Sweet Satisfaction The Lowdown on Simple Sugars

So your favorite sugary sweets are classified as carbohydrates—and you're supposed to eat a lot of carbohydrates—so it's okay to load up on gummy bears and licorice, right?

Not a chance. Here's why: The quality of your carbohydrates matters tremendously. Simple sugars such as candy, sodas, and sugary sweeteners found in cakes and cookies offer little in the form of nutrition except providing your body with energy and calories. These foods are literally "empty calories"—calories with no nutritional value. In moderation, simple sugars are perfectly fine (and, I admit, yummy), but people who consistently load up on the sweet stuff often find themselves too full for, or uninterested in, the healthy foods their bodies require. The end result is too much sugar and not enough nutrition.

Does sugary candy promote dental cavities?

Actually, all foods that contain carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potato, cakes, cookies, and, yes, candy) can mix with the bacteria in plaque and increase your risk for tooth decay. Sadly, nutrient-dense raisins are amongst the worst offenders. But don't panic. By brushing a few times each day, flossing daily, and swishing water around in your mouth after eating, you can fight off the drill.

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