7 Unhealthy Halloween Treats You Should Always Avoid

This Halloween, indulge wisely by avoiding these unhealthy treats.

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Tricky Treats

When your little ones come home with a bag full of delicious goodies, it’s tough to resist swiping a candy bar here and a bag of chips there. While we would never suggest that you miss out on all the Halloween fun, there are smarter choices to be made when it comes to snacking on some ghoulish goodies.  With the help of a registered dietitian, we determined which are the worst Halloween treats, and which ones may make for smarter spurges.

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Hydrogenated fat is the absolute worst offender, the kind you’d find in bars like these,” says Mary Bamford, a Toronto-based registered dietitian. Hydrogenated oils boost your chances of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease. Read the ingredient labels on chocolate bars and keep an eye out for those that list hydrogenated oil as a major ingredient. Butterfingers for example contain hydrogenated palm kernel oil, while Aero bars and Smarties don’t list this ingredient.

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Tootsie Rolls

While Tootsie Rolls tend to be lower in calories than other types of candies, there’s quite a bit of trans fat per serving.  “I’d recommend staying away from sweets with the trans fats in them such as Tootsie Rolls,” notes Bamford. One serving of Tootsie Rolls contains 1 g trans fat.

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If you are going to indulge in chips this Halloween, be aware that these deep-fried wonders are often packed with fat and sodium, which is partly why they’re so tasty. Limit yourself to one serving or less and choose regular chips over the flavoured kind (a serving of Old Dutch RipL Regular chips contains 260 mg of sodium, while the brand’s Smokey BBQ variety contains 460 mg.)

Alternatively, reach for baked chips to shave off some fat and calories. Old Dutch’s Original flavour baked chips contain 190 calories and 2.5 g fat for 25 chips.

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Cheese Snacks

These greasy, melt-in-your-mouth snacks are usually packed with sodium and fat (not to mention that they turn your hands a shade of orange that can’t be found in nature). Add to that the fact that they’re highly addictive and you’ve got a real Halloween nightmare on your hands. Rather than tearing into these orangey things, satisfy a salt craving with a serving of baked or corn chips.

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Low-Quality Chocolates

You remember those adorable little ghost-shaped chocolates that fill many a trick-or-treater’s bag. You can’t decipher where they came from, but they’re handed out every year. The problem is that these little ghosties tend to be made from low-quality, tasteless chocolate, which could lead you to overeat because they don’t satisfy. What’s more, the individually wrapped candies don’t usually list ingredients, so it’s hard to know exactly what you and your little ghouls are eating.

Instead of filling up on these candies, toss them in favour of the higher-quality goodies in your bag. Bamford recommends higher-quality individual chocolates, such as the Lindt brand (one Lindt truffle ball contains 70 calories and 6g of fat). “[They] are reasonably priced and are a more wholesome chocolate,” she says.

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Very Sticky Candy

Laffy Taffy, caramel apples and those unnamed orange wrapped candies that come out on Halloween year after year are sticky enough to potentially harm your teeth and damage dental work. Sticky candies also hang around on your teeth and may lead to cavities. Instead, opt for quicker dissolving candies such as Pop Rocks or lollipops.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada

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