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The Healthy Candy Option to Give Your Kids

May 31, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 234

Of the five primary taste sensations, sweet is arguably the most pleasurable, which is why most folks take an immediate liking to it. It can take years for us to appreciate salty, sour, bitter, or savory foods, but what kid doesn't love a lollipop? The reason most of us enjoy sweets isn't just because they taste great, but also because they make our brains happy. That's right! Our minds love sugar because they use it for energy. Our bodies love it because our brains release a natural drug called dopamine that relaxes us, perhaps as a sop to encourage increased consumption.

Of course, too much sugar is a bad thing. Not only can it have a dramatic effect on our moods (hyperactivity), it may also cause us to pack on the pounds. Nutritionists have been warning us of the dangers of sugars for decades, and people are finally starting to listen. With the obesity rate at or near an all-time high in America, we have grown increasingly wary of sweets. But that hasn't stopped us from feeding them to our kids!

No, most of us are not bad parents. We simply want our children to have fun and enjoy themselves, and candy is an important part of what it means to be a kid. Sugary sweets and snacks are involved in almost every major holiday. In fact, one of them was built around them!

Candy sales for Halloween 2011 were $2.3 billion, a new record. The average treat- or-treater collects a few hundred pieces of candy in only a couple of hours. According to the results of a recent study, most kids consume between 3,500 and 7,000 calories from the candy they collect on Halloween. As disconcerting as those numbers are, what is even more troubling is that most candies are made of pure sugar.

In addition to the empty calories that sugar provides, it also plays a major role in tooth decay. Yes, your dentist was right! The bacteria all of us have in our mouths can coalesce to become dental plaque. This plaque attaches itself to our teeth and uses sugar as quick energy. The more sugar we eat, the thicker and larger the plaque grows. If left untreated, the bacteria will attack the outer layer of our teeth, also known as enamel. In time, the acid that is produced inside the plaque will eat away at the enamel until tiny holes are formed. These cavities can lead to discomfort, pain, even tooth loss.

As unpleasant as it is, dental problems are an issue every parent should consider. Kids get more cavities because they consume more sugar than adults. It really is that simple. But it isn't necessarily because adults have more self control. It's because kids burn calories much faster than grow-ups, which means they don't gain as much weight when they eat sweets. However, their teeth are not immune to excess sugar consumption.

If you worry that your children are eating too much sugar, it may be a good idea to make some substitutions. Artificial sweeteners have come a long way in recent years. Many are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. Moreover, most will not hurt your teeth. They also contain only a fraction of the calories that sugary treats and candies have.

When to use them?

As we mentioned, Halloween is the sugariest day of the year. Most kids collect so much candy they end up giving some away. Most of these treats are made of pure sugar. It is for this reason that some parents and thoughtful neighbors have started handing out sugar-free treats instead. More often than not, the kids don't know the difference. Most sugar-free candies are every bit as sweet as the original treat, they just don't contain sugar.

Sugar-free candies are also a safe and enjoyable alternative for people who suffer from chronic health conditions, like diabetes. They can eat them on a regular basis without having to worry about spikes in their blood sugar or other health issues.

Where to find them?

One easy and reliable way to save money on sugar-free candies is to buy them in bulk from an online candy store. Most sellers offer an impressive selection of sugar-free candies, in addition to the popular originals. In a recent visit to a top online seller, we browsed a catalogue that included sugar free gummy bears, chocolate covered raisins, chocolate covered peanuts, malt balls, and gum balls. All of them were available at deep discounts, since they are sold in bulk quantities. The supplier even offered free shipping on large orders!

Find sugar-free treats and candies at affordable prices at an online candy store.

Patricia Ryan is a freelance writer who writes about shopping and food products including sugar free candy.

Source: EzineArticles
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