Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Healthy Halloween Candy Myths

It’s October and many children, as well as adults, are anxiously anticipating Halloween. The two main ways to celebrate this festive holiday include dressing in costumes and going trick-or-treating. Even though the holiday is fun many do not want that “fun” to get in the way of their healthy diets.  Some “trick –or – treaters” feel that they will be better off if they only eat dark chocolate and low fat candies on Halloween. Although this plan does have good intentions some tend to go overboard with the idea and think eating candy will actually be healthy for them even if endless amounts are consumed as long as they only eat dark chocolate and low fat treats.

Susannah Southern, RD, LDN, a dietitian in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine said, “Like alcohol, candy is considered a discretionary calorie, which means that it contains no nutritional value. In order to meet nutritional needs, most Americans should only consume 100 to 200 discretionary calories each day. But the majority of people actually eat 400 discretionary calories a day.” Some research studies have concluded that dark chocolate consumption may have some health benefits like lowering blood pressure. However, chocolate is known for containing a high amount of saturated fat which can raise cholesterol levels and can be linked to heart disease. “Researchers are still uncertain about how much dark chocolate you should eat to attain maximum benefits to your circulatory system”.   

The bottom line is candy is candy. Although some sweets are better to indulge in than others than others one must not forget that moderation is key when it comes to candy consumption. Have fun this Halloween but don’t overdo it on the sweets.

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