The Sneaky Dangers Of Halloween Candy
Did you binge on candy corn and bite-size Snickers last night? Read about how the sweet stuff wreaks havoc on your body—beyond your waistline.
Yes. Before you hit up those trick-or-treat leftovers or get duped into the half-price day-after sales (and subsequent mindless snacking), you might want to read all about the more surprising, totally gross side effects of going on a Halloween candy rampage.
Read this—and think about it every time you reach for yet another handful of candy corn.
- Sugar wrecks your smile. When you consume sugar, the natural pathogens in your mouth metabolize that sugar, breaking it down. And unfortunately, the byproduct of that reaction is straight-up acid, which stays in your mouth for a whopping 20 minutes after each piece of candy, destroying your teeth’s protective enamel. Yikes! The solution? Eat all your candy at once instead of snacking all day and brush directly afterwards. It sounds counterintuitive to binge, but at least you’ll minimize the time your teeth spend bathing in the stuff, advises dental hygienist Joann Moulton, RDH/BSDH.
- The sour stuff is super-acidic. Aside from bathing your teeth in the aforementioned nasty byproducts of breaking down sugar, sour candy itself has a high pH, which can really mess with your mouth, says Moulton. So basically, it’s like chewing on acid. Gross.
- Too much candy can block you up. Pure sugar candy (ones without nuts or chocolate) contain zero fiber, which typically helps things move through your digestive system. So filling up on too many gummies, Skittles, and Twizzlers—and not leaving room for more nutritious, fiber-rich food—may leave you with a serious upset stomach, says Sarah Krieger, MPH, RD.
- Gummies are prime cavity-causers. And so are chewy treats, like Laffy Taffy, Airheads, and good old caramels. In addition to being practically pure sugar, these sticky, gooey candies can hang around in your mouth’s crevices longer, giving the bacteria and acid an extended time to rot your teeth, says Moulton.
And what if you already binged? If you're feeling bad about it, relax. Just make sure you give yourself a really good brush and floss this morning, and detox your body by eating foods rich in fiber (like fresh fruits and vegetables) and hitting the gym for 30 minutes. All systems should be go in no time.