According to the National Confectioners Association, Americans will buy more than 600 million pounds of candy this year – just for Halloween. That adds up to $2.5 billion spent on sweets in the weeks leading up to October 31st. Some of those sweets are worse for your waistline than others. Topping the list:
- Snickers – It satisfies, but at a definite cost. Loaded with peanuts, nougat, caramel, and chocolate, a regular-size bar will set you back close to 300 calories, 14g of fat and 27 grams of sugar (the equivalent of 7 teaspoons). Sugar, corn syrup, and lactose – three different types of sugar – are listed as ingredients.
- Mounds – There are many other candy bars out there chocker block full of calories and fat-dense peanuts. But, Mounds is layered with coconut (slyly leading you to believe it is somewhat healthy). Even though the bar is about 10 ounces smaller than other candy bars, it packs a whopping 10 grams of saturated fat – the highest of any candy bar, and 50% of your recommended daily allowance.
- Skittles – You’ll taste a rainbow, alright – a rainbow of pure sugar! One regular-size bag contains 47 grams of sugar – that’s the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar! And to add insult to injury, those colorful candy shells are full of artificial dyes. New research by Purdue University scientists, published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, reported on the dye content of scores of breakfast cereals, candies, baked goods, and other foods. Skittles, which are dyed with Blue 1, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40, had the highest levels found in candies. Skittles Original had 33.3 mg of those chemicals per serving.
- Baby Ruth – Yes, it’s full of protein (the label touts 4 whole grams), but that doesn’t make it good for you. Just one bar contains 280 calories – the same number in a single patty hamburger! Plus it carries 14 grams of fat, 8 of which are saturated and 33 grams of sugar.
- Reece’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins – Often the worst offenders are the ones released just for the holiday. They tend to have more calories and fat. For example, standard Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups contain 88 calories each, but one Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin has 180 calories.
- Candy Corn – The quintessential Halloween candy is nothing more than sugar and dye. With no protein or healthy fats to offer, you’d think the caloric intake is reasonable. That’s not the case. Candy corn has 150 calories per ounce. And here’s a little unappetizing tidbit you might not have known. According to USAToday, candy corn is non-biodegradable, and most waste-management companies won’t touch it. It’s carefully sorted and then trucked to a few special sites around the country in remote areas.