Trick or Treat

A study by the National Institutes of Health says that the average person gains less than one pound during the holiday season. That doesn’t mean starting now, does it?

No matter how hard some of us try, it’s hard to avoid the candy and chocolate associated with Halloween. I’ve never been against indulging in a treat once in a while, but I am also very cautious not to give into the slippery “oh well, I’m on holidays” mentality. Not for two whole months anyway.

People with self control avoid these treats and carry on with their lives. As for the rest of us, we find ways to justify a little indulging.  Before you talk yourself into your next chocolate bar coma, consider which snacks might actually be healthy for you. True, Halloween candy is going to be processed, but making smart choices can make the difference between afternoon energy and an afternoon crash. Not to mention the sluggish post-candy workouts you can easily avoid.

  • Peanut M&Ms – In my research, Peanut M&Ms are one of the highest recommended choices for a nutritious snack. It helps that you only get maybe 8 candies in a pack. However, this treat is also low on the glycemic index, which means they release their sugar slowly and will keep you satisfied for a long time.  A good rule of thumb is to choose any treat with nuts because you know you are at least getting protein and energy.
  • Kit Kat – Because this candy bar is filled with a wafer rather than caramel or nougat, it is a better choice over many others because it saves you some calories and saturated fat. An even healthier option is an Obel Double Dark Chocolate Wafer Bar covered in 70% dark chocolate. If you purchase Halloween candy solely for your personal consumption, give this bar a try for sure.
  • York Peppermint Pattie – This Halloween treat is a good choice because it works on a psychological level.  Mint is a flavor that people associate with finishing their palate, so when you enjoy a peppermint treat, you are less likely to continue snacking. Plus, if you just eat one, you are only setting yourself back about 50 calories.
  • Candy apple – No longer a trick-or-treater staple, the candy apple is still a decent Halloween treat if you find yourself in front of a Halloween spread at a party or event. Beneath that not-so-healthy coating is a good ol’ apple full of fibre and vitamins. Beware of caramel apples, they have way more sugar and fat in the coating.
  • Pumpkin seeds – Not exactly candy, but they are high in zinc to boost immune function, antioxidants, and of course protein. Liven up this classic with a dusting of cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and sugar before toasting.

www.care2.com, www.health.com

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