Honey buns are full of sugar and saturated fats, and depending on the brand may be full of chemical additives. They have only marginal amounts of the nutrients your body needs. Eating honey buns once in a blue moon is okay, but they're bad for you.
Honey buns are loaded with sugar. The sugar they contain is delivered quickly to your bloodstream, causing a blood sugar spike - you get a temporary high followed by a crash. When your blood sugar spikes, the body converts a good portion of it into fats for storage. If you're trying to watch your weight, honey buns are a poor choice.
The high sugar content in honey buns is also bad for your teeth. The sugar feeds the bacteria who live in your mouth. They excrete acids that break down the protective lining of your teeth, thus increasing your risk for cavities and gum disease. Brushing helps, but a strict dental hygiene regimen isn't enough - eating high-sugar foods like honey buns is still a bad bet.
Honey buns deliver all that sugar and fat with only marginal levels of the vitamins and nutrients you'd get from eating other foods. This is what scientists call "empty calories" - they give you temporary energy and not much else. It's not enough to eat 2,000 calories a day, as the USDA recommends: you also need the vitamins and minerals that accompany those calories in whole, unprocessed foods. Honey buns have almost none of those nutrients and are thus a poor way to get calories.
Store bought honey buns - such as those manufactured by Little Debbie - are rich in preservatives like TBHQ. TBHQ alone has its own laundry list of side effects, including hyperactivity and the worsening of conditions like asthma and arthritis. Although these preservatives are present in small amounts approved as safe by the federal government, prominent journalists and food scientists have raised the alarm about the prevalence of these novel food-like chemicals in the things which we eat. Journalist Michael Pollan recommends we avoid foods with ingredients that we can't pronounce. Read the back of a package of honey buns and you'll find a long list, most of it unpronounceable.
Honey buns are also rich in saturated fats. While saturated fats have been deemed safe to consume in moderate amounts, too much has been linked to heart disease, an increase of "bad" cholesterol, and obesity. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat no more than 13 grams of saturated fat a day. Eating two honey buns will account for your entire intake.
Possible short-term side effects
- blood sugar spike
Possible long-term side effects
- weight gain
- heart attack
- heart disease
- others depending on additives
Ingredients to be aware of
- saturated fat
- empty calories
- partially hydrogenated oils
- artificial flavors
- soy lecithin
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Written by Sean McNulty | 10-19-2016
Written by Sean McNulty
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