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Do you remember the days when we didn’t know sugar had a sharp edge?  When you went on long car journeys and took some sweets along to suck, knowing they would help pass the time and possibly make the journey less boring?

You’d think I’d know better than be seduced by that memory wouldn’t you?  But I was caught out good and proper at the weekend.  I took the kids camping and in a nostalgic moment bought some boiled sweets, thinking ‘I’ll just have one or two’, forgetting that I’m a sugar monster and there’s no such concept as ‘one or two’ when it comes to me and sugar…

So 10 or so boiled sweets later, with a furry mouth and those horrible, painful little spots you get on the end of your tongue starting to form, I suddenly remembered what those supposedly innocuous little sweets were doing to me.

Sweeties are carbs, and carbs get broken down into glucose in the body, which is what it uses for fuel.  This should be a good thing, because we all need fuel, right?  Well yes, of course, but there’s not much call for energy when you’re sat on your bum driving!  Just about everything in our diet consists of carbs – bread, pasta, rice, fruit, vegetables, crackers, crisps, chocolate, sweeties, pastries…it’s all going to be broken down into glucose, which is another word for sugar my friends.  This results in rising blood glucose levels, prompting the body to release a shot of insulin to either move glucose into cells for energy, or into storage.  So chances are the vast majority of my glucose overload was swiftly moved into fat storage around my middle.  Because that’s what insulin just loves to do.   Excess glucose?  Just add it to the expanding midriff!

And not only that (yes there’s more harm done!)  How much insulin is released is related to how quickly blood glucose levels increase, so ramming several sweets down my neck meant lots of insulin, which in turn took my blood sugar levels slightly too low and left me craving more sweeties to bring my blood sugar back up (hence my inability to stop eating them!)  Like I said at the beginning…I really should have known better!

So there you go.  The moral of the story is don’t even start if you want to avoid the long list of horribleness that accompanies ‘just one or two’ sweeties!

  • furry mouth
  • pimples on tip of tongue
  • insatiable craving for more sweets
  • a bit more fat added to your middle

In my opinion sweeties are best avoided.  Stick to the sorts of carbs that have lots of fibre in them (veggies, wholegrain breads, pastas and rice, fruit in small quantities).  Learn from my mistakes people!