This Halloween, Americans will spend a whopping $2.3 billion on candy. That’s $7.36 per person, on average, which may not sound like a lot, but when you consider that this will get you at least two jumbo bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, that can add up to a lot of sugar–not that we will eat it all in one night, but chances are, we indulge in more than we should. (But those bite-size candies don’t count, do they?)
Not to be a buzzkill, but all of this sugar is bad news. For instance, did you know that one king-sized Snickers bar has 54 grams of sugar? That’s more than a can of Coke (which has 39 grams). A small bag of Skittles has 47 grams of sugar, and two Reese’s peanut butter cups have 20 grams. Not only do these candies come loaded with calories, but they’re void of any fiber, minerals, vitamins, proteins or nutrients. Because of this, when we eat candy–or any other high-sugared food–our bodies are forced to borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food. Often, so much calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones become osteoporotic due to calcium withdrawal. And diets high in sugar also contribute to diabetes, hypoglycemia, gallstones, mental disorders, tooth decay and gum disease.
In a prior Blisstree post, we examined what happens to your body when you drink Coke. And because sugar is the main culprit of these reactions, it’s good to know what happens when we consume large amounts of it–be it from soda, candy or any other sweet treat:
Within 10 minutes: the sugar hits your system.
20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds by turning any sugar into fat.
40 minutes: Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked, preventing drowsiness.
45 minutes: Your body increases your dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain (the same physically response someone would get from heroin).
60 minutes: If you are eating chocolate, the caffeine will make you urinate, and you will eliminate important nutrients including calcium, magnesium, and zinc, as well as sodium, electrolytes, and water.
After 1 hour: You’ll start to have a sugar crash, meaning you will likely irritable and sluggish. Thus, increasing your body’s desire to repeat the sugar-consumption cycle.
The bottom line? Enjoy Halloween and get your candy-fix tonight, but doing so repeatedly can wreak havoc on your body over time.