Halloween means one of two things: costumes and candy. Whether you indulge in both is up to you, but if you’re going to splurge on the latter, we’re here to help. Of course, if you have a favorite candy you’re set on eating, there’s no reason not to enjoy it in moderation — but if you’re looking to make a smarter choice and are open to anything, this matrix might help.
Whether you snag a peanut butter cup or opt for Smarties, it’s OK to indulge in a couple pieces, says Keri Gans, RD, author of “The Small Change Diet.” Indeed, healthy indulgences in some of your favorite foods can help you maintain a well-balanced diet. But Gans suggests portioning out a few of your favorites and then giving the rest away so you’re not tempted to keep them around.
Sidney Fry, RD agrees: “One of of the benefits of Halloween candy is that it’s typically portioned into small bites and pieces. But to prevent going overboard, keep your wrappers in a pile so you can be mindful of how much you’re consuming.”
It’s important to note serving sizes vary and what you eat your candy with can also play a role in blood sugar levels. “You don’t want to eat too much candy on an empty stomach,” Fry points out. Whenever you can, pick a candy that has a better balance of macros and less sugar. Keep in mind sources of natural sugar, such as that found in raisins, is not only easier for the body to digest, but is also paired with important vitamins and nutrients. “Just be mindful of what you are eating, savor the textures and flavors and remember that it’s OK to treat yourself,” says Fry.
On that note, and in the spirit of trick-or-treating, here’s a look at how 20 popular Halloween candies compare in terms of sugar and satiety.