Halloween is just days away. Whether you’re already breaking into the stash to give the trick or treaters or are waiting until your kids come home to raid their goodie bags, we’ve got some tips. It’s all about portion control. Most candy is going to have a ton of sugar, so it’s better to find treats that are low in fat. Here’s our guide to help you make better choices when you’re digging through that plastic pumpkin for Halloween candy:
Best – Dum Dum Lollipops - 26 calories, 0 grams fat (per lollipop)
The experts all agree: If you’re a fan of sugary-sweet or fruity candy, lollipops are the way to go. And Dum Dums are a perfectly sized classic. They’re portion controlled and take longer to eat and even though it’s all sugar, it still has less sugar than chewy candies, which go down much quicker.
Worst – Candy Corn – 140 calories, 0 grams fat (per 19 pieces of corn)
This bite size candy seems harmless enough, but the problem is, most of us grab it by the handful…over and over and over again. Before you know it, you’ve eaten 300 calories and 10 spoonfuls of sugar without realizing it. Then, when your sugar high wears off, you’re even more likely to seek out more sweet treats!
Best – Mini Candy Bars - 24 calories, .7 grams fat, .5 grams saturated fat (per each 3 Musketeers mini)
Again, it’s all about portion control. We’re not talking about the full size, or slightly larger “fun” or “snack” size bars. We’re talking the little mini squares, as they will be lower in calories and fat. Out of all varieties, 3 Musketeers is best, weighing in at a respectable 24 calories and less than one gram of fat—probably because of it’s light, airy filling.
Worst – Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups - 105 calories, 6.5 grams of fat, 2 grams saturated fat (per cup) 180 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat (per pumpkin)
Do not – we repeat – do not go for the pumpkin shaped Reece’s. Each pumpkin packs a whopping 180 calories and as much saturated fat as a fast food hamburger. Yikes. Avoid the full size single portions as well and look for the mini bites if you absolutely must have peanut butter.
Best – Smarties 25 calories, 0 grams of fat (per roll)
These really are a smart choice. The fact that Smarties are straight-up sugar is cancelled out by two factors. First, there are 20-plus per roll, which stretches your calories out across lots of eating. And second, you have to unroll them one-by-one, which means the packaging isn’t exactly conducive to binging by the handful.
Worst – Taffy 55 calories, .5 grams of fat (per piece)
This applies to that traditional taffy in the orange and black wrappers or any of its more modern iterations, like Airheads or Laffy Taffy. And while none of these options are incredibly high in calories or fat, they’re all prime cavity-causing candidates, which means you might want to steer clear.
Best – Dark Chocolate 66 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams saturated (per square)
As you probably know, dark chocolate has been shown to have some heart health benefits. But it needs to be at least 70% cocoa to count—and most popular brands fall well below that dividing line. So always check the package, or try a Ghirardelli Intense Dark Square, which comes in 72% or 86% cacao options.
Worst – Mounds 80 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat (per snack-size bar)
Coconut is all the rage and when you pair it with dark chocolate…how can you go wrong? Well a Mounds bar (even the little Halloween-size) gets almost half its calories from fat. Plus, it packs over 3 grams of saturated fat per serving and the dark chocolate isn’t dark enough to see any health benefits. So, skip the Mounds.