Did you fill the big pillowcase to the rim with Halloween candy? (sometimes stopping home to dump one load so you could fill it again?) Could you canvas not just YOUR neighborhood, but several others?
After you got home, if you were like me, then you and Mom went through your candy to make sure it was safe. We threw away anything that was opened or home made, and we double-checked apples because of that frightening legend about razor blades. I remember some families even taking their candy to the ER to x-ray it.
Halloween has changed a bit since I was a kid. The thought of my kids running around unsupervised at night is horrific. Now there are scary ingredients, like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), hiding in our treats. Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog describes HFCS and explains the detrimental effects it has on our bodies and our total health. This blog resonates in 3 of my major frequencies: Dentist, Mom, and Wellness Advocate. Here’s why:
The “good bacteria” in your mouth use the HFCS for metabolism and then release lactic acid as a waste product. The lactic acid erodes your enamel, boring a hole that becomes a cavity. The acid also accumulates so that your whole mouth becomes acidic. The acid environment programs the “good bacteria” in your mouth to behave like bad bacteria. And, now your mouth is full of pathogenic bacteria who have the ability to rapidly cause cavities and gum disease. Studies suggest that HFCS is even more tooth-lethal than simple cane sugar.
Recent studies suggest that HFCS is as addictive as cocaine! It’s hiding in the foods our kids love: cereals, breads, ice creams, cookies, candy, crackers, sodas, sports drinks, salad dressings, condiments, cough syrups and more. Childhood obesity is on the rise, and it could be that our treasured children are literally addicted to this ingredient.
In Dr. Hyman’s blog he describes how HFCS increases appetite, promotes obesity, punches holes in your intestinal lining, contributes to diabesity and inflammation, and causes liver damage.
As your dentist and wellness advocate and a mom who loves my kids and yours, my advice for Halloween 2014 is to read the list of ingredients in your treats. If your treats are tricking you by hiding scary ingredients like HFCS (also listed as corn syrup, corn sugar, corn syrup solids), toss ‘em. Sound sad? I have great news. If your Halloween candy is sweetened with Xylitol, it helps to prevent and reverse cavities. It also has other positive health benefits! That’s right — HEALTHY CANDY! Stop by Atlanta Dental Spa to purchase some, or click either of these links Amazon or Dr. John’s to purchase online.
by Dr. Susan Estep