Have You Ever Eaten Candy To Relieve Stress?

I read an article recently that said that the economy is wreaking havoc on Americans’ health. And, according to the findings of a landmark Gallup poll, Americans’ stress levels soared in 2008 and continue to rise each year.

But one economically related health risk mentioned in the article really jumped out at me.

It said that more and more Americans are turning to a tried-and-true stress reliever for comfort: CANDY.

Auto manufacturers and insurance companies may be struggling. But candy companies are thriving. Cadbury’s profits rose 30 percent in 2008 and continue to increase. Nestle’s increased by nearly 11 percent. And Hershey’s profits surged by 8.5 percent in the last quarter of 2008 and its stock price has been soaring.

Sure, indulging in sugary foods may make you feel better temporarily. But in the long run, it’s going to ruin your health.

According to organic chemist and nutrition expert Shane Ellison, “If left unchecked, an addiction to sweets spikes blood sugar and the fat-storing hormone insulin, disrupts satiety (causing you to overeat), and gives rise to age-accelerating molecules known as AGEs (advanced glycation end products). AGEs are responsible for causing wrinkles and age-related blindness, as well as premature heart attacks and stroke.”

And interestingly enough, I was just reading about AGEs detrimental effect and its link to Alzheimers.

Eventually, too much sugar can result in SERIOUS health problems, including insulin resistance, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

If you’re turning to sweets to feel better, I recommend that you try confections made with “safe” sweeteners like erythritol, stevia, agave, xylitol and luo han guo. Or stick to dark chocolate, which is high in antioxidants and has a host of other health benefits.

Of course I always recommend that you monitor your TOTAL sugar intake because sugar is sugar is sugar, even if it’s the “healthy” kind. I also recognize that most folks are going to eat some form of candy or sweets, so it’s helpful to pass this information along to you so you make better sugar choices.