Lucas is a type and brand of candy from Mexico. It is produced by the Mexican division of Mars Canada. Lucas has a large amount of sugar, as well as sodium. It is possible that it might contain lead. It is known that some people snort Lucas. This is very unwise, as it can damage the nasal lining. But is Lucas bad for you?
- 1 Is Lucas Bad for You?
- 2 What Are The Ingredients
- 3 Potential Short-Term Side Effects of Lucas Consumption:
- 4 Potential Long-Term Side Effects of Lucas Consumption:
- 5 The Health Effects of Excessive Sodium
Is Lucas Bad for You?
Yes, Lucas is bad for you. A type and brand of candy, Lucas’s ingredients make the product pretty unhealthy.
What Are The Ingredients
The ingredients in Lucas are sugar, salt, citric acid, chili powder, silicon dioxide, maltodextrin, and artificial coloring (Yellow 6 Lake and Yellow 5 Lake). One package of Lucas candy has 900 mg of sodium and 10 grams of sugar. Excessive sodium can cause short-term symptoms like headaches, as well as long-term ones like stroke, heart attack, and hypertension.
Excessive sugar can cause weight gain and the problems that can result from that, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Too much sugar can also put you at higher risk of cancer, and can put you at higher risk of certain kinds of infection.
Citric acid can lead to problems such as cough, sore throat, erosion of tooth enamel, and even shortness of breath. Yellow 5 Lake and Yellow 6 Lake, the artificial colors used in Lucas, have been linked to hyperactivity in children, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach.
While some people say that there is no longer any lead in Lucas, the fact that there is still any suspicion means that it is probably best avoided. Lead has extremely serious side effects, such as stunted growth in children, kidney damage, and brain damage.
Potential Short-Term Side Effects of Lucas Consumption:
- Spike in blood sugar
- Hyperactivity in children
Potential Long-Term Side Effects of Lucas Consumption:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Weight gain
- Lead poisoning
The Health Effects of Excessive Sodium
As mentioned, Lucas contains a very large amount of sodium. There are 900 mg of sodium in one package of Lucas candies. This is problematic, as excessive sodium consumption puts people at much greater risk of developing certain health problems, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, stroke, and cancer. 70 percent of American adults consume more than twice the recommended maximum level of sodium each day.
The people most at risk of developing the negative health effects caused by excessive sodium consumption include:
- People older than 50
- People with diabetes
- People with high (or even just slightly elevated) blood pressure
- African Americans
How Does Excessive Sodium Consumption Affect the Body?
Generally speaking, excessive consumption of sodium and the resultant presence of too much sodium in the bloodstream, is difficult for the kidneys to deal with. This means that sodium will accumulate, and this accumulation means that the body will need to retain water in order to be able to dilute the sodium.
When this occurs, the amount of fluid that surrounds the cells and the body’s blood volume increases. A higher volume of flood leads to more work for the heart, which must circulate the blood, as well as greater pressure on the blood vessels.
Over a long period of time, the extra strain and pressure this causes can lead to stiffening of the blood vessels. This stiffening can cause hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, and heart attack, as well as heart failure.
Type 2 Diabetes
Excessive sugar consumption and the weight gain that is likely to occur as a result of that, will put you at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that impacts the way your body deals with glucose. Glucose is a sugar that exists in the blood.
With type 2 diabetes, your pancreas might still make insulin (as it should) but your cells are unable to use it in the way they should. Insulin is critically important, as it is the substance that lets your cells convert glucose (taken from the food you ingest) into the energy your body requires.
When your cells are unable to make use of insulin as they should, it is called insulin resistance. In the beginning, the pancreas will attempt to make higher levels of insulin in order to attempt to get glucose accepted into the cells. Unfortunately, eventually this is simply untenable and the sugar level in the blood builds up.
Certain people are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than others.
These people include:
- People older than 45
- People from certain ethnic groups, including Pacific Islander-American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian-American, Native American, Alaska Native, and African American.
- People who have a history of diabetes in their family (for example, parents or siblings with diabetes)
- People who do not regularly exercise
- People who sleep too little
- People with high levels of stress
You can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by:
- Losing weight, if you are overweight or obese
- Quitting smoking, if you are a smoker
- Eating healthfully, drastically cutting down the sugar and salt in your diet
- Becoming more active and exercising more often
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:
- Wounds that don’t heal or that heal very slowly
- Fatigue and a general feeling of being worn out
- Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- Blurry vision
- Frequent urination
- Frequent feeling of thirst
If you think that you might have type 2 diabetes, it is essential that you consult with your doctor as soon as possible. Untreated type 2 diabetes can have very serious consequences.
What Have We Learned?
Lucas candies are not at all a healthy choice of snack or treat. Not only do they have the usual detrimental, junk food ingredients such as sugar and salt, but also might even contain lead, a substance that can lead to serious, irreversible damage.
“Is Lucas Bad for You?” https://www.isitbadforyou.com/questions/is-lucas-bad-for-you
“Snacks More Dangerous Than Flamin’ Hot Cheetos”, http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/11/snacks-more-dangerous-than-flamin-hot-cheetos/coke
“Too Much Salt Hurting Majority of Americans”, https://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20090326/too-much-salt-hurting-two-thirds-of-americans#1
“Health Risks and Disease Related to Salt and Sodium”, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease
“Type 2 Diabetes”, https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-2-diabetes-guide/type-2-diabetes#1