Indulging in your favorite Halloween treats isn't the end of the world, but some candies are ridiculously disproportionate when it comes to nutrition content. And, if you're a health-conscious person with a sweet tooth, you might want to know what candy is "healthier" than others.
INSIDER spoke with registered dietitian Lisa DeFazio about how best to rank the sweets. She agreed that the sugar, calories, and fat are the best numbers to look at to determine how "healthy" these candies are.
We then compared the information for one serving size of either the fun, snack, or mini size available for each of your favorite treats. You would be surprised at how many brands have multiple pieces of candy for one serving, so be sure to check the labels on your favorites. The nutritional information was based on the company's official website or off of the nutrition labeling we found for the products sold online or in stores. It's also important to note that this ranking doesn't consider other relevant factors like sodium and fiber.
When it comes to making the healthiest candy choices, DeFazio recommended going for the hard candies that tend to have low to no fat, instead of choices with higher fat content, like chocolate.
"Overall, candy is candy," she said. "When we are looking at candy they are all going to have sugar, so you can’t really categorize candy by sugar because it is going to be a negligible difference. You’ll do less damage with the stuff that has less total fat."
That said, her personal favorites are chocolate bars — Snickers and 3 Musketeers, to be specific.
See where your favorites rank — based on fat, sugar, and calories — below.
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Smarties might be the smartest candy choice to indulge in this Halloween. DeFazio says that this is because they are "straight sugar" and they don't contain any saturated fat. There is also the added fact that they are low in calories and are gluten, dairy, and peanut-free, according to the official website.
"Lollipops and Tootsie Pops are good because they take a lot of time to eat," DeFazio said about these treats. She also mentioned that there are under 100 calories in a serving which adds up to less "damage" nutritionally.
"It’s really about what’s going to do the least amount of damage in the least amount of time that you are consuming it," she said. "In 20 minutes you can go through five or 10 mini chocolate bars and be 1000 calories in, that's why the lollipops are good."
Sour Patch Kids
Before Sour Patch Kids were kids, they were martians. According to MentalFloss, the candy was originally called Mars Men in the late 1970s but changed after the product came to the US.
Kids and aliens alike should consider eating this candy before other chocolate sweets, according to DeFazio. This, again, is because of the low fat and calorie content.
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