Monthly Archives: October 2015

Tricky Treats: Don’t Be Tricked by Your Halloween Sweets

Halloween Candy

Mounds of Halloween sweets and delighted trick-or-treaters will fill homes this weekend. Thankfully, there are ways to get festive and in the Halloween spirit and satisfy your sweet tooth without the excessive calories and sugar overload.

Below I’ve rounded up a list of my top picks for Halloween treats and highlighted those that should be consumed in moderation – or better yet, not at all.

Top Picks

  • Lollipops: These can be a really satisfying treat as they take a long time to eat and contain no fat. Blowpops have just 70 calories.
  • Mini Candy Bars and Fun-Size Portion Packs: Smaller candy bars are lower in calories and fat than their larger counterparts (at 60 to 110 calories each). Also, fun-size pouches help you watch portion size. For example, the Fun-Size Peanut M&M packs contain 90 calories, 5 grams of fat and 9 grams of sugar. Plus, you get a bit of protein from the peanuts, too, which keeps you feeling fuller longer and makes you less inclined to reach for more.
  • Jolly Ranchers: Enjoy three Jolly Ranchers for just under 100 calories with no fat.
  • Dark Chocolate: Look for 70% cocoa when choosing your chocolate to take advantage of chocolate’s disease-fighting antioxidant. Another great option to satisfy a chocolate craving is a York Peppermint Patty (with just 60 calories and 3 grams of fat), which is lower in calories and fat than most chocolate bars. Full-size chocolate candy bars average 200-300 calories and 10-15 grams of fat.
  • Fruity Candies: At just 20 calories per piece, Starbursts make a low calorie sweet option. Jelly beans, too, are low in calorise at just 3 calories each. Twizzlers have just 30 calories per twist. Be careful, though, as a big handful and larger portions make calories in these treats add up pretty quickly.

Top Skips

  • Butterfingers: In just one bar, you’ll eat 280 calories, 10 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat.
  • Mounds Chocolate Bars: Half of the fat in these chocolate bars come from fat (22 gm fat)  with 6 grams of saturated fat and 195 calories.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: Though often a Halloween favorite, these each have 105 calories each with 50 of those calories from fat. That’s 210 calories per package of 2 pieces (45 grams in weight size) and 14.5 grams of fat.
  • Kit Kats: High in calories and fat, each regular-size bar has 7 grams of saturated fat and 22 grams of sugar. One package contains 220 calories and nearly 13 grams of fat.

Bottom line:  balance out sugary candy with real foods and real meals consumed first– and you can “trick” and treat yourself to better health, even at Halloween.

Benchmarks? Aim for no more than 150-300 calories of Halloween sweets per day and keep saturated fat at 10-15 grams for a daily maximum. For sugar, look to consume no more than 25-50 grams daily and total fat at 50-70 gm daily.  Be mindful on how each of your Halloween treats stack up.

For more ideas on healthy eating and successful solutions, check out The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009). My guidebook of tips and eating plans makes healthy eating more enjoyable and more manageable. Connect with me online at @GeorgiaKostas and Facebook/GeorgiaKostasNutrition and visit: http://www.georgiakostas.com

This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs.