Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Monday, October 8, 2018

Trick or Treat?

Monday, October 8, 2018 | 12:00 PM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , , , No comments

A balanced diet is a healthy diet.  Allowing yourself to enjoy a treat once and awhile really is okay!   

Halloween is once year, but the candy is around for many weeks before and after it has come and gone.  You can choose not to eat the candy, which is fine too.  However, if you do decided to indulge and have a few treats your best bet is to read the food labels for ingredients, calories and fat.  Choosing candy that contains the least amount of calories and fat can be a great choice, however that choice may not be satisfying for you. Choosing one that you would like and enjoy may be the better option in the long run. It is really about the amount of candy that you eat versus the one(s) you choose to eat. The fun size candy bars are really great, if you stick to the recommended serving amount! Most servings of these treats contain 150-200 calories or less. That is not a significant amount of calories when you consider that most individuals should be consuming close to 2,000 calories per day. 

Thinking about the calories and fat can take the fun out of the treats you choose. But, it is better to be aware of what you are choosing and then you can choose wisely! 

Some people over-indulge on Halloween and are done with the candy- while others will ration out their treats for a week or so. Either way is fine! However, if you continue to over-indulge for a week or so that is when you may start to realize that this holiday is adding some unwanted extra calories to your healthy eating plan.  

Halloween Candy can fit into a healthy eating plan if you practice moderation. Although, the fun size candies are great, eating a few at a time will add up to a full size candy bar. The table below can help you decide where you may want to spend or save calories.

Remember that Halloween is just the beginning of the holiday season so choose wisely!
Candy
Package Serving Size
Calories
Fat
Sugar
Tips
Tootsie Rolls
6 small pieces
(40 g)
140
3 g
19 g
These little candies provide less fat and fewer calories than most in this table, However be aware that they are pretty sticky and may increase the risk for tooth decay.
Candy Corn (Brach’s)
21 pieces
(40 g)
150
0 g
37 g
Fat-free is a plus here. But because these candies are also packed with sugar and will stick to your teeth!
Kit Kat
3 (2 piece snack size bars)
(42 g)
210
11 g
21 g
The light wafer makes this bar less dense and therefore provides a lower in sugar amount per serving.
Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses
7 pieces
(32 g)
160
9 g
18 g
Note: Try to choose Special Dark version in order to add flavonoids/antioxidants
Hershey’s minatures
4 pieces
(34g)
160
9
17 g
As mentioned above. Choosing the dark chocolate version is nice alternative.
M&M's Milk Chocolate Candies
fun size, 1 bag (27g)
130
5 g
17 g
If you choose peanut M & M’s you will get a few more calories and fat.
Milky Way
Fun size,
2 bars (34g)
160
4 g
20 g
Eat one or two, then freeze a few (a good idea for just about any candy bar).
Butterfinger
Fun size,
2 bars ( 21g)
170
6 g
16 g
Stick to the fun size!
Snickers
Fun size,
2 bar (34 g)
160
 8 g
18 g
This is another good one to freeze!
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
(snack size bats)
1 snack size (34g)
170
4 g
16 g
Just because it contains a little more peanut butter than chocolate doesn’t make it nutrient dense- still a candy bar!


Resources: The nutrition content found in the table above was obtained from food labels of the products
http://www.snickers.com/default.htm
http://www.hersheys.com/
http://www.milkywaybar.com/index.shtml
http://www.butterfinger.com/butterfinger.aspx
http://www.tootsie.com/
http://www.brachs.com/products/candy-corn

The table in this handout was adapted and updated from one found in the article Halloween Candy Nutrition: Calories, Fat - and Good News! by Carol M. Bareuther, RD. accessed October 1, 2018 http://familydoctormag.com/nutrition/1497-halloween-candy-nutrition-calories-fat-and-good-news.html

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