Fudge is pretty much nothing but empty calories - fat and sugar. Still, the type of fat it contains does have antioxidants and fudge made at home is free from harmful additives. It's certainly not good for your health, but in moderation, shouldn't cause any damage.
Fudge can be made in a variety of ways and depending on whether it is homemade or mass-produced, may or may not contain various additives. This article will be concerned with additive-free fudge - the kind you make at home or get from a restaurant that makes its own fudge. There are four main ingredients in fudge: sugar, milk, butter, and whichever flavor you want your fudge to taste like. In order to keep the smooth texture, people also often add milk fat and corn syrup. These ingredients are then heated up to between 235-240 degrees Fahrenheit. Basically, what you are getting is a calorie-filled dessert that will not provide you with any vitamins or minerals. For example, chocolate fudge, which contains about 140 calories per piece, has a high fat content, taking up nearly 1/4 of the calories. Saturated fat is also pretty high, with about 10% of the daily value.
One of the main contributors to saturated fat is milk fat, which has been found to contain over 400 fatty acids. While saturated fat is said to be ok in small quantities (no more than 5-6% of your daily caloric intake), excessive consumption can increase your levels of 'bad' LDL cholesterol. High levels of this kind of cholesterol is a primary cause of both atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Fudge is also very high in sugar, which can lead to blood sugar spikes, weight gain and all the risks associated with obesity - including diabetes and, once again, heart disease.
The good news is that fudge can be made without sugar. For example, if making a fruit fudge, the fruit produce natural sugar (fructose). Another option is to use an artificial sweetener - just be sure to get one that is safe!
Possible short-term side effects
- blood sugar spike
Possible long-term side effects
- weight gain
- increased cholesterol
- heart disease
Ingredients to be aware of
- free of additives (if homemade)
- contains antioxidants
- sugar-free fudge
- fruit fudge
- dark chocolate fudge
- homemade carob cake with fudge icing
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Written by Jeff Volling | 12-29-2015
Written by Jeff Volling
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