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Why Is Candy Bad for Your Health?

by
author image Michelle Kulas
Michelle Kulas worked in the health-care field for 10 years, serving as a certified nurses' assistant, dental assistant and dental insurance billing coordinator. Her areas of expertise include health and dental topics, parenting, nutrition, homeschooling and travel.
Why Is Candy Bad for Your Health?
3 lollipops Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

While an occasional candy bar can be part of an otherwise healthy diet, eating candy regularly can negatively affect your health. Too much candy can provide you with large amounts of unhealthy substances, such as sugars and fats. Also, if you are eating candy each day, you may not eat enough of the foods necessary for good health. Enjoy candy and other junk foods only sparingly.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fat plays a major role in the development of high cholesterol, says Medline Plus. High cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Each gram of fat contains 9 calories, and calories from saturated fat should make up no more than 10 percent of your total calories. For example, if your regular caloric intake is 1,500 calories, you should consume no more than 150 calories from fat, or just under 17 g of saturated fat, each day. Since one candy bar can contain 11 or more grams of saturated fat, this might put you over your daily allotment when combined with other foods containing saturated fat, such as dairy products, meat, butter and certain oils.

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Sugars

Too much sugar of any type in your diet can lead to dental cavities, weight gain and overall poor nutrition, especially if the sugary foods are taking the place of foods containing nutrients and vitamins. The American Heart Association says that women and men should consume no more than 100 to 150 calories per day from sugar, respectively. Sugar contains 4 calories per gram. If a candy bar contains over 25 grams of sugar, this is an entire day's worth for a woman. Although, as the American Diabetes Association explains, it is a myth that eating too much sugar causes diabetes, overindulging in sugary foods can definitely raise your blood sugar levels if you already have diabetes; higher blood glucose levels can lead to more diabetic complications.

Calories

Depending on the type of candy, one serving may contain a large number of calories. According to "Fitness" Magazine, some popular brands of candy contain between 250 and 280 calories per serving. Eating candy on a regular basis may cause you to eat too many calories overall, which leads to weight gain. Overweight and obesity can cause serious health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Recommendations

Occasionally, you may want to splurge on the calories, fat and sugar in candy and enjoy a special treat. Most of the time, however, find other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth, such as eating naturally sweet berries or small quantities of dried fruit. Some types of candy are also more diet friendly than others. Read labels to find candy that contains no saturated fat, for example. Another option is to take just a bite or two of a large candy bar and to save the rest for another day. Since the antioxidants in dark chocolate are heart-healthy, saving part of your calorie, fat and sugar allotment for a 1-oz. square of dark chocolate a few times per week is also sensible way to satisfy your craving for something sweet.

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References

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