Candy- the Do’s and Don’ts

October 31, 2011 at 9:00 am | Posted in Health, Nutrition | Leave a comment
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By Suzanne Russell-Curtis, RD, CDE
Bulfinch Medical Group 

It’s the time of year to add on extra layers—however for many of us that extra layer is excess weight.  Many people gain “those extra pounds” from October through December, and it all starts with that first “mini” candy bar…and then another because the first was only a bite. We say to ourselves, it couldn’t be too many calories, it was so tiny. We give ourselves permission to have another (and another).  Before you know it, you’ve eaten 4 pieces and consumed about 200 calories and 100g of carbs!  If you do that everyday for the month of October that’s almost a 3 lb gain (and don’t be fooled by sugar free candy, it also contains extra calories and carbs).  Once the Halloween candy is all gone we move onto stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and holiday cookies:  more calories and carbs. 

So how do you stop yourself from the downward spiral?  Don’t buy candy for the trick-or-treaters until the day of Halloween; and don’t take the first bite until there’s only one piece of Halloween candy left!  Instead, grab a piece of fruit.  Apples, pears, and many citrus fruits are in season now. 

What’s my favorite fruit?  The apple!  One apple is only 80 calories and 15g of carbs.  Think about it, would you really sit down and eat 4 apples?  No.  So you will most likely stop at 80 calories instead of 200 calories. 

Here are a couple of tricks to make a sweet treat without adding too many calories:

  • Toss a cut apple in cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Bake an apple and add cinnamon
  • Cut an apple into wedges and use 2 Tbsp of peanut butter for dip. 

Happy Halloween!

(Photo credit: Greg Jordan)

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