Candy Wars by Cheryl Alker

It actually occurred to me the other day why I love this time of year so much, and it wasn’t just that the weather is starting to change and we here in Florida can all finally take a walk without needing a cold shower and a change of clothes on our return, but it is all the wonderful food that the next few months will bring!

The first big temptation and spoke in the wheel of any well intentioned diet plan has got to be the Halloween candy that your cupboards are no doubt overflowing with as we speak.  Are there any good guys in amongst all the bad?  Well here at Around Wellington we would like to provide you with some basic facts so you can make a more educated decision before you pop that candy in your mouth. Here’s how to survive the first round of the Holiday temptations, let the battle begin!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups v Snickers?

Winner: Snickers

Even though Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups actually have more protein in the fun size equivalent of the two brands, Snickers contain less fat, less saturated fat and 10 fewer calories per two pieces.

Peanut M&M’s v Skittles?

Winner: Peanut M&M’s

Skittles have only 61 calories per snack-size bag, compared to 90 in Peanut M&M’s but peanut M&M’s release their sugar slowly into your bloodstream and will satisfy longer. Skittles will spike your blood sugar and leave you craving more. Almond M&M’s are also a good choice as almonds are well-known for lowering cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Twix v Kit Kat?

Winner: Kit Kat

While neither of these treats offer any great nutritional benefits, a Kit Kat will save you 20 calories and rack up less saturated fat and sodium. In fact, Twix packs three times the sodium, 90 milligrams, in three fun size pieces than you would get in a comparable serving of Kit Kat.

Candy Corn v Tootsie Rolls?

Winner: Neither

At 20 million pounds consumed annually, candy corn wins the popularity contest, but in the nutrition competition, this one’s a draw. Though you would need to eat 26 pieces of candy corn to rack up the same number of calories, 140, as in 6 Tootsie Rolls, both candies contain artificial color and flavor. Vegetarians should go for Tootsie Rolls, however, since candy corn contains gelatin (an animal by-product).

Butterfinger v York Peppermint?

Winner: York Peppermint

Two fun-size Butterfingers will cost you 200 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 100 milligrams of sodium. Meanwhile, three mini York Peppermints have 150 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 15 milligrams of sodium. Another plus with the York Peppermint is that when someone has a strong mint flavor they are not likely to go back for more because it would ruin the flavor of another piece of candy.

Starburst v Jolly Rancher?

Winner: Jolly Rancher

While Starburst candies win the calorie comparison (43 calories in three pieces as opposed to 70 calories for three Jolly Ranchers), there is a significant benefit with the Jolly Rancher in the fact that it takes longer to suck on and finish it, and you are therefore not likely to eat three in a row. On the other hand it is almost impossible not to eat more than three Starbursts at one time and still be coming back for more.  Starbursts are also far more likely to stick to your teeth, which can raise your risk of developing cavities.

Smarties v Sweetarts?

Winner: Smarties

Smarties have about half the calories and sugar of an equivalent serving of Sweetarts (25 calories and 5 grams of sugar per one of those little Smarties rolls compared to 50 calories and 13 grams of sugar for eight Sweetarts). Smarties are also smaller, so it feels like you get more, and they take longer to eat.

Milky Way v PayDay?

Winner: Milky Way

Milky Way has less than 50 percent of the fat and sodium for two fun-size pieces. The peanuts in a PayDay obviously do offer some heart-healthy benefits, but they also come with 90 milligrams of sodium and 9 grams of fat.

Almond Joy v Mounds?

Winner: Neither

These chocolate-and-coconut delights are basically twins, weighing in at 80 calories per fun-size bar with an equivalent amount of fat (4.5 grams), saturated fat (3 grams), and carbohydrates (10 grams). The Almond Joy does have the added benefit of the healthy Almond, but really this battle would ultimately boil down to preference.

Caramel Apple v Candy Apple?

Winner: Candy Apple

These Fall treats are both winners in a way, because they’ve got fiber and vitamins under those sugary disguises. But caramel is made with butter as well as sugar, which boosts its calorie and fat content. In contrast, a typical medium-sized candy apple will run 70 fewer calories than a caramel apple, and it contains no fat.

So there you have it, happy hunting, and if your favorite isn’t listed above, let this be a rule of thumb, if you LOVE them so much and know that once you start you won’t be able to stop then it’s definitely not a winner for you and should be avoided at all costs!

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