Every Halloween the temptation is to be the house with the best decorations in the neighborhood and the best candy on the block. You’ve undoubtedly noticed the gigantic displays at every store. They hit you right when you walk through the door. Pumpkins are arranged with other seasonal gourds, and they sit on top of a mountain of candy.
We’ve been accustomed to using vegetables as decorations and pushing cart-loads of sugar onto kids, but the origins of trick-or-treating are not filled with loads of candy. Rather, nuts and fruits were originally given to children in Ireland, where the tradition has strong roots.
The truth is that high spikes in sugar intake is not good for a person’s overall health, and has bearing even on our skin. We’ve all heard that too much chocolate can cause acne, but the real link between sweets and break-outs goes beyond this simple connection.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology:
Findings from a few studies suggest that eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging. Findings from research studies also suggest that a diet containing lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging.
The term you may have seen used in health magazines is “glycation”, and while you may want to dismiss the concern about sugar as a “trend”, the truth is that eating habits do not sporadically affect your appearance.
Eating too much candy one day of the year will probably not affect adversely, but we don’t eat all of that Halloween candy and then throw out the excess. We snack. We share. We bring it to our offices, and then we plan Thanksgiving dinner. Is it really a coincidence that marshmallows wind up in the sweet potatoes?
What we at Radiant Dermatology want to stress is maintaining healthy eating habits throughout the year. Taking a break from eating “fruit-flavored” candy to eat a real piece of fruit is not too much to ask, and doing so may even help avert those infamous “sugar meltdowns”.
So this Halloween, take some time to craft a few healthy snacks. Ration the candy, and, if you think you can handle it, hold the nougat and hand out a nectarine.