I like candy, but always feel guilty when I eat it, so I was pleased to discover hundred-year-old advice on the role of candy in the diet.
The Use of Candy in the Diet
Candy is an energy-giving food, but, unfortunately perhaps, it is not (at all times) a most desirable energy-giving food. Sugar exists in candy in concentrated form. In this condition, sugar is irritating to the organs of digestion.
Sugar is contained in large quantity in some fruits, especially in dried fruits, figs, dates, prunes, etc. These fruits are a much better source of sweets for children than is candy, because they do not contain as much sugar, and have, in addition, valuable food materials in the form of ash.
Candy should never be used to excess. A little eaten at the end of a meal is not harmful to a normal person. At that time the sugar does not come in direct contact with the walls of the alimentary canal, as it would if eaten between meals.
A Text-Book of Cooking by Carlotta C. Greer (1915)
The quote mentions “ash” in fruits. Ash is an old-time term for the minerals in foods.