Close
Image description

Candy May Not Pose A Major Threat To The Waistline

February 3rd, 2014 Healthy Living

If you've been trying to shed some pounds for beach season, it's likely that you have been avoiding consuming too much candy. However, you may not have to. According to a study from researchers at the Center for Chemical Regulation and Food Safety, adults who consume candy frequently are no more likely to be overweight or at an increased risk of heart disease than those who only moderately or never eat candies.

The researchers conducted a survey and found that almost all adults admitted to eating candy. However, those who ate it every other day seemed no more likely to be overweight than those who ate it once a week or even less than three times a month.

Now, these findings don't mean that you can eat all the candy you want and not gain weight. What it does suggest is that candy may not be the thing that's causing you to gain weight in the first place. The scientists found that, on average, most people got only 44 extra calories and slightly more than 1 teaspoon of added sugar each day from candy.

"There is a place for little pleasures, such as candy, in life. A little treat in moderation can have a positive impact on mood and satisfaction, and as emerging research suggests, minimal impact on diet and health risk," said Laura Shumow, M.H.S., director of scientific and regulatory affairs at the National Confectioners Association, in a statement.

According to Self magazine, if you're going to eat candy, you should go for dark chocolate, as it may contain healthy antioxidants. Also, a quick way to get a little sugar fix is to chew some gum, which could also help you stay more alert and focused than before you had a piece. Finally, cutting candy in half can still give you the taste without all of the calories.

Healthier chocolate candy options
Chocolate candies that contain nuts can have additional dietary value. As Marie Spano, RD, owner of a Nutrition Consulting firm, told Fitness Magazine, nuts contain a wide range of nutrients and healthy fats that could balance the effects of sugar. Raisins are another nutritional chocolate candy item, as they are high in antioxidants and fiber. So if you're looking for healthier chocolate options, leave pretzels and marshmallows on the shelf and pick up chocolate bars with nuts or chocolate-covered raisins instead.

While the results of the Center for Chemical Regulation and Food Safety survey may come as exciting news for candy lovers, it is still important to understand the nutritional value of the types of candies you are eating. Check candy labels for ingredients like hydrogenated oils, which Katie Cavuto Boyle, RD, owner of Healthy Bites, advised Fitness Magazine readers to avoid eating.

Ultimately, candy eaters should understand that although they may not be increasing their risk of weight gain or heart disease by eating sweets, more research is required to fully understand the health effects of candy. The best advice is to make your favorite candies part of an overall healthy, active lifestyle.