Parents want their kids to eat healthy to be healthy. Having a sound body is not just a testament to great parenthood, but is also beneficial for the child’s holistic well-being. Yet, it is often hard to force kids to healthy food like salads and vegetables because it simply isn’t tasty for them. Children often prefer eating candies, if they have a choice.
Experienced orthodontists discuss how sweets can affect someone’s health.
An estimated one-fourth of the US population aged 2 years old and up consumes candy, according to the data collected by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Candy, as defined in the Cambridge Dictionary, is a piece of “sweet food made from sugar with chocolate, fruits, nuts, or flavors added.”
Yet, some people debate if chocolate is candy or not. Non-believers say chocolate is not candy since it is made of cacao seeds and not sugar. Because of this, some people think that eating chocolates are healthier than eating regular candy.
But an online article featured by NBC News says that dark chocolate may have positive cardiovascular effects but before you can achieve this, you need to consume a lot of chocolates. Eating a bunch of chocolates every day is a lot of calories which may not be the best way to get fit.
Effects of Eating Candy
The article in NBC news, however, stated that eating chocolate instead of hard candy may have a lesser impact on your teeth.
The University of Rochester Medical Center seems to agree with this. The university mentions that although the effects of chocolate on preventing cavities have not yet been proven, chocolates wash off the teeth more quickly than other candies. This helps prevent the build-up of plaque and thus reduces the chances of tooth decay.
Candies, on the other hand, are sticky sweets. The university recommends staying away from lollipops, caramels, and cough drops as they do not clear out of the mouth quickly.
When sugar sticks in your mouth, it attracts destructive bacteria such as the Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus. These bad bacteria feed on sugar, and if the candy you ate is not washed away by your saliva or by brushing, your mouth may foster a healthy environment for these bacteria. The result? Tooth decay and cavities.
Consuming too much sugar can be a pathway to heart disease. The FDA mentions that for a lot of people in the U.S., “main sources of added sugars are sugar-sweetened beverages, baked goods, desserts, and sweets.”
An article published by NPR (National Public Radio) on the other hand mentions the debate some people have over fruits and candies. Some say that fruits, like sweets, contain lots of sugar, and consuming them may not be as healthy as people think.
NPR suggests that though both food items contain sugar, candies can be more harmful, especially for diabetics. It mentions that when people eat candy, it causes a much higher spike in a diabetic’s blood sugar level than fruit does.
The NCBI clarifies though that candies are only a small part of an American’s diet. Based on a recent study, NCBI states that “current levels of candy consumption are not associated with risk of weight gain and cardiovascular disease in children and adults.” This only means that though there may be potential health risks on eating too many sweets, it has not caused a lot of alarm because generally, there is not much consumption among individuals.
In fact, eating candy can have positive effects. For one, because it contains sugar, it releases endogenous opioids responsible for creating a sense of pleasure when you eat a sweet treat. Eating candy can also create a burst of energy you may need to complete your day.
The most important thing about eating candy is that it makes a person happy. Happiness is one of the key factors in having great mental and emotional health, and that is as important as taking care of your physical well-being
You only live once, so if you want to eat candy, do not deprive yourself. Just don’t eat a whole pack in one go. As they say, everything is harmful if it’s too much or too little. But if you consume in moderation, a sweet treat won’t hurt.
If your teeth start to hurt though, it may or may not be caused by the candy. To be sure, seek professional help to know the cause and treat your dental problems. Don’t blame it all on the sweets.