‘Tis the season of candy, goodies and big family meals. What starts the cascade of holiday festivities, but our childhood favorite…Halloween! Halloween is one of those holidays that regardless of age I have to admit I look forward to. Really, what is cooler than free candy?
So, let’s be honest here. I have often seen the healthiest of healthy people grab a mini snickers from the office Halloween candy bowl. We’ve all most likely done it. I’ll admit it, I am a wellness professional and I eat candy. However, my definition of candy might differ a bit from the norm. When I eat a sweet I try hard to eat ones that in some shape or form have some positive health benefits. However, the office candy bowl may not offer 70% dark chocolate squares. So, if you know you will be tempted, what are the “best” options to choose from? Here are a few of my go to tips as I wade through the candy bowl:
- Size does not always mean fewer calories. Take a Butterfinger for example. A “fun size” Butterfinger has 100 calories! Compare that to a “fun size” 3 Musketeers that only packs 63 calories.
- Fruity candy can be deceiving. While it may be “fat free”, it is often filled with a lot of artificial colors and flavors. For the most part there isn’t a way around this unless you can get your hand on some of the more natural or organic candy brands like YummyEarth. In fact, you would be better off with one “fun size” candy bar vs. 5 handfulls of sugary candy. Consider this: Starburst has 204 calories and 4 grams of fat for 10 pieces! AND Starbursts are one of the only fruit candies that actually contain fat!
- Simple is often a good sign. Take a York Peppermint Pattie for example. One FULL, BIG Pattie is only 140 calories and 2 grams of fat. Compare that to any FULL size candy bar and you usually have the Pattie as your winner! When you look at the ingredients in a York the list is short. Just like we have heard with any food, the less ingredients you see (and hopefully words you understand) often times the better!
- Specialty versions are often bigger, heftier versions of the original. Take the Reese’s pumpkin vs. the regular Reese’s peanut butter cup. The peanut butter pumpkin is a whopping 170 calories compared to the normal 105 calories of your standard cup. Does it really need to look like a pumpkin to taste good?
- Try candies that last. A lollipop is always a good choice. Normally lower in calories, you can keep the flavor and enjoyment lasting minutes!
I know how fun Halloween can be for young and old alike, this year try to have your fun and eat your “good” candy too!