As Halloween approaches, your sweet tooth starts craving chocolate and other sugary treats. Trick-or-treat shopping becomes a battle of willpower in the face of sugar.
Before you know it, you’ve bought a secret stash just for yourself. A little extra candy for Halloween is to be expected, but be careful of going overboard. While diving into a pile of candy may appear attractive, your sweet tooth won’t thank you later, after you’ve eaten that bag of candy within a three-day span.
Health Effects of Overindulging on Sweets
Overindulgence could land you in the dentist’s office before your regular check up. Sugar may also lead to risk factors that create the perfect breeding ground for systemic diseases.
Research indicates that sugar is the sole cause of tooth decay in children and adults. 60 to 90 percent of children in school, and 92 percent of adults have had tooth decay. Most of the problem is found in the consumption of soda, fruit juice and unhealthy, sugar-filled vending machine snacks. New guidelines indicate that only 5 percent of an individual’s caloric intake should be from sugar.
The health effects of sugar pose negative risks that are devastating to the body. Too much sugar and bad dental health lead to the build up of plaque on the teeth, gingivitis and periodontal disease, which places people at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis, for example.
If you have to buy candy for the kids, get in and get out fast like you’re a secret agent diffusing a bomb. Opt for healthier choices, where possible. Bring a strong-willed friend for moral support while you shop for those sweets. Once your mission is accomplished, associate the candy aisle with certain tooth doom—the plague that means plaque and worse.
Sweet Tooth Care Strategies
A few sweet tooth care strategies will protect your teeth. Avoid an anti-chocolate lecture from your dentist by taking extra good care of your body and dental health while you partake in those sweets:
- Actually follow your dentist’s dental advice, daily.
Since sugar directly affects your teeth, you’ll need to brush and floss daily, as recommended. Flossing will reach the places your toothbrush can't and cleans 70 percent of the plaque bacteria in your mouth. Attending to your daily tooth health will help you avoid periodontal disease, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and other systemic diseases.
- Limit intake of unhealthy sweets.
A high sugar intake is a known association with diseases like diabetes. However, repeated over-consumption will affect your dental health. With only five percent of your caloric intake dedicated to sugar, it’s time to limit the unhealthy sweets and monitor your sugar intake.
- Choose to eat and give out healthier treats.
A sweet tooth craving is hard to beat, but healthier options can help boost your health in other ways, too. Choosing to eat healthier sweets that include raw ingredients such as honey or stevia help to actually improve your overall health.
Give out healthier treats to children to provide a variety of options that are actually tasty. Some existing options are surprisingly low in sugar and gluten-free. Many children also have health needs and dietary restricts that prevent them from eating unhealthy snacks. Another option is to give out spooky spider plastic rings!
Try This Healthy Halloween Sweet Snack
Many healthy sweet treats are actually quite delicious, as they are good for you. Remember candied apples? Make them even more delicious with heart-healthy dark chocolate (raw, no added corn syrup) and the delicious natural sugars found in your favorite apple variety.
Try these darkly delicious apples. You only need four apples, sticks, 1 cup of dark chocolate chips and parchment paper.
Remove the apple stems, and insert the sticks into the apples from the top. Melt the dark chocolate chips in a double boiler. Once melted, rotate each apple in the chocolate until all sides are covered. Line the apples on the parchment paper, insert into the fridge and let cool.
You can still enjoy Halloween without overindulging in all the unhealthy candy. Attend to your daily dental needs, as recommended. Realize that choosing healthier treats doesn’t mean giving up flavor. It’s about staying sweet while boosting your overall health.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.