For all of you television fanatics the quote, “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips,” was said on the very popular F.r.i.e.n.d.s series. This quote should be plastered in your mind while grappling with the holiday season’s tantalizing temptations.
The Halloween season is a particularly difficult time for any candy lover such as myself. Copious amounts of Tootsie Rolls, Snickers and Kit-Kat bars in every store can break down even the strongest person.
Instead of depriving yourself from all candy this Halloween season, there are “healthier” alternatives that will leave you feeling less guilty.
First off it’s important to see what makes the typical Halloween candy so bad. Many people have the misconception that calories are the only thing to look at when determining whether or not to eat something. It is important to rather look at the breakdown, hence total fat, saturated fat, sugar, poly saturated and monounsaturated fats.
In the picture above, the Tootsie Roll Mega Mix is a prime example of how much sugar is packed into Halloween candy. Based on a 2000 calorie diet, there are 140 calories in a single Tootsie Roll. Moreover, the breakdown of the 140 calories includes 20 grams of sugar.
According to the American Heart Association, “The statement says that most women should consume no more than 100 calories (about 25 grams) of added sugars per day.”
Being that a single Tootsie Roll had 20 grams of sugar, a woman would have almost eaten their daily intake for sugars.
For men, the American Heart Association states, “Most men should consume no more than 150 calories (about 37.5 grams) each day.”
Sugar is empty, meaning there is no nutritional value in it. Therefore, it is critical to not only look at the calories, but moreover the serving size and sugar per gram for the stated serving size.
Don’t get discouraged, it isn’t all hopeless. Dark chocolate is a healthy alternative that tastes good as well. The benefits of dark chocolate far exceed other candy.
According to Readers Digest, “…dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are compounds that act as antioxidants. Flavonoids protect cells from harmful molecules—called free radicals..”
It goes without saying, that moderation is key even when consuming such as dark chocolate.
However, the health benefits dark chocolate offers, such as reducing the risk of heart disease is enormous. Consuming dark chocolate is auspicious rather than consuming a candy such as a Tootsie Roll with no advantageous health benefits.
There are tools available to those who want to help keep track of their sugar intake. Apps are indispensable when attempting to analyze what you are consuming each day.
MyFitnessPal is a free app that is also accessible online. You can track your exercise and food consumption simultaneously, therefore allowing you to see the totality of each day’s food intake.
According to WebMD, a recent study conducted by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine concluded that tracking your food intake is propitious. Victor Stevens, PhD, senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland reviewed over the study’s findings.
“I think the most powerful part is accountability and the next most powerful part is increasing awareness of where those extra calories are coming from,” Stevens.
Many people see tracking food as tedious and pointless, however there is credible research to back it. As Victor Stevens, it makes you more aware of your intake and moreover holds you accountable for what you are consuming.
By becoming more conscientious of what you are consuming, you will be able to indulge in sweets without feeling as guilty. Additionally by beginning to track your food intake now, you will have better tools to aid in staying on track with the difficult holiday times rapidly approaching.
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity…”-Amelia Earhart