With Halloween just a couple days away I thought I’d talk a little about candy! Pretty much everyone loves candy. Chocolate bars (snickers, baby ruth, butterfinger), lollypops, licorice, tootsie rolls, skittles, m&m’s, smarties, peanut butter cups… the list goes on and on. It’s so easy to come across candy this time of year. People generously give it away everywhere you go: doctors office, movie rental store, your work office kitchen, rental agency, and even the dentists office! It’s so hard to follow your diet when all this temptation is around right?
I have already pointed out in previous posts that I am not against a little treat here and there, BUT, I highly recommend staying away from commercial Halloween candy. There are so many other sweet treats you can enjoy that aren’t full of artificial flavors, artificial colors, hydrogenated oils, and other processed ingredients. Why fill your body with these fake ingredients when you can fill it with the real deal? Below I’ll share with you a few healthy alternatives to Halloween candy to get your sweet tooth satisfied, but first I want to share a little more negative points about commercial Halloween candy.
- Do not be fooled by the cute little bite sized candy bars labeled “fun size”. They are NOT fun. They are actually full of concentrated fats and sugars and are pretty addicting and will make you want more because they taste so good. You get tricked thinking they’re small and can’t be all that bad, but they really are. Stay away from them!
- Candy provides a lot of calories in the form of sugar and fat, but very few nutrients. Eating it on a regular basis can be harmful since it displaces more nutritious food in the diet.
- Just one little “fun size” candy bar can be anywhere between 140 calories and 230 calories! Seriously! Most of my full meals are around 400 – thats is about half of a full meal for me.
- The average amount of fat grams in a “fun size” candy bar is around 11 grams.
- The amount of sugar is the most shocking to me – up to 27 grams of sugar in just one little, tiny, itty-bitty “fun size” chocolate candy bar. It is recommended that we only consume about 40 grams (non-diabetic persons), so that is OVER half the recommended daily amount of sugar intake in just one small candy bar – about 2 bites. Crazy!
- Lastly, I wanted to point out some of the scariest ingredients in halloween candy:
- Carnauba wax: known as TOXIC to humans. Also found in car waxes, shoe polish, cosmetics, floor polish, surfboard wax – seriously, this is gross!
- Artificial colors: Examples are Blues 1 and 2, Red 3, Green 3, and Yellow 5. Most countries ban artificial colors – personally I think they should be banned worldwide. Been known to cause hives, asthma attacks and even cancer.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): Seek out sweets with all natural sugars in them. Anything is better than processed.
- Sodium: All processed foods, not just candy, tend to have large amounts of salt added which leads to high blood pressure issues.
- Trans-Fats (partially hydrogenated oils): One of the most disgusting ingredients known to man – highly processed and makes it so that the food is less likely to spoil. Trans-fats are compared to eating plastic. When you eat food that has trans-fats, your body has a hard time figuring out what to do with them… and they stay with you for a LONG time… lets just say in upwards of 75+ days! Studies show trans-fats are linked to heart disease, diabetes and dementia.
Overall, my take on Halloween candy is this – avoid it if you can. Seek out other treats that will curb your cravings and then you won’t be denying yourself the joys of Halloween treats – instead you’ll be giving your body the “sweet” tastes it desires and at the same time you’re not filling yourself up on unhealthy, processed treats. When you can, make your own sweets in your home so you know what is in them.
And, as promised, a few tasty treat ideas I found on the web are:
- Peanut butter and banana bites
- Caramel Apples
- Frozen Yogurt covered blueberry bites
- Pumpkin muffins
- Frozen yogurt covered strawberries (pictured above as ghosts!)