In the United States, Halloween is a big deal. The National Retail Federation reported that Americans spent $2.7 billion dollars on Halloween candy in 2017. Regardless of whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or neighbor of kids, last night was probably pretty busy for you.
While eating Halloween candy every day from now until Easter probably isn’t a good idea, indulging in a few holiday treats likely won’t derail your diet and health.
When snacking on Halloween candy, having a game plan is important. According to the Mayo Clinic, Americans should consume less than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugars. Unfortunately, most of the candy options lining super market shelves are packed with sugar. Before mindlessly burying your hand in the leftover bag of Halloween candy, knowing the good, the bad, and the worst options available is crucial. To help you accomplish this task, we’ve ranked some popular Halloween candies from best to worst.
Here are some of the better choices out there.
Snack-size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Creamy peanut butter and decadent chocolate are a match made in heaven. Fortunately, snack-size Reese’s peanut butter cups are one of the better Halloween candy options available. According to WRCBtv, a single peanut butter cup consists of 110 calories and 11 grams of sugar. So, they obviously shouldn’t be considered a health food. But, these delicious morsels do pack two redeeming grams of protein and one gram of fiber. The protein and fiber can help you feel full longer. So, you’ll be less likely to go for seconds.
Tootsie Roll Minis
The tootsie roll is a nostalgic, sweet, and satisfying treat. Because they’re chewy, you’ll spend more time and effort consuming tootsie rolls. Therefore, you won’t be able to down too many quickly. Four tootsie roll minis contain 150 calories and 19 grams of sugar. To limit your sugar intake, stick to one tootsie roll mini. You’ll consume less than five grams of sugar and still satisfy your sweet tooth.
Charms Blow Pop
This fun lollipop consists of a piece of gum in its center. While one Charms blow pop does contain 13 grams of sugar, it has only 70 calories. Even better, finishing off one of these treats will take a while. So, like tootsie roll minis, you won’t be tempted to eat several in a short amount of time.
Now that you’re armed with some acceptable candy alternatives for Halloween, you might want to steer clear of the following offerings.
You may have heard that eating brightly colored foods is healthy. This is certainly true for tasty foods such as strawberries, blueberries, carrots, and sweet potatoes. However, this rule doesn’t apply to Skittles. Once you get inside of Skittles’ little candy shells, they’re practically as sticky as gummy candies. So, they can wreak havoc on your teeth. They’re also predominately made from processed sugar and artificial flavors. Since they’re so small, you can eat a ton of them without even realizing it until later when your jeans don’t fit.
You might assume chocolate covered fruit is fairly harmless. However, dried fruit is much more sugar dense than whole fruit. So, Raisinettes aren’t as diet friendly as they might sound. If you’re craving a chocolatey, fruity snack, opt for chocolate covered strawberries instead.
For many people, candy corn is their Halloween staple. After all, its yellow and orange colors make candy corn a fun favorite for this festive holiday. Unfortunately, candy corn is probably the worst Halloween sweet treat at the supermarket. The ingredients in this colorful concoction are sugar, artificial coloring, and flavoring. According to the Food Network, the entire 140 calories a serving size of candy corn contains comes from sugar. Candy corn just doesn’t have an iota of nutritional value in it. If you’ve got a stash of candy corn that’s tempting you at your house, throwing it out sooner rather than later might be your best option.
When browsing the Halloween candy aisle at your grocery store or raiding your kids’ or grandkids’ trick-or-treat bag, look for candy containing dark chocolate. Filled with health benefiting antioxidants and fiber, dark chocolate is a better alternative than its milk counterpart. When you select the piece of Halloween candy you’re craving, savor it slowly without feeling guilty. After all, you’ve made it through October of another year. You deserve it.