Sugar! The Real Halloween Horror Story

Posted by in Tip of the week

It’s that spooky time of year again—Halloween. While haunted houses and ghoulish costumes usually take top prize for most horrifying, Candy is the culprit we should really be afraid of. During this fun and frightening time, it’s important to be aware of the role sugar is playing in our holiday traditions – and our lives.

Addicted to sugar

When we eat sugar, the reward centers of the brain are stimulated – it makes us feel good. When we eat sugar-containing foods often, we develop a tolerance, which requires us to eat more and more sugar to get that same feeling of reward. This is what makes sugar so hard to resist and leaves many people feeling addicted. Sugar has such powerful effects on the brain that it is not unlike an addictive drug.

Empty calories are just the beginning

Like a drug, sugar is essentially a poison. It has absolutely zero nutritional value and contributes to a multitude of health conditions. It’s important to note that there are two types of sugar: naturally occurring sugars, like those found in fruit, and added sugar.

Added sugar is one of the most toxic ingredients in the Western diet. Too much sugar is harmful to the body and leads to chronic inflammation and disease, not to mention tooth decay. Sugar consumption is also a major risk factor for the development of obesity and heart disease. Multiple studies show that people who eat a lot of sugar are at a much higher risk of getting cancer 

What is a ‘safe’ amount of sugar consumption?

Candy companies want us to believe that candy and sugar are a normal part of a fun, balanced lifestyle, if consumed in moderation. But how much sugar is ‘normal’ or ‘moderate’? What’s normal today would have been seen as outrageous a generation ago. Today’s families see sugar as a staple in their diet, rather than an indulgence for special occasions.

Why sugar awareness is important

Sugar consumption in the United States is on the rise. Over the past 30 years, adult consumption of added sugars in America has increased by more than 30 percent. The World Health Organization recommends your sugar intake be 5 percent of your total calorie intake. For an adult of a normal weight that works out to about 6 teaspoons. On average, Americans consume almost 30 teaspoons a day. About half of that sugar comes from soda and fruit drinks, which also happen to be the number one source of calories in our diet.

Just say no

Saying no to Halloween candy may seem unthinkable, but it can be a first step in getting off sugar and drastically improving your health. We can still keep the fun in Halloween, but replacing sugar with real food is a positive lifestyle change that we will all benefit from.

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A Simple Guide to Sustainable Eating

The Problem with ‘Superfoods’