Halloween is a fun holiday. It’s a day where sugars, fats and calories do not count! It is an ultimate cheat day ~or cheat week~ if you take your time eating all of that delicious candy. While it is fun to indulge from time to time, it is also good to be mindful of exactly what we are putting in our bodies so that when we are stressing over the extra few pounds on the scale, we know exactly what could be the cause.
While the kids innocently enjoy eating 4 Hershey’s bars at a time, it’s us adults who have to be especially mindful of the nutritional information. For instance, three mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups contain more sugar than a glazed doughnut; half a pack of Skittles has more sugar than a scoop of Haagen-Dazs Cookies and Cream Ice Cream; nine Twizzlers contain the same number of calories as a Wendy’s Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe!!
Additionally, it is important to be mindful of the digestive issues which can arise when eating too much candy in one sitting. For instance, eating too much chocolate at a time can lead to diarrhea because it contains caffeine which is a diuretic. On the other hand, over indulging in non-chocolate sweets without nuts can cause pretty bad constipation because you are consuming no fiber. Other candies contain the additive TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone) which can induce nausea and vomiting.
In this article, I am going to list some of the WORST and BEST Halloween candies so you can enjoy smart!!
Now and Later Fun Size
These taffies (which are also terrible for your teeth) are made with the three worst ingredients common to many U.S. candies: sugar, vegetable oil and artificial coloring. Despite having a low-fat content, these candies are best to be saved for much later.
These hard candies contain a heavy combination of corn syrup and sugar- two of the worst ingredients sure to leave you with internal discomfort.
Milky Way Minis
These little things may be mini, but they are jam-packed with sugar and fat. Milky Way Minis are made mostly of sugar, corn syrup and more sugar mixed with milk fat and vegetable fat along with artificial flavors.
Almond Joy Snack Bars
It will take you a half an hour of walking to burn off one of these mini bars. Packed with corn syrup, milk chocolate, sugar and vegetable oils, a handful of these could cause some damage. Additionally, Almond Joy adds coconut, which increases the fat content.
At 5 g of fat and 8.5 g of sugar in just ONE snack piece, this is a candy which definitely falls in the danger zone!
Despite being advertised as “smooth” and “silky” and having the cute little messages inside, Dove is a Mars product, meaning it’s filled with milk-fat just like Snickers and M&M’s. This is actually one of the fattest candies on this list. However, Dove does offer a dark chocolate version, which is healthier and still satisfies that sweet craving.
One small serving of this candy contains more than half of our daily recommended amount of sugar! Not only that, candy corn contains four different types of sugar: glucose, corn syrup, confectioner’s glaze and dextrose. Let’s not forget the fattening sesame oil and artificial flavors and colors.
This popular candy, which is surely in the Halloween buckets of many kids, is nothing more than sugar, corn syrup and food dye. The minis are just as bad as consuming a can of soda.
Though this is an American classic and the personal favorites of many, Snickers is made from artificially flavored chocolate, corn syrup, fatty oils and a lot of sugar. These bars are fairly small, and with one bar equaling 80 calories, the empty calories add on quickly as many of us cannot stop at just one.
Twizzlers are probably one of the worst candies on this list. They may be “low-fat” but being made from white flour, sugar and cornstarch, these things are anything but healthy. Additionally, Twizzlers also loads your body with empty calories.
Milk Chocolate M&M’s Fun size
Eat one of these minis and you ladies have already consumed more than half of your daily recommendation of sugar! Jam-packed with sugar, these minis have more sweetness than a Little Debbie Chocolate Marshmallow Pie!
Many of the candies we’ve covered so far on this list are high in sugar, while many are high in fat. This little candy claims the title to both! If you were to eat ONE fun-sized Butter finger every day for a year, you’d easily add 10 pounds to your body within that year.
Reese’s Pieces are sure to be abundant to Trick or Treaters all over this year, but the fact that one small pouch is high in calories, fat AND sugar is the scariest part of Halloween!
And the #1 Worst Halloween Candy is…. Reese’s Miniatures
With the size of these minis, I could eat the serving size of 3 pieces in the blink of an eye. In that one second it takes me to chow down one serving, I’ll have already eaten MORE than half of my daily sugar value and a lot of fat and empty calories! And we all know we’re not eating JUST one serving…
And now the BETTER candy alternatives!!
Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups
With 2 FULL cups, you’re already getting the same sugar content as those minis and a reasonable amount of sugar and calorie intake. These cups come in three flavors (milk, dark and white chocolate) and serve as a great replacement for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Smarties are definitely a smart choice when wanting to satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming empty calories or packing on the sugar and fat.
Eaten in moderation, dark chocolate has been found to have heart, brain and anti-inflammatory benefits! What’s better than satisfying your sweet tooth AND helping your heart and brain?! When it comes to dark chocolate, the higher the percentage, the healthier the chocolate is for you, though the bitterness also increases. Luckily, there are different percentages available so you can choose what you prefer best.
By swapping out the chocolate core for a pretzel, the sugar, fat and calorie content gets cut in half! Also, you’re swapping an overwhelming amount of sugar for a satisfying salty-sweet crunch!
Though the name does not sound slimming, this candy is the best way to give into your sweet tooth with out giving up your waistline. At 4 calories per bean, they’re a great way to enjoy the plethora of flavors Jelly Belly has to offer. Also, Jelly Betty uses real fruit purees to flavor their beans, which is a lot better than a lot of the other candies pumped with artificial flavorings.
Final Comment: With the shelves of all of our grocery stores stocked with our favorite candies, (those yummy candies full of sugar, fat and calories), it is hard not to give into our sugar cravings. The purpose of this post is not to tell you NOT to eat those candies EVER, but just to be more mindful of what you are putting into your body, and how much of it you should consume. Remember, everything can be enjoyed in moderation! If you are experiencing new symptoms of digestive discomfort, please call Delta Gastroenterology and speak to one of our providers.
Call our office at 662-280-8222 or email [email protected] with any concerns.
Ulric Duncan MD, Diplomate of Obesity Medicine
9140 Highway 51 North
Southaven MS 38671
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