Ghouls and monsters, as well as Halloween, have long been linked to candy. Many parents worry about their children overeating candy and the increased sugar intake. Children are usually the ones who eat most of the candy around Halloween. Still, adults are also known to have too much candy.
Symptoms of increased sugar intake
You may want to cut back on the sugar you eat during Halloween because it can hurt your body. Researchers have found that an increase in sugar can quickly affect the body. Symptoms of increased sugar intake include:
- Frequent colds
- Sinus congestion
- Skin itch
- Immune system dysfunction
- Blurred vision
- Short-term memory loss
Studies have shown that increased sugar consumption is mainly responsible for many diabetes, heart, and degenerative diseases.
The chocolate bars, hard candies, and gummy drops are loaded with sugar but be careful when you go to the parties and enjoy the treats there. There is often hidden sugar in the foods we eat or in our drinks. All these sugars add up. We often think we are healthy but are surprised by how much sugar those foods contain. Some of the worst offenders are:
Fruit yogurt is one of the biggest surprises on the shelves. Many of the most popular brands on the shelves contain 19 grams of sugar or more. Many times people say that yogurt tastes as good as dessert, and that is because it is as sweet as a dessert.
Many store-bought pasta sauces will have 12 grams of sugar for every half cup. Plus, many people add more than half a cup of sauce to their pasta. And don’t forget that pasta digests quickly. Therefore, it will spike insulin levels just like sugar, which means you will be increasing insulin levels swiftly and significantly.
We all know the problems that soda can cause, but this is just a reminder of how serious the problem is. Sweetened sodas have 29 grams per 8-ounce can. Some researchers have suggested that one of the best things anyone can do for their health is “Cut out sugar-sweetened drinks.”!
They don’t seem like they have too many grams of sugar, but the numbers will surprise you. Just ten gummy worms pack nearly 45 grams of sugar into your diet!
These snacks might make you feel like you are being healthy because of the added fiber but be careful with what else is included in the granola. Some bars/treats can have up to 12 grams of sugar per serving. So make sure you know the ingredients before feasting.
Now we cannot blame Halloween for the overall increase in sugar consumption. Americans tend to eat over 120 pounds of refined sugars per year, resulting in almost 25% of their caloric intake. Sugar calories are called empty calories because they provide no real food values and tend to steal essential nutrients from the body. Processed foods account for roughly 70% of the ingested sugars. Breakfast cereals, snack foods, canned vegetables, pasta sauces, and baby foods tend to be a huge source of refined sugars. Manufacturers hide them by calling them fructose, corn sweeteners, dextrose, etc. These sweeteners no longer have any vitamins or minerals that the original sugar cane supplied.
Refined sugars are missing the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fibers necessary for good health. It is why doctors and nutritionists suggest consuming fruits and whole grains that contain natural sugars and starches, including all the essential vitamins and more. These whole grains break down slowly into glucose that gets into the bloodstream through the small intestine. The body burns them and uses them as needed. When the body is overloaded with refined sweets, it looks for nutrition elsewhere. The liver must release some of its stored vitamins, enzymes, and minerals, which stresses the body and causes a degenerative process. Excess sugar causes the body to get ready to respond as if the body has consumed “good” sugars. The brain prepares for the increase, but refined sugar will be digested quickly, causing the pancreas to secrete still insulin it is expecting. Once taken, glucose generates an instant spike in energy, followed by a crash and fatigue.
If you still like sweet things, there are ways to sweeten your food. You can try adding rice syrup to your recipes and malt barley, but they can affect blood sugar levels. Fructose is another good choice of sweetener because it does not affect sugar and insulin mechanisms. Many nutritionists suggest something called Stevia. It is sweet, nearly calorie-free, and it helps to prevent cavities. Stevia does not cause a rise in blood sugar which means there will be no big bursts of energy followed by tiredness.
You can be your own Health Hero by taking charge of what you eat at Halloween and how much you eat. Make healthy choices while snacking at the parties. Skip the sweets and find something that can satisfy your cravings! Hummus makes a great choice to dip veggies in, and you can get creative while creating your own “spooky” treats. Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated with water and enjoy the sights and sounds by taking a long walk! It is possible to eat healthy during Halloween!