Mmmmm – chocolate. Times are few and far between when you meet someone who doesn’t like it. And what better time of year to give in to your cravings than the holiday that leads Americans to spend $1.9 billion on candy? According to Nielson Research (en-us.nielson.com), of all the candy sold annually in the United States, one-fourth of it is sold in the month of October. Nearly two billion dollars worth of candy for one night’s use? Wow, we do love chocolate.
Halloween doesn’t need to be a night that kills our diets, however. Of the numerous options of candy bars and sweets that can be thrown your way on the night of October 31, it might come in handy to know which fun-sized bite will bite you back and which one won’t.
When given a choice between M&Ms or Skittles, Tootsie Pops or Bubble Yum, and several other comparable candies, students were quick to know what they’d like – regardless of knowing the nutritional value of either option.
The Twix candy bar won students’ favor over the Kit Kat two to one. Unfortunately, “reaching for a Kit Kat will save you 20 calories and rack up less saturated fat and sodium,” said Cynthia Sass, author of The Ultimate Diet Log.
According to Jeanne Benedict at celebrations.com, Snickers bars have topped the charts for years as the #1 Halloween candy bar. When compared to Reese’s, Northwestern students don’t quite agree. Reese’s won out six to four. Sass reports that Reeses have more protein than Snickers thanks to all of that peanut butter, but Snickers contain less fat, less saturated fat and 10 fewer calories in a fun-size to fun-size match up.
What about the sugar high you can get from SweeTarts and Smarties? Is one better than the other? Students prefer Smarties 10 to four – and it’s a good thing because Smarties have half the calories and grams of sugar than SweeTarts.
How about the candy of autumn – candy corn? Sass held it in comparison with Tootsie Rolls. On a national level, candy corn wins the taste test hands down with 20 million pounds consumed annually. Students on our campus, however, prefer Tootsie Rolls by a landslide of votes. The toss-up here is perfectly fine because the two sweets tie when it comes to nutrition. “Though you need to eat 26 pieces of candy corn to rack up the same number of calories – 140 – as in six Tootsie Rolls, both candies contain artificial color and flavor,” Sass said.
Enjoy the candy and chocolate overkill of the year but just know that even on Halloween, calories do count.