Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and the store aisles are already brimming with a heart-shaped variety of every candy imaginable. After all, Valentine’s Day is the second biggest candy holiday in the United States (Halloween is the first). Assorted chocolates and candy conversation hearts are just a few signature treats we expect to enjoy every February 14th. And although it may seem sweet to receive sugary confections as tokens of one’s undying love and affection, too much candy can be problematic for your health.
A diet high in sugar is associated with a variety of health risks, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily sugar intake to no more than half your daily amount of discretionary calories. That amounts to roughly 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of sugar a day for females, and about 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of sugar a day for males. That may seem like a generous sugar allowance at first glance, but wait until you compare numbers with some popular Valentine’s Day treats (Source: POPSUGAR Fitness):
• Brach’s Cinnamon Hearts (5 pieces): 24 grams of sugar
• Conversation Hearts (10 pieces): 24 grams of sugar
• Peeps Marshmallow Hearts (3 pieces): 25 grams of sugar
• Cupid Corn (30 pieces): 27 grams of sugar
• Sugar cookie with icing: 31 grams of sugar
• Red velvet cupcake: 36 grams of sugar
In just one serving of these popular sweets, you can easily meet (or exceed) your daily recommended amount of sugar. And let’s be honest; how often do we really stop with just one serving?
We all like to indulge a little on this sweet holiday, and that’s ok. Just remember to practice moderation and limit your daily sugar intake. With a little self-control, you can partake in this sweet holiday and preserve your health as well. Now there’s something that will truly make your heart happy!