Halloween is almost here. And along with costumes and cob webs, ghosts and ghouls comes something many of us truly fear: aisles and aisles of candy. Oh, we’ve been down this twisted, haunting road before. We promise we’ll be good this year. We won’t buy any candy we really like, in order to head off another ugly, shame-inducing, “Oops, I broke into the Halloween stash and ate half a bag and now I have to go back to the store and buy some more” incident. Nope, not this year, right?
Well, the best-laid plans have a way of coming unraveled like a cheap mummy costume. We give ourselves every excuse. “But it was on sale!” Or, “I don’t have time to do it the day before!” Or, “But it was Reese’s Pieces! I couldn’t resist!” Whatever vows we make, we inevitably find ourselves confronted with a pile of candy or a delicious treat at some point before All Hallows Eve. But there’s one simple trick to dealing with treats: knowledge is power. So use this guide to help you stay in control.
Stick with the “fun size” bars and packages and you’re usually looking at around 100 calories. That’s just enough to satisfy your wicked sweet tooth without turning you into a sugar zombie. Just make sure you don’t eat those fun size servings by the handful, because the end result can be frightful.
Fun size Butterfinger 100 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams sugar.
Fun size Milky Way 150 calories, 6 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 20 grams sugar.
Fun size Snickers 72 calories, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 7 grams sugar.
Fun size M & Ms (plain) 100 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 13 grams sugar
Fun size M & Ms (peanut) 90 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 1.75 grams saturated fat, 9 grams sugar.
Fun size Reese’s Pieces 95 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat, 11 grams sugar.
Hershey’s Kiss 26 calories each, 1.5 grams fat, about 1 gram saturated fat, 2 grams sugar.
Candy corn (for 20 pieces) 150 calories, 0 grams of fat (yep, fat free!), and 33 grams of sugar. This is roughly the equivalent of a regular can of soda.
Candy has nutritional information listed on the package. Most of these treats do not, so we’ll just go over the information that is available. Obviously, some of these treats can be homemade, or made with lighter or sugar-free ingredients, so take that into account. Just use these numbers as a guideline when deciding whether or not it’s worth it to indulge.
Caramel Apple Without Nuts Roughly 250 calories, depending on the size of the apple and how much caramel is added.
Caramel Apple With Nuts Roughly 350 calories. Nuts are a healthy fat, when eaten in moderation. If other toppings are added, such as chocolate and sprinkles, you’ll need to factor those in as well.
Apple Cider An 8 ounce serving has 120 calories and 25 grams of sugar. But it is fat free.
Hot Chocolate This will be somewhere between 150 and 190 calories in most cases. There are a lot of brands to choose from, and there are numerous options available. Look for something low sugar and low fat whenever possible. Want to add marshmallows? Add another 25 calories and 4.5 grams of sugar per marshmallow.
Popcorn Balls Again, there is a wide variety of ingredients, so the calorie count will vary. A good estimate is 220 calories. If you use ingredients like peanut butter, add about 100 calories.
Pumpkin Bread You’re looking at roughly 180 calories per slice, 4 grams of fat, and about 20 grams of sugar.
Pumpkin Spice Latte The drink that signals the beginning of autumn can be a calorie bomb, or a reasonable treat. It all depends on how it’s prepared. If you get the grande (16 ounce) with 2 percent milk and whipped cream, it’ll set you back 380 calories, with 13 grams of fat and 49 grams of sugar. No, that’s not a typo. A 16 ounce pumpkin spice latte has more sugar than a soda. However, you can improve those numbers by ordering wisely. Although Starbucks doesn’t offer a sugar-free syrup alternative for this hot autumn drink, you can order a tall (12 ounce) pumpkin spice latte with fat free milk. That’s only 200 calories, with 37 grams of sugar and no fat.
This year, don’t be haunted by candy-eater’s remorse. Now that you know what’s in them, you really do have the power to choose your treats wisely. It’s OK to indulge once in a while, and be sensible about what’s going into your body. You can do it. Now, see? Halloween may not be so scary after all.
Talk it up:
What’s your favorite autumn treat?
To receive all of the Boise Healthy Living Examiner’s articles, click on subscribe or the RSS feed button. Each week, you’ll get informative articles on Need to Know, and Good for You Food of the Week, plus seasonal features like Spotlight Sport, Healthier Holiday, Broncos Challenge, and more.