Things A Sweet Tooth Can Cause
December 3, 2017
The holidays are a wonderful time. You’ll spend most of it with family, having feast like meals and downing sweets. Unfortunately, those sweets can become an issue.
An infographic published by Visual.ly in 2013 has some neat fun facts about Halloween, the holiday during which the most candy is consumed. For example, they show us what Halloween spending looks like nationally: $2.6 billion on costumes, another $330 million on pet costumes, $2.08 billion on candy, and another $1.89 billion on decorations, for a total of $6.9 billion. They also tell us that it’s illegal to dress as a priest in Alabama, or that trick-or-treaters above the age of 13 in Illinois may be fined up to $1000. The most alarming fact, though, is this: the average American consumes 3.4 pounds of candy on Halloween.
We’ve all learned since elementary school that candy is bad for you. We know that it can cause our teeth to rot and leave us at risk for diabetes. But candy can do much more than that. In this article, we’ll explain some of the unknown effects of eating candy, and what a sweet tooth can do to your body.
“A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips,” as the saying goes. While any calories above what you need are bad calories, the calories from candy are even worse. Evolving Wellness reported that 40% of all caloric intake from sugar is stored as body fat almost immediately. With candy being made from almost entirely sugary products, this means instant weight gain from candy consumption. Furthermore, chocolate is mostly a mixture of fat and sugar. Again, some fat is good for you. But the sweet, refined fat from chocolate is rarely what your body needs. Livestrong recommends eating fun-sized candies when you have a craving, as it will satiate your sweet tooth while keeping you from overeating.
Additionally, candy’s high calorie count makes it very filling. Candy is lacking in nutrients, however. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies when you consume enough candy. When your body is telling you that it’s hungry, it’s actually telling you that it requires nutrients, like proteins, vitamins, and minerals. This message will be satisfied, and go away, when we consume enough calories. Fill this need with enough empty calories and you will begin to notice some side effects. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to feelings of exhaustion, nausea, a weakened immune system, and many other things.
If this weren’t bad enough, candy can also cause withdrawal symptoms in the short term. When we eat candy, or anything high in sugar, our blood sugar spikes rapidly and then quickly drops. This drop can lead to effects we’re all we aware of: tiredness, thirst, and headaches. While we’re all aware of a sugar crash, the high that we feel may be worse than we know. A single piece of candy may not cause these effects, but a handful certainly will. What do you think almost four pounds of candy would cause?
According to Candy History, candy can cause trembling and other signs of addiction. One of the reasons that we eat so much candy on Halloween is that our body shortcuts the solution of these feelings. It knows that candy spiked our blood sugar levels, so it looks for candy to raise it once more. This leads to cravings for more candy, and beginning a loop. You should be able to sleep this off, but be aware of it when you’re staring candy in the face.
In March of 2014, Business Insider revealed some information linking sugar to more than just diabetes. Candy can do a number on our inner workings, leading to an increased risk for pancreatic cancer, liver failure, and kidney disease. Heart disease is also linked to candy intake, probably as a result of heightened blood pressure. Candy has previously been linked to Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline by way of obesity and diabetes, but researchers are currently performing studies that show sugar can lead to short-term memory loss and lessened emotional arousal. Finally, gout—though much less common now—is caused by the metabolization of fructose, which is found in almost all modern candies.
The good news is that your risk for these diseases is only marginally increased by frequent candy consumption, so eating it in moderation shouldn’t have too much of a toll on your health. That said, maybe try to keep it under 3 pounds in a day.