Each year during the Halloween season, people opt for the “healthier” sugar-free candy options that line grocery store aisles. But are sugar-free candies really better for our stomachs? Some gastrointestinal experts suggest that reaching for the full-sugar options might actually be better in the long run.
Most candy is high in sugar and carbs but low in fiber, making it a nightmare for our digestive tracts. For this reason, gastro experts don’t generally recommend candy at all, but during Halloween, it’s hard to resist the temptation of chocolates, gummy bears, and candy bars. However, specialists have pinpointed a few of the worst candies for your stomach.
- Milk chocolate candy without nuts. This is one of the worst candies for your stomach because chocolate is a diuretic, meaning consuming too much of it could result in diarrhea. Eating milk chocolate with nuts will probably still cause GI tract issues, but the nuts provide some nutritional benefits.
- Sugar-free candy with sugar substitutes. Sugar alcohols, such as Sorbitol, in sugar substitutes usually act as a laxative, so while eating sugar-free candies may feel like you’re gaming the system, they could actually cause serious GI distress.
- Processed candies like licorice. Candies that contain a lot of processed sugar and artificial ingredients can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Candies with high fructose corn syrup, modified soy lecithin, or Tertiary Butylhydroquinone in the ingredient list should be avoided.
But do not fear, there are a few candies that gastroenterologists have deemed acceptable for Halloween night feasting.
- Dark chocolate with nuts. Nuts are a good source of fiber, and the higher the cacao percentage in your chocolate, the better for your body. Dark chocolate has even been found to produce a special enzyme in your stomach that reduces inflammation.
- Gummy bears and gelatin candies. Some gastro experts recommend gelatin as a beneficial treat for your stomach lining health. Just take care not to overindulge in these sugary treats.
- Jellybeans are low-calorie and low-sugar candies, so enjoying them in moderation won’t do any damage to your gut.
Contact a Gastroenterologist Today
Gastrointestinal problems may get worse around the Halloween season due to heightened candy consumption, but if you experience discomfort and bloating year-round, it might be a sign of an underlying problem. A call to the gastro experts at GastroCare LI is the first step toward a healthier, happier life. Call our office at (516) 265-7049 or fill out an online contact form to schedule an appointment today.