This time of year, it’s hard not to think about candy. From in-store displays, to online advertising, to tempting bowls of chocolates at the office and social gatherings, candy is everywhere. And that doesn’t even count all of the Halloween candy that will undoubtedly make it’s way into your home (and your stomach) come October 31. But even after Halloween, the candy temptation seems to linger well though the winter holidays, even through Valentine’s Day, and beyond. All of this candy combined with other sweets during the holiday season, can most certainly pack on unwanted pounds and generally leave us feeling all sugared out.
If you’re looking to combat this constant candy exposure, and subsequent candy consumption, try the Swedish practice of lördagsgodis, or the custom of only eating candy on Saturdays (aka “Saturday Sweets”). As crazy and uber disciplined as this may sound, nearly 75 years ago, Sweden recognized the negative impact that eating too much candy was having on dental health. At that point, Swedish medical authorities began to recommend limiting candy and other sweets as a once-a-week indulgence, rather than an everyday occurrence. Swedish families followed suit and have been embracing the practice ever since.
But did limiting candy consumption to one day a week work? It must have. In 2019 the Bloomberg Health Index ranked Sweden in the Top 10 healthiest countries in the world (#6 to be exact). Furthermore, in 2022, Sweden ranked #5 in the Top 10 countries for dental health. And these healthy outcomes are in spite of the Swedish consuming over 30 pounds of sweets per person annually.
So the moral of the story…there’s no need give up candy or even sweets entirely to stay healthy. You can still enjoy your kids’ Halloween candy and even some specialty chocolates during the holidays, just try to limit your consumption….to one day a week…preferably on Saturdays.