You may want to think twice before filling your Halloween bowl with these treats. These Halloween candies are a bit more trick (read: hidden fat, sugar, and artificial add-ins) than treat. Here’s what to skip, and what better swaps to enjoy instead.
The name doesn’t lie…the fun-size version of these chocolate-covered, crunchy peanut butter candies are high in fat (4g fat and 2g saturated fat per bar). They’re also high in sugar, about 10g per serving.
Swap for: 3 Musketeers bars — they’re lower in fat.
These candies get their chew from hydrogenated palm kernel oil, a form of trans fat that’s hard to digest and can raise LDL levels (the “bad” cholesterol). Starburst also has more sugar per serving than any other Halloween candy at 11.5g per 4 pieces.
Swap for: Tootsie Pops — they’ll last longer and still have the chewy texture you crave.
3. Peanut Butter M&Ms
Surprisingly, these candies are not a great choice. Beyond peanut butter, the multicolored pieces are loaded with artificial dyes, corn syrup, and hydrogenated oil.
Swap for: Pretzel M&Ms (lower in fat) or Reese’s Pieces (lower in calories and sugar).
4. Junior Mints
Also a surprise: the melt-in-your-mouth mint candies are extremely high in sugar, about 14g for a fun-size box.
Swap for: Peppermint Patties — they have less sugar and a third fewer calories.
5. Take 5 Bars
This relatively new candy layers chocolate with pretzels, caramel, peanuts, and peanut butter, resulting in a whopping 5g of fat and 2.5g saturated fat per fun size bar. Add to that high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and binders — and, well, too much is sometimes just too much.
Swap for: Wafer- or crispy-based bars like Kit Kats or Crunch bars. They have fewer ingredients and are lower in fat.