Roughly 75% of US households dole out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters, and most of those processed goodies are laden with “nutritional villains” including high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, artificial additives, and preservatives. Plus little nibbles can snowball into monstrous calorie levels–at about 80 calories each, six fun-sized candy bars add up to nearly 500 calories, more than most meals should provide. To burn them off, you’d have to spend about 50 minutes on the elliptical, or take a brisk one hour walk.
If you’re looking for cleaner candy alternatives, and a strategy for getting through this holiday without being haunted by added pounds, check out these five all natural alternatives, and then check out my six tips for dealing with Halloween leftovers.
Seitenbacher Gummi Fruits
Made with 100% fruit juice, no added sugar or artificial additives, and no gelatin, these gummy candies deliver on both taste and nutrition. They also come in fun shapes including gators, dolphins, and lions.
Panda Raspberry Licorice
With no high fructose corn syrup and nothing artificial, these individually wrapped licorice candies keep it simple. I love that there are just seven ingredients, including real raspberry puree and black carrot juice concentrate for color.
This natural candy bar alternative, made with real figs and dark chocolate, provides 4 grams of filling fiber and 170 mg of potassium (a natural de-bloater) for just 140 calories.
Sunny Seeds (all natural version)
These chocolate candy coated sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E, a major antioxidant. Sunflower seeds also provide bonus protein, B vitamins, and minerals including magnesium, which is involved in more than 300 bodily reactions, including heart rhythm, immunity and blood sugar regulation.
Justin’s Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
These GMO-free vegan treats are made entirely with organic ingredients and contain nothing artificial.
Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. Connect with Cynthia on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.