How Much Halloween Candy is Too Much?

Halloween-candy-digestion

We love sugar in America. Seriously, it’s in everything – even things we don’t realize it’s in like savory sauces and other pre-made foods. As we come up on Halloween and other sugar laden holidays, your friends here at GSI want to remind you of the dangers of consuming too much sugar.

October is when the candy dishes start coming out… in the office, at home, at parties… everywhere you go you are inundated with mini snickers, lollipops, tootsie rolls, etc. If you’re not careful those “fun sized” treats will add up to an overindulgence of sugar and processed food.

It’s no secret that Halloween candy is not the best snack for you. Sugar in general can really ruin your diet – and your digestive system. Sweeteners, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and other unidentifiable and unpronounceable ingredients are not easy for your body to digest but are what make up the majority of the candy you see over the Halloween season.

How too much sugar affects the body

The overconsumption of sugar will cause blood sugar spikes that can lead to nausea, increased thirst, headaches, dizziness, and can even trick your appetite into overeating. Overeating you say? Yep. Your body releases a hormone that stimulates your appetite, but when your blood sugar levels and the energy they provide drop below normal levels, your body thinks it’s still hungry.

When you consume glucose (the type of sugar found in most candy), insulin is released from your pancreas to help the glucose pass through your tissues. Glucose is what provides fuel for your body, but ingesting too much glucose means your body will store that energy for later use – either in the liver or as fat.

Daily Recommended Allowance

Your body requires at least 130 milligrams of carbohydrates to function properly. Approximately 45 to 65 percent of your diet should consist of sugars that are naturally found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. The American Heart Association recommends “no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance come from added sugars. For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day (about 6 teaspoons). For men, it’s no more than 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons).”

Now let’s put that into perspective. The mini snickers you love so much? It has 280 calories, 14 grams of fat and 30 grams of sugar. One Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup has 110 calories, 2.5 g sat fat, and 11 g sugar. You get the point.

 

Negative Effects of Sugar

Too much sugar can cause a host of problems for your body:

  • Inflammation
  • Immunity impairment
  • Yeast infections
  • Emotional issues like anxiety and depression
  • Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Obesity

 

Tips for regulating your intake

Sure, you can have some Halloween candy but don’t let those little packages get the better of you. Here are some ways to avoid overeating the all too tempting sugary morsels we all love so much.

  • Keep track of how many you’ve had
  • Limit yourself to 1-3 pieces per night
  • Make yourself count the calories (write it down)
  • Don’t keep candy out
  • Don’t sit in front of the T.V. with the whole bag
  • Wait until closer to Halloween to stock up for trick-or-treaters
  • Try buying the lesser of the evils. Here’s a link to some of the best and worst Halloween candy out there.

Have a safe, happy, and healthy Halloween!

 

Further Reading:

The 5 Most Common Digestive Diseases

Delicious Ways to Add Fiber to Your Diet

Alcohol and Your Digestion