is salt water taffy bad for you

Is Salt Water Taffy Bad for You? How Many Can You Eat?

Who does not like Taffy? But like with any other type of candy, there is that little voice inside our head, wondering whether eating Taffy will do more harm than good. So, what does consuming Taffy do to your body? And is saltwater, in particular, more harmful than the regular variety? 

Salt Water Taffy is harmful to your body as it is high in calories and low in nutrients. Additionally, Taffy, regular, or saltwater, is more damaging to your teeth than most other candies since it is stickier. So, they stick to the teeth and facilitate bacterial growth. 

However, just like any other regular candy, Taffy is not lethal, nor will it do great harm if you eat it in small amounts. But you should be aware of the products you put in your body, 

So, in this article, we will look at the chemical composition of Taffy and how regular and Salt Water Taffy differ from one another. We also discuss just how harmful these sweet and stretchy delights are for the human body. 

Is Salt Water Taffy OK to Eat? 

Let’s be frank; most candies you find in stores are bad for you. Some more so than others but they mostly have the same traits. And both regular and Salt Water Taffy are not exempt from this. 

All taffies are made out of boiled sugar and corn syrup. And right there, you can see a problem. This high sugar content level results in plenty of calories with very few important nutrients to accompany it. So, all that you are doing is exceeding your body’s energy requirement and not leaving enough room for other substances such as protein or vitamins. 

Much of the sugar is converted to fat in our bodies. So, excessive sugar will likely result in a lot of fat formation, which can lead to a separate set of issues. 

Then you consider the effect Taffy has on your teeth and gum. Taffy is more adhesive than most other candies so it sticks to your teeth more frequently. And it can be very tough to clean out properly. This invariably causes gingivitis and eventually tooth decay.  

However, similar to other candies, you can avoid any serious damage if you eat Taffy in moderation. So, perhaps one or two pieces when you go out on vacation. Eating several pieces in a short period will invariably lead to bad effects. 

Is Salt Water Taffy Hard to Digest? 

Taffy is not hard to digest for our body. In fact, the high sugar will ensure that it digests pretty quickly, as our body is particularly efficient in breaking down simple carbohydrates. The hard part is getting the residues out of your mouth.

How Is Salt Water Taffy Made? 

To better understand the effect of Taffy inside our bodies, we first need to look at how these treats are made.  

Typically, Taffy is made from sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, emulsifier, artificial coloring, etc. Depending on the brand of Taffy, you may find some other ingredients mixed in. But in general, Taffy is made out of these core components. 

First, the ingredients are boiled together until a thick mass of molasses is formed. This initial concoction is sticky and very hot. The mass is let to cool down for a bit so that it is easier to handle. Then the entire mixture is stretched and folded into itself repeatedly.  

This final step allows the mixture to properly mix with air, which gives Taffy its signature light, chewy and stretchy texture. Finally, the Taffy is cut into smaller pieces and packaged in colorful wrappings. 

Does Salt Water Taffy Have a Lot of Salt? 

Contrary to what the name suggests, Salt Water Taffy does not contain any trace of seawater. It can feature both salt and water, but usually in a very small amount. In fact, some caramel-based candies have more traces of salt and even sea salt than any Taffy you are going to find on the market. 

Is There a Difference Between Taffy and Salt Water Taffy? 

To the untrained palate, this may pose a problem when going to a candy shop. However, in practice, there is no distinct difference between regular Taffy and Salt Water Taffy. Other than the name and the marketing behind it, both types of Taffy are made out of mostly the same core ingredients. 

If there is a difference in two taffies made by two separate companies, it is due to a difference in company strategy. As to how it got a different name, there are variations to the story of origin. 

Salt Water Taffy gained popularity in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the late nineteenth century. The most popular story goes as such – a candy store got flooded and the Taffy inside the store got drenched in saltwater; so, the store owner jokingly referred to the Taffy as “saltwater Taffy”. From there, the legend of Salt Water Taffy only grew, and now it is a household term. 

As we alluded to, a big reason this term is so widely distributed is marketing. The term Salt Water Taffy sets the candy apart from other confectionaries and has become synonymous with summertime. So, the name stuck around and has become a special item, particularly for people visiting Atlantic City or Salt Lake City. 

Is Salt Water Taffy Vegan or Vegetarian? 

Salt Water or regular Taffy is often not vegan friendly. Most Taffy recipes contain additional ingredients such as butter, milk, and other dairy products. So, if you are a vegan, you should confirm the exact components before putting them down in your gullet. 

Salt Water Taffy has become a staple part of summer holidays and vacations at the beach. And it is pretty hard to resist. As long as you control your indulgence and consume in moderation, you should be fine. 

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