Top 5 BEST and WORST Halloween Treats

It’s about that time of year again where we all get a little SPOOKY!

But that shouldn’t include your Halloween candy!

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About 4% of all the candy consumed in the US occurs onĀ that one day.

Many fun-sized treats range from 50-100 calories each – so eating a few a day for several weeks without adjusting other aspects of your diet or activity levels can lead to unwanted weight gain or derail weight loss plans.

THE WORST

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1. Now and Laters

These inconspicuous little buggers are practically a one-way ticket to the dentist’s chair. Tacky and taffy candies like these can cause damage to teeth – especially if you have sealants.

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2. Take 5

Salt and sweet – this is a killer combo for your taste buds. So much so, that you probably won’t be able to stop at just 1 and instead will need to “take 5”. Salty-sweet things are popular for a REASON. The flavors balance each other out meaning that you can keep eating them without getting “flavor fatigue”.

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3. Starbursts

It pains me to say this, because there are few things in life that bring a person more joy than unwrapping a 2-pack that reveals TWO PINK Starbursts, but they contain hydrogenated palm kernel oil. Hydrogenated oils are a major source of trans fats in the diet. While some trans fatsĀ are found in nature, this is as far as you can get from “natural”.

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4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins

I get it. Seasonal Reese’s taste better. But the Pumpkins come in just under a whopping 200 calories each – more than a standard Reese’s cup.

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5. Any “King Size” Candy Bar

If the name of the game and the key to winning the war on holiday weight gain is “moderation”, then I’d say King Size candy bars are enemy #1. Portion control shouldn’t be used to justify consuming a meal’s worth of calories on “just one piece” of candy.

THE BEST

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1. York Peppermint Patties

Only 60 calories and about 1 gram of fat, this dark chocolate pattie has such a strong mint flavor that you’d be hard pressed to eat too many without feeling overwhelmed.

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2. Dark Chocolate Kisses

You can have THREE for the same calories as a mini candy bar. Add in the dark chocolate antioxidant factor and you can feel good about this little indulgence.

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3. Justin’s Dark Chocolate Organic Peanut Butter Cups

Reese’s Cups are my FAVORITE chocolate-based candy, but the PB&C classic contains some questionable ingredients. I’m all for sustainably-sourced ingredients and words I can pronounce and identify. Don’t let the “organic” label fool you, though. Moderation is still key with these puppies!

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4. Dum Dums

These little suckers take a long time to eat – granted you aren’t a savage and just bite the whole dang thing off. Take your time and savor this 20 calorie treat.

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5. Mini 3 Musketeers

3 Musketeers are light and airy thanks to the nougat filling. More air = lower in calories. One little mini has about 25 calories whereas denser candies can whop about twice as much.

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MY TOP 5 HEALTHY HALLOWEEN TIPS

  1. If you want to indulge in some “naughty” treats – stick to one per day.
  2. Hand out some healthier alternatives! Like mini packets of pretzels, fruit leather, or flavored almonds.
  3. Get the candy out of the house after a week or two! Don’t be that person still eating Halloween candy at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.
  4. If it’s not wrapped, throw it out. Food safety comes first, and this is especially true for those with allergies.
  5. Don’t stock up too early. If you’re anything like my household growing up, you’ll end up eating the candy yourself before the day even comes!
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