Here at AFC Urgent Care Portland, we don’t want to spoil the fun this Halloween, however, as a medical center, it is our job to let our patients know what is, and what isn’t good for their health. While candy isn’t necessarily healthy, there are certain brands of candy that are less unhealthy than others. Surprisingly, there are even a few types of candy that actually offer health benefits.
Equally surprising perhaps, are the candy brands that are the least healthy.
5 Least Healthy Halloween Candies
5. Candy Corn
While maybe the most iconic Halloween treat, candy corn is almost entirely comprised of sugar and artificial ingredients, such as yellow 5 and titanium dioxide color.
4. Baby Ruth
Despite Nestle’s vow to remove all artificial ingredients by 2015, they haven’t quite made good on that promise yet – evidenced by Baby Ruth bars. However, what’s most unhealthy about Baby Ruth bars is its sugar content. In a “fun-sized” bar there is 10 grams of sugar. For scope, these fun-sized bars are about the size of a quarter…
Butterfinger’s contains a whopping 4 grams of fat and 85 calories in just one “fun-sized” candy bar. While its fat content could partially be attributed to the nuts inside Butterfinger’s, this may be the least healthy of all candy bars.
Most people may not peg Twizzler as one of the least healthy candy brands due to its prominent low-fat boasting on the wrapper. Twizzler lands on this list due to its insanely high sugar content. One Twizzler contains 5g of sugar, leaving its consumers vulnerable to developing cavities in their teeth.
1. Sour Patch Kids
To nobody’s surprise, Sour Patch Kids are incredibly unhealthy. Their insanely high sugar content, paired with their array of artificial ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup, makes it the least healthy of Halloween candies. While it’s no fun to be the spoiler of fun, if there’s one candy to take away from your child’s Halloween stash, it’s undoubtedly Sour Patch Kids.
5 Least Unhealthy Halloween Candies
5. Mounds Bar
While Mounds Bars, like most candy, have a high fat content (11g in one serving), they actually offer 2g of protein due to its coconut filling. This makes Mounds Bars a half-decent midday snack if you’re feeling low energy and not looking to crash later.
4. M & M Mini’s
If you’re craving a low-calorie chocolate fix, M&M Mini’s are your best bet. The one-ounce tube these treats are packaged in only contain 150 calories and 7 grams of fat, making them an OK snack for people on the go.
3. Lindt Chocolate Bars
This gourmet treat offers higher quality ingredients than most candies. While different varieties of Lindt will have differing ingredients, their original type has only 12g of sugar in its 250-calorie serving size. While 250 calories is a bit on the heavy side, fortunately, these treats have a high cocoa concentration, which provides your body with a healthy dose of beneficial antioxidants.
2. Dove Bar (with Nuts)
Because these bars contain almonds, a supposed “super food”, Dove Bars with Nuts stand among the least unhealthy candies available. In fact, your nutritionist may even recommend these bars if eating them is the only way for you to eat almonds. Almonds contain an array of extremely beneficial ingredients such as Vitamin E, healthy fats, magnesium, fiber and protein.
1. Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate
The consumption of chocolate dates back 1,000’s of years, long before the advent of artificial ingredients. Comprised of entirely natural ingredients, chocolate, in its purest form, is one of the healthiest foods on earth.
However, because of its association with “junk food”, we perceive it as unhealthy. But any candy bar predominantly consisting of dark chocolate is likely better for you than worse. It’s the milk chocolate-based candies that are unhealthy, as they are generally high in fat and low in any of chocolate’s health benefits.
Dark chocolate’s major health benefits include:
- High nutritional value (contains magnesium, fiber, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and selenium)
- Great source of Antioxidants. Antioxidants are proven to help reduce many different types of cancer
- Lowers blood pressure, effectively lowering the chances of developing heart disease
Therefore, unlike any of the other candies, eating dark chocolate should be actively encouraged in moderation. So if you’re going to steal any candy from your children this year, make sure it’s their dark chocolate. Happy Halloween!
And remember, if you’re in need of medical care this fall, feel free to visit any of AFC Urgent Care’s centers, located in NE Portland, NW Portland, Beaverton and Lake Oswego!