Eating candy on an empty stomach may provide quick relief to your sweet tooth, but the side effects may sour your health. Candy contains sucrose, a disaccharide made of the simple sugars glucose and fructose. Eating candy can affect your blood sugar levels, blood pressure and mood.
High Blood Sugar
Candy is a high glycemic food that contains sugar which your body absorbs rapidly into your bloodstream, especially when you eat it on an empty stomach. This causes a spike in blood sugar. As a result, the hormone insulin is released into your blood to transport glucose from the blood into your cells. If you are diabetic or have insulin resistance, your blood sugar levels can stay high much longer than if you do not have these chronic diseases. Nonetheless, the sugar levels can remain high for between 1 to 2 hours. High blood sugar, also called hyperglycemia, can damage the cells in your blood vessels.
Low Blood Sugar
Eating sugar on an empty stomach can give your sugar swings. After insulin transports the sugar from your blood into your cells you may have hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar. As a result of hypoglycemia, you may experience sweating, nervousness, anxiety, sleepiness and hunger, which can lead to eating more candy to increase your blood sugar and start the cycle over again.
Increased Blood Sugar
Eating candy on an empty stomach can increase your blood pressure, This is because a increase in blood sugar can also trigger an increase in blood pressure. Research by scientists at the University of California in San Francisco and published in the "Journal of Pediatrics" in June 2009 discovered from a national representative sample of adolescents in the United States that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with higher systolic blood pressure. The scientists also found sugar consumption is associated with higher blood levels of uric acid, a substance that if not excreted in urine can increase your risk of gout, kidney stones or kidney failure.
Increasing sugar consumption from candy can also increase your risk of depression. Research by scientists at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and published in "Depression and Anxiety" in 2002 reports that sugar consumption is highly correlated with major depression. The scientists however do not know the exact mechanism in the brain for why this correlation exists. Nonetheless, eating candy on an empty stomach can affect your mood.
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Center for Integrative Medicine; Glycemic Index; 2010
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Hypoglycemia; October 2008
- "Journal of Pediatrics"; Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, Serum Uric Acid, and Blood Pressure in Adolescents; Stephanie Nguyen, et al.; Jun 2009
- National Institutes of Health: Uric Acid - Blood
- "Depression and Anxiety"; A Cross-National Relationship between Sugar Consumption and Major Depression?; Arthur Westover; 2002