Posted October 29, 2015
Halloween is the #1 candy season of the year. Americans typically spend more than $2.5 billion on candy to share with kids who trick-or-treat. Some people look for healthier options to share with kids, such as organic candy and fruit snacks, stickers, sugar-free gum or small toys. Wonder what nutritionists do on Halloween? Review five of 14 habits featured in Reader’s Digest.
- Skip the candy corn – Eating a handful of high-sugar candies, such as candy corn and mellowcreme pumpkins, is similar to injecting sugar into your bloodstream.
- Delay purchases – Halloween candy is sold at stores weeks before the actual holiday. Many people eat the candy they purchase in advance and end up buying more to give away to the trick-or-treaters. Instead purchase candy a few days before Halloween and stash it out of sight.
- Avoid the fun-size – It’s easier to control sugar consumption with the normal-size candy bars vs. the miniature versions. Because of the size, people tend to eat more mini-candy bars throughout the day, consuming an extra 200 to 400 calories.
- Choose dark chocolate – Candies made of dark chocolate are a healthier candy option. Dark chocolate is also high in flavonoids, which help fight diseases. Enjoy leftover dark chocolate candy with a glass of milk to stabilize your blood sugar and avoid insulin spikes.
- Watch for unhealthy fats – Choose candy that doesn’t contain unhealthy trans fatty acids. Read package ingredients to avoid purchasing candy with these unhealthy fats:
- Partially hydrogenated oils
- Fractionated oils
- Interesterified oils
Researchers have discovered that over time, eating foods containing these oils can contribute to obesity.
If you are handing out candy to trick-or-treaters this year, have fun, stay safe and avoid eating too much candy. When you do indulge, drink a glass of milk with the candy and/or save the candy for dessert after eating a nutritious meal.