Halloween doesn’t have to be an unhealthy holiday

Halloween doesnt have to be an unhealthy holiday

Trick or Treat, smell my feet. Give me something good to eat! The time has come. The Halloween excitement is sweeping across the country. The Brundage Family from the Town of Tonawanda, for example, continued its two-decade tradition decorating its entire home for the hundreds who visit in awe every year. This holiday tradition, however, is never complete without the candy!

Beyond the haunted houses, scary movies, and angry neighbors who take retribution out of children screaming outside, Halloween is essentially all about the candy, and how much of it can be collected. Iconic American treats like candy corn, Butterfinger, Jolly Ranchers, and lest I forget, that wanna-be-chocolate candy that tastes like cardboard — the Tootsie Roll — are a few that come to mind. Here is the sweet truth: No matter how old you are, it’s hard to pass up a bag of your favorite childhood sweets.

Sugar plays an important role in our diets and should not be completely eliminated from our lives. Naturally occurring sugars, or simple carbohydrates, are found in the fruits and vegetables we eat every day. However, the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than five teaspoons of added sugar every day and no more than 10 for men.

According to Face the Facts USA, Americans consume 100 pounds of sugar and sweeteners every year — that’s nearly 30 teaspoons a day.

The average chocolate candy bar has 230 calories and 10 grams of sugar.

So is there really a crime with sugar? While there is nothing innately wrong about having your favorite candy of choice every now and then, it is very easy to turn an occasional treat into the value of a meal. Here are some tricks to help you enjoy your treats:

  • Make smart investments with your sugar. Go for high quality, small quantity sweets. For example, go for 1 ounce of pure dark chocolate rather than 1 ounce of an artificially-flavored chocolate bar.
  • Skip other foods with added sugar such as sodas, sweetened cereals, or syrups to enjoy the candy.
  • Be unconventional. Try making a roasted pumpkin carrot soup or a delicious pumpkin smoothie recipe.
  • Look for snacks with fewer than 20 grams of sugar and 100 calories.

Take advantage of this season and all the good food it has to offer. Fall is one of my favorite seasons for harvesting, cooking, and eating fresh tuber and root vegetables and fruits. If you’re a foodie like me, the fresh produce in Wegmans and the Lexington Cooperative Market on Elmwood Avenue will inspire you. Give yourself something really “good to eat!”

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