Halloween Smart Snacking

Friday, October 31, 2008 | Party Time

Halloween_candy No matter how well you think you’ve gauged your trick-or-treater turnout this year, that candy surplus is almost inevitable. And while you may be able to pass some of the sugary burden onto your coworkers, when it comes to the break room candy bowl, it’s every girl for herself. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat, by limiting the quantity and knowing which sweets to splurge on, you can keep those extra calories at bay and save your strength for the season’s main event—Thanksgiving dinner.

Don’t Go Nuts

If given the choice between pure chocolate and a nutty medley, keep in mind that the added ingredient(s) often come with added calories. A serving of peanut M&M’s packs ten more calories and three more grams of fat than its chocolaty cousin. However, if you’re jonesing for that extra crunch, pick almonds over peanuts. In addition to being slightly healthier, almond options generally contain fewer nuts due to their size and cost.

Go to the Dark Side
When research groups revealed the hidden health benefits of dark chocolate in 2003, sales of the cocoa confections went through the roof. Dark chocolate, it was discovered, is loaded with antioxidants called polyphenols, which are known to help lower blood pressure. However, when milk is added to the formula, it interferes with the antioxidant absorption, robbing the treat of any potential benefits. So, when pilfering your coworker’s candy bowl, opt for the darker fare and leave the milk chocolate for the less well informed.

Savor the Flavor

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? Enough to satisfy the average sweet tooth and keep extra calories in check. At just 60 calories a pop, these savory suckers draw on their staying power to keep taste buds satisfied and compulsive “boredom” snacking to a minimum.

For a side-by-side comparison on how your favorite sweets stack up in sugar, calorie and fat content, check out http://www.acaloriecounter.com/candy-chocolate.php.