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Ask the Expert: Halloween Candy


Q: With Halloween this weekend – I know I will want to splurge a little and enjoy a few of my favorite sweet treats.  What are the best options when deciding on which candy to savor and which to skip? 

A:  What’s Halloween without the candy? And what’s candy without the ghoulish amounts of fat and sugar?  Both of which inevitably wreak havoc on our waistline. Although candy has little, if any, redeeming nutritional value, don’t restrict it all together.  

In preparation for this fun and festive holiday, it is important that you enjoy and restrict in moderation. In this situation, it is important to have a plan. Thus, which candies are “unwise, better, best”, as Bob Wright would say? A recent study that I came across in “MyHealthNewsDaily”- MSNBC took at look at 37 of the most popular Halloween candies from Blow Pops to Skittles, Baby Ruths and 100 Grands. They reported on the five best and five worst based on their fat and sugar content. Take a look to see where your favorite candy landed on the list and then plan your Boo-licious holiday accordingly!

The Best:

1. Jolly Ranchers: Three of these hard candies have 70 calories, no fat and 11 grams of sugar. It’s hard to do much better than that.

2. Blow Pops: This 18-gram candy-gum combo has 60 calories, no fat and 13 grams of sugar.

3. Gobstoppers: Nine pieces of this everlasting treat have 60 calories, no fat and 14 grams of sugar.

4. Pixy Stix: There are 60 calories, 0 grams of fat and 15 grams of sugar in seven straws of this fruit-flavored candy.

5. Candy corn: Nineteen pieces of this ultimate Halloween candy has 140 calories, no fat and 32 grams of sugar.

The Worst:

1. Mr. Goodbar: A 49-gram Mr. Goodbar will cost you 250 calories, 17 grams of fat (including seven grams of saturated fat) and 23 grams of sugar.

2. NutRageous: Another nutty candy, a 51-gram NutRageous bar, will run you 260 calories, 16 grams of fat (including five grams of saturated fat) and 22 grams of sugar.

3. Snickers: Maybe a Snickers bar really should be a meal on its own. A 59-gram bar has 280 calories, 14 grams of fat (including five grams of saturated fat) and 30 grams of sugar.

4. Baby Ruth: A 60-gram bar has 280 calories, 14 grams of fat (including 8 grams of saturated fat). It also has 33 grams of sugar, the second-highest sugar total among the candies examined, better only than a 60-gram 3 Musketeers candy bar that has 40 grams of sugar.

5. Mounds: The only candy on our “Worst 5” list to not have peanuts, a 49-gram bar of this coconut treat has 230 calories, 13 grams of fat and 21 grams of sugar. It also has 10 grams of saturated fat, the most of any of the 37 surveyed candies.

Where does your favorite Halloween candy land – the best or worst list?

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