We all learn from an early age that that candy is not a healthy part of the diet. Not only is made of empty calories, but it's bad for our teeth and may contain unhealthy saturated fats.
However, most of us also have a hard time eliminating it from our lives completely. While candy is not a good snack choice, sometimes our cravings can get the best of us. When that happens, don't blow your diet entirely. Reach for one of these options instead:
- Miniature Peppermint Patties: (one patty): 50 calories, 9 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fat.
- Tootsie Roll Midgees: (six pieces): 140 calories, 20 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fat.
- Miniature Charleston Chew: (one bar) 160 calories, 21 grams of sugar, 4.5 grams of fat.
- Junior Mints: (one box) 180 calories, 32 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fat.
When it comes to chocolate, try to choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Not only is dark chocolate lower in sugar, but it contains antioxidants that have been linked to many health benefits, including reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease. Aim for chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa.
Some options are:
- Lindt Excellence Extra Dark Chocolate: 85 percent cocoa: one square has 60 calories, 1 gram of sugar and 4.5 grams of fat.
- Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Squares: 86 percent cocoa (variety of good flavors): one piece has 60 calories, 1 gram of sugar and 6 grams of fat.
If you are craving something sweeter than chocolate, there are many types of gummy or hard candies that often have little or no fat. They are, however, higher in sugar so the calorie content is very similar.
- Jelly Belly Jelly Beans: (35 jelly beans) 140 calories, 28 grams of sugar, 0 grams of fat.
- Jolly Rancher Gummy Candies: (nine pieces) 120 calories, 22 grams of sugar, 0 grams of fat.
Most major candy bar brands offer miniature-sized versions of their most popular bars and these are a great way to satisfy a craving without over-indulging.
Also, avoid the misconception that sugar-free candies are healthier than their counterparts. Although the added sugar does provide a lot of the excess calories in candy, often, these sugar-free candies are higher in fat and might even have the same amount of calories. Plus, many have added sugar alcohols which can be very upsetting to your stomach.
Again, while candy is not a healthy snack, if you believe in the idea of everything in moderation, indulging in candy once in a while might be a good way to keep from overindulging in unnecessary sweets all the time.