Yes! Halloween Candy in moderation is not harmful to you. Just do not go trick-or-treating and eat buckets of candy. Treat yourself to one or two candy bars on Halloween and feel happy that you are not going overboard. Also, try these sweets at a healthier alternative:

  • Dark Chocolate has less sugar content and no dairy, which means less fat. According to this website, dark chocolate is better for teeth too. Several studies have shown that chocolate is more effective for fighting tooth decay than fluoride.
  • Sugarless candy is a healthy alternative. There is less chance of weight gain, and the bacteria in your mouth will not be able to feed on it like sugar.
  • Candy with nuts are helpful in breaking up the bad sticky ingredients that are so bad for teeth. Nuts are healthy for you too. They contain polyunsaturated fats that lower cholesterol, and they have protein, fiber, and vitamins.

Halloween candy does not have to be a scary temptation. Just eat it in moderation or try healthy alternatives!

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