6 Ways Holiday Sweets and Treats Affect Your Health

December 16, 2013
by Michael Barber
6 Ways Holiday Sweets and Treats Affect Your Health

These days, the holiday tradition seems to be eating a lot of sweets. There's an abundance of delicious cookies, cakes, and candies at holiday parties or even the office. But overindulging these treats for the holidays can cause serious, long-term health risks. Here are six ways holiday sweets and treats can affect your health.

Related: 6 Types of Heart-Healthy Holiday Beverages


Type 2 Diabetes occurs when your body begins to resist insulin or the pancreas stops producing enough. This causes your glucose level to rise and build up in your bloodstream. Causes of Type 2 Diabetes include obesity and lack of exercise and poor diet. Overindulging sweets can lead to obesity, which may result in diabetes. If you already have it, eating a lot of sweets will only increase your glucose levels, causing your diabetes to become unregulated and dangerous.


Holiday sweets and treats contain a lot of sugar, fat, and calories, all of which can lead to obesity. By overeating during the holidays, you risk obesity and several health issues that come with it, such as diabetes and heart disease. Watch yourself over the holidays and be sure not to overload every plate. Mix in plenty of healthy snacks and beverages, and skip seconds on dessert.

Related: 6 Heart-Healthy Holiday Foods

High Cholesterol

Many holiday treats are baked with ingredients that are high in cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol in your blood can lead to severe heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attacks. Other risk factors for high cholesterol are smoking, existing heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Adding high cholesterol to your holiday diet puts you at a greater risk for heart attack or stroke.

Tooth Decay

Eating too many sweets and treats means consuming lots of sugar. Too much sugar can lead to cavities, and eventually tooth decay. Even a simple piece of candy, a cookie, or a can of soda can build up sugar deposits on your teeth, resulting in long-term dental issues. For healthy teeth, avoid overindulging sweets this holiday season. Brush your teeth regularly with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss.

Related: Rotten to the Core: 3 Signs of a Tooth Infection


As surprising as it might sound, too much sugar can lead to depression. While sugar and carbs give you a boost of energy, it's only temporary. Too much sugar can release stress hormones, leading you to feel down in the dumps.

Massive spikes in sugar levels can also affect preexisting mood disorders, and increase the risk of relapse. If your body is constantly releasing serotonin from a sugar high and then crashing, it may impact your mental health.

Yeast Infection

Too much sugar in your system can lead to an overproduction of yeast as well. The buildup of yeast can lead to an uncomfortable infection. Women aren't the only ones at risk. Men can also develop an infection. To avoid this possible risk, moderate the amount of sweets you eat during the holidays. If you do experience symptoms of a yeast infection, take a trip to your local urgent care center to get back to feeling your best.

Related: The Health Benefits of Pumpkin (and a Pumpkin Cannelloni Recipe)

These six health risks can be avoided by limiting the amount of sweets and treats you eat this holiday season. Enjoy, but enjoy smartly. How will you stay healthy this holiday season? Share your secrets in the comments below.