Halloween is all about dressing up and getting tons of candy. This means sky-high sugar intake for many. Therefore, we are dedicating this post to some fast facts about sugar (glucose) and its effect on the body.
Whether it be little trick-or-treaters, or having extra goodies in the house, most of us end up indulging in delicious treats simply because they are at hand. We don't want to ruin this season, but you should know the effects beforehand. It just might inspire you to take it easy and not overdo it. Remember, moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle.
Secret 1: It Rots Your Teeth
This one is a no-brainer, but worth mentioning nonetheless. You won't have to do too much dressing up during Halloween if you have a mouth full of rotten teeth. Research has long established that sugar definitely is the arch-enemy of healthy teeth.
Is your child a fan of the popular sour candies, i.e. Sour Patch Kids? These are particularly nasty. They are highly acidic which causes them to start to dissolve tooth enamel on contact.
Secret 2: It Is Addictive
Like other drugs that feed the reward system in our brain, so does sugar. It raises dopamine levels similar to cocaine and creates a craving for more. So go easy on the sugar!
Secret 3: It Sucks the Good Stuff Right Out of You
Sugar is not something the human body needs. It replaces healthy food options and creates nutritional deficiencies. In a 1999 study, researchers from the Department of Agriculture found that when people got 18% or more of their calories from sugar, they had the lowest levels of essentials like folate, calcium, iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.
Secret 4: Sugar Makes You Dumb
You've seen the Zombie shows where the zombie creatures walk around like mindless dimwits. Eat enough sugar and you won't need a costume. A 2012 study found a link between excess sugar intake and impaired learning and memory. Researchers found that rats who over-consumed fructose had damaged synaptic activity in the brain, meaning that communication among brain cells was impaired.
Researchers are also establishing links between sugar intake to Alzheimer's and dementia. Excess sugar will most definitely hinder cognitive performance. Give yourself and your child the best chance to succeed and don't allow "sugar to make you dumb".
Secret 5: Be Prepared to Crash and Burn
Often called the sugar crash, most of us have experienced this at one time or another. Eat enough sugar and you might turn into an actual monster. It's a real thing and not at all good for us.
Technically speaking, this is the peak and then the sudden drop in blood sugar from excessive sugar intake. You may experience irritability, mood swings, fatigue, and an overall feeling of despair.
Have fun on Halloween, but don't overdo it. Limit how much your child eats per day, as it can affect their school performance and mood.