Health and Fitness: Healthier choices this Halloween

I’ve never cared much about limiting my sweet intake — especially around Halloween — until two years ago. Sometime in November, I went into the dentist for a routine check-up. Lo and behold, three cavities had formed in my pearly whites.

Not only does sugar wreak havoc on your teeth, but studies have shown it plays a role in diabetes, obesity and hyperactivity.

But consuming candy is practically inevitable, so it’s best to be selective about what you choose to chomp on. After doing some research, I’ve lumped together several candy options that pack the least punch. I’ve based results on calories, fat (total, saturated and trans) and sugar.

Best chocolate bar:

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds (one bar)

Calories: 210

Total fat: 14 g

Saturated fat: 6 g

No trans fat

Sugar: 19 g

Best chewy fruit candy:

Twizzlers Strawberry (four pieces)

Calories: 160

Total fat: 1 g

No saturated fat

No trans fat

Sugar: 22 g

Best chocolate candy:

Milk Duds (13 pieces)

Calories: 170

Total fat: 6 g

Saturated fat: 3.5 g

No trans fat

Sugar: 20 g

Here are some other tips for standing your healthy ground this weekend:

-Set a limit. Whether it’s 100 calories of candy per night, two packages of M&Ms over the weekend, a handful of Skittles at a costume party, etc., sketching out boundaries makes you mindful while you munch.

-Read labels. People tend to avoid reading labels because they think they are confusing or difficult to understand, but I strongly believe in it. Ignorance isn’t bliss. Look for candy with the least amount of sugar, fat and calories.

-Avoid trans fats, which raise levels of bad cholesterol and increase your risk for coronary artery disease. Don’t even dip your toes in the trans fat pond.

-Find healthy alternatives. They’re not nearly as delicious, but treats like fruit gummies or graham crackers can get the job done. I’m a fan of Emerald 100 Calorie Cocoa Roast Almonds — sweets and sustenance, all in one convenient little package.

It’s always important to know what you’re ingesting. What you put in your body is ultimately what you’ll get from it. Of course, I left out the “best” option altogether: avoid candy. But what fun is that? Take everything in moderation. So dress up, munch on some sweets and remember to brush your teeth before falling into a sugar-induced coma.

-Amanda Sandlin

Senior journalism major

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