Mandatory mention: No pretending — candy is NOT healthy or lean in any way, shape, or form. None of it. That’s the definition of “candy.”
Candy falls on a fatness spectrum — all of it in the “this-will-make-you-fat-if-you-eat-too-much” zone — with some candy being incrementally more horrible than others. None of it is actually good for you, per se, but some are more crippling than others, especially those with trans fat.
That said, candy is a Halloween ritual. I’m a sucker for a little holiday indulgence, as a reward for stellar dietary and fitness behavior the rest of the year. Let’s call it the Holiday Exception, a more legit version of the “cheat day.”
Embrace it — Halloween is the one time of year that you can splurge on candy corn, Snickers, Smarties, and Reese’s Cups without pouring on the guilt. A little extra sugar and artificial whatever once per year won’t kill you, and can very easily be burned off with an extra cardio session. Unfortunately, the calories, saturated fat, sugar, and worst — trans fat — can pile up at hyper speed if you abuse the Holiday Exception as an excuse to completely forget about self-control.
Trans fat has an extremely detrimental impact on cholesterol levels, even in small quantities, and is a major contributor to atheroschlerosis, CHD, and heart attack. In fact, 38% of the Halloween candy we surveyed contained trans fat. Wow. Any and all candy on the trans fat list, outlined here, should be avoided 100% of the time.
In the spirit of Halloween, I’ve compiled a list of popular Halloween candy broken down by level of damage — including: calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and bad ingredients (HFCS, Hydrogenated Oils, Artificial Colors) — to highlight what you’re really consuming in those fun-sized packages (let’s be honest, do you really know how many calories were in the 15 fun-sized Laffy Taffys you just ate?). Be mindful of the amount of candy you’re dumping into your stomach and limit yourself to a few-hundred calories — you’ll minimize the damage and prevent any irreversible damage.
The Great Big List Of Halloween Candy Nutrition — Calories, Sat. Fat, Trans Fat, & Sugar In Popular Halloween Candy
Halloween Candy With Trans Fat (AKA Hydrogenated Oil)