- Halloween is right around the corner, which means your house is probably full of candy.
- Although most people stock up on this candy and eat it throughout the holiday season, it might be better to instead, eat it all at once.
- That’s because excess sugar over time can cause more damage to your teeth than excess sugar in one sitting.
- Also, restricting yourself can lead to overeating in the future.
With Halloween just days away you might be in full candy mode.
Because who doesn’t love candy, right? Whether you’re a chocolate lover, a gummy bear fan, or a stickler for the classics, there’s a Halloween candy for everyone.
And it turns out, it might be an OK idea to let yourself indulge in your favourites in one sitting.
Eating candy over a long period of time is worse for your teeth than eating it all at once, according to experts
It’s not a secret that sugar is harmful to your dental health. Therefore, the idea of sitting down to consume a bucket of candy might seem like the worst thing possible for your teeth. It’s not, however, that simple.
Anna Berik, a dentist in Boston, told Time magazine that indulging in your candy all at once is less cavity-inducing than snacking on it over time.
This is because after you eat sweets, bacteria feed on the sugars and starches left on your teeth to form plaque. The plaque then begins to wear down your enamel and create holes, better known as cavities. “Cavities are a matter of having something to feed the bacteria – the sugar from the candy – and also the duration of time it’s in contact with your teeth,” Berik told the magazine.
“The bacteria can only make the acid so fast,” she continued.
Therefore, eating three peanut butter cups and immediately brushing your teeth won’t damage your teeth the way that eating sugar over time will.
When it comes to your overall weight loss and health goals, a quick candy binge might be the smarter choice
Cravings are very common. In fact, more than 50% of people experience cravings on a regular basis and more often than not these cravings are for sugary foods.
Susan Roberts, Ph.D., professor of nutrition and psychiatry at Tufts University in Boston told NBC News that biting into sugary, delicious foods releases dopamine, “the reward chemical,” and the same chemical that’s released during drug use and sex. Because the urges can be so strong, Roberts recommends combating them by setting aside particular times to let yourself indulge so you’re not consistently fighting cravings.
Nichola Whitehead, a registered dietitian and nutritionist with a practice in the UK, echoed her sentiments saying that it’s OK to allow yourself room to cheat on a diet.
“It’s alright to overeat occasionally,” Whitehead previously told Business Insider. “It’s overeating consistently day in and day out over the long term that causes weight gain.”
Plus, she added that if you overeat one day, you’re more likely to be less hungry and eat healthy the next.
“It’s what you’re doing over the long term that’s really going to make a difference,” Whitehead concluded.
If you are going to eat a lot of sugar, there are some ways to minimise the impact
If you’ve decided to embrace Halloween to its fullest and enjoy all the sugary treats it entails, there are some tricks to minimise the implications on your health.
For starters, consider drinking a full glass of water before a meal. Doing so helps to provide a sense of fullness, which lessens your likelihood of overeating as less food will be required to feel satisfied.
You might also want to consider staying your feet after consuming your Halloween treats to help your body digest. According to a 2002 study that compared the digestion speeds of women who either sat or laid down immediately after a meal, the women who laid down took around 22 additional minutes to digest their food, compared to those who sat.
Finally, if your sugar binge happens before lunch or dinner, Laila Tabatabai, MD, an endocrinologist at Houston Methodist Hospital recommended to Health magazine eliminating bread and simple carbohydrates at your next meal.
“If you’ve already had something sweet and sugary, stick with salad and lean protein,” she told the magazine. “You don’t need the additional potato or pasta carbs piled on top.”
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