Better Halloween Choices

Cincinnati Fall ActivitiesHalloween is just a couple days away and the “bite size” and “snack size” candies are out in full force.  My kids have already attended two “festival” parades and filled up two bowls of candy and it’s not even Halloween!  To help us all out, I have been researching the better choice when it comes to candy.  BY NO MEANS am I advocating candy, but I live in the real world and know it’s easy to be tempted!  I myself have been tempted and succumbed to the almighty candy bowl!

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate:

So let’s start with the chocolates and go from there.  The best nutty candy bar to get is the 100 Grand bar (190 calories; 8 grams of fat (5g saturated fat); 22 grams of sugar).  I know Snickers is what comes to mind, but Snickers has more calories (280 calories), more fat (14 grams of fat(5 g saturated fat)), and more sugar (28 grams).  Looking for a crunchy candy bar?  Choose a Take 5 instead of a Butterfinger.  Take 5 keeps the sugar in check by using crunchy pretzel instead of the standard nougat and you’ll save 60 calories.  Take 5: 210 calories, 11 grams of fat (5 g saturated), and 18 grams of sugar; Butterfinger: 270 calories, 11 grams of fat (6 g saturated) and 28 grams of sugar. The best chocolate  bar unfortunately is not a 3 Musketeer bar, but a Nestle Crunch bar!  The commercials for 3 Musketeers tout them as a great choice for “low fat” candy; however, when we break down all the nutritional information, they are not such a good choice.  A Nestle Crunch has 220 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 24 grams of sugar versus the 3 Musketeer bar which has 260 calories, 8 grams of fat and 40 grams of sugar.  A 3 Musketeer bar has 16 grams more sugar than the Nestle Crunch. What’s better to choose…a Kit Kat or a Hershey bar?  It’s a Kit Kat; it has 210 calories, 11 grams of fat and 22 grams of sugar.  A Hershey bar has 270 calories, 16 grams of fat and 31 grams of sugar.  I know, this time of year it is heartbreaking to hear a Hershey bar isn’t the best choice because this is a perfect time of year to make smores with a Hershey bar!

Other Than Chocolate:

Want something other than chocolate candies?  Which is better, Starburst fruit chews or Now & Later chews?  For each type of candy, the serving size is 9 pieces/chews.  Starburst fairs a little better with only 130 calories, O grams of fat and 22 grams of sugar.  Now & Later chews have 140 calories, 0 grams of fat and 22 grams of sugar per serving.  The only difference between the two are calories and Starburst is less by 10. How about Skittles compared to Gobstoppers?  Skittles have 250 calories (in the Original flavor, regular size 61.5gram), 2.5 grams of fat and 46 grams of sugar.  Gobstoppers have 60 calories for 9 pieces, 0 grams of fat and 14 grams of sugar.  Both are full of sugars, however, with regards to calories and grams of fat, Gobstoppers are your best choice! Final fruity candy choice: Laffy Taffy or Twizzlers?  For four Twizzler twists, there are 160 calories, 0.5 grams of fat and 19 grams of sugar.  Laffy Taffy 4 small bars have 140 calories, 2 grams of fat and 19 grams of sugar.  For this battle, Twizzlers are your better choice if you are tracking fats; if you are tracking calories, I would recommend Laffy Taffy.

Splurge or Indulge:

I will tell you what I tell my patients and how I live myself.  Allow yourself to splurge or indulge at least one time per week.  This will be more challenging with the holidays approaching and all the parties and celebrations; but try to stick with one day per week.  The day following or the day before (or both), hit it a little harder with regards to your exercise or physical activity.  Enjoy your time with your little ghosts and ghoblins and make sure to brush your teeth and floss after your sweet indulgences!