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The Effects of Candy on the Body

by
author image Eliza Martinez
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.
The Effects of Candy on the Body
Candy is not good for your overall health. Photo Credit Aitormmfoto/iStock/Getty Images

Most people like to indulge in a candy bar now and then, but doing so regularly has negative effects on your health. Candy is high in sugar and many types also contain unhealthy amounts of fat and calories. Sweets often contain no nutrients, making them empty calories that contribute to health problems. About $2 billion is spent on candy each year at Halloween alone, reports the Journal Broadcast Group. Cutting back will keep you healthy.

Weight Gain

The ingredients used to make candy are full of calories. Sugar, chocolate, caramel, nuts and nougat are several examples of ingredients used to make candy that are high in calories and, in some cases, fat. Eating too many calories every day results in weight gain if you cannot burn them off. An average of 40 percent of the sugar people consume is stored in the body as fat, reports Evolving Wellness. To keep weight under control and still enjoy candy, choose "fun-size" versions and stick to one piece. A king-size Snickers bar has 54 g of sugar and 510 calories, while one Reese's Peanut Butter cup only has 10 g of sugar and 115 calories.

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Reduces Nutrient Intake

If you are filling up on candy, you leave little room for nutrient-dense foods that support your health. Candy contains no vitamins and very small, if any, amounts of minerals, which means you are satisfying hunger but doing nothing to meet your daily nutrient intake requirements. Furthermore, high sugar intake actually robs you of much needed nutrients, such as calcium, because your body must use them to digest sugar. This contributes to the development of nutrient deficiencies, including iron, vitamins A and C, and calcium, which results in a variety of health problems, including anemia and a lowered immunity.

Tooth Decay

Eating too much candy leads to the development of cavities. Sugar plays a large role in this process because the bacteria that causes cavities feeds on sugar. The more sugary candy you eat, the more this harmful bacteria is able to multiply and damage your teeth. Evolving Wellness notes that eating a lot of candy also plays a role in bleeding gums and losing teeth because sugar allows bacteria to damage your teeth and surrounding gums, leading to corrosion and deterioration. Caramel, taffy and other chewy candies stick to teeth, eroding the enamel and leading to decay.

Increases the Risk of Disease

High-fat, high-calorie and high-sugar diets are responsible for a whole host of health conditions. Large amounts of sugar contributes to insulin resistance, which can cause diabetes. Sugar leaches calcium from your bones, making osteoporosis a worry. Eating a lot of fat increases your risk of heart disease, obesity and depression. Poor diets lower the effectiveness of your immune system, making it easier for your body to succumb to a virus. Many of these conditions play a role in the development of others. For example, being overweight increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Intake Limit and Healthier Alternatives

The American Heart Association explains that added sugar intake should be limited to no more than half of your discretionary allowance, which is roughly 100 calories or 6 teaspoons a day for women, or 150 calories or 9 teaspoons a day for men. There are some natural alternatives you can eat that have no added sugar, such as raisins and dates mixed with nuts or dried fruit. Be aware that even though these products have no added sugar, they are still high in sugar content, especially dried fruits that are condensed.

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References

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