Sugar, Spice, and All Things Sweet

There comes a special day once a year when the inside of all our mouths suggests we made out with Willy Wonka. Halloween is one of our favorite holidays for many reasons, but the glaringly obvious one is the inevitable access to sugar everywhere you go. There is something so wonderful about double-fisting candy corn while chugging a PSL and rounding the binge out with chocolate you stole from your 12-year-old brother’s Trick or Treating pillowcase stash. Did you know there are 50 grams of sugar in grande Pumpkin Spice Latte? 

All that said, this sacred day is one where we exercise the highest amount of self-control we can muster.  Fear not, we will save you from one extra scare this year (usually in the form of a cavity or 4 extra pounds gained) and inform you of some truths behind sugar, and what it does when it enters your body, so you can at least make an informed binging decision. Here are five things going on inside of you immediately when you eat sugar:

  • When sugar enters the body, your brain has a chemical reaction to it, specifically in the brain’s reward center. According to the US National Institute of Drug Abuse, sugar causes cravings and urges in the brain consistent to people addicted to cocaine. This means that your body craves it more and more.
  • Your aging process is sped up, as sugar slows down collagen production, which keeps your skin plump and tight. This translate into a more haggard look, much like that Halloween mask you bought.
  • Since sugar is a highly processed substance, it has been directly linked to acne. It causes oil production and inflammation in our skin, both of which bring on new pimples to pop.
  • Sugar is stored as fat in the liver, which means that you very well may see the scale start to tick upwards when you step on over time. While weight gain is an obvious one, this is because sugar does not make you feel full, even if the calorie intake is high. This leads to overeating, binging and a cycle of indulgence.
  • Sugar may spike your energy level, but it will put you straight into a cycle of highs and lows, as your blood sugar level experiences a sharp drop in blood sugar—which essentially feels like that 3 PM office energy crash on a Monday.

This just scratches the surface of the effects of sugar on our bodies. Sugar puts you at risk of many other long-term diseases, such as kidney disease, dental diseases, cognitive diseases, cancer, depression and more. While all of these are negatives, we want to stress to you all that it is ALWAYS okay to treat yourself sometimes, in moderation. Life is all about balance. The daily recommended amount of sugar is 25g for women and 38 g for men, which is pretty easy to hit by about 9 AM if you are not careful! Be conscious of what you are putting inside of your body, but remember that balance is always, always okay. If you’re looking to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours, might we suggest indulging in one of Rachael DeVaux’s Healthy Copycat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! Trust us when we say, they might be the best things to ever enter your stomach. Have a happy and healthy Halloween!

XO,

Amanda and Christina

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