The Top 3 Healthiest Holiday Candies
By Chris Brown
The arrival of the holiday season means the arrival of the tricky temptation of unhealthy treats. Stocking the pantry with bite-sized candies can put the scare to any diet or health kick. If temptation is just too great, there are healthier ways to indulge in this season's sweets. Excluding apples and, god-forbid, toothbrushes, these are the top three healthiest treats you can give your kids during the year-end holidays.
Dark Chocolate Bar
The benefits of chocolate ranges from heart health (reduced heart disease by 50 percent over a 15-year period) to improved brain function (showed increased blood flow to the brain) to increased antioxidant levels. In fact, a study published in the Chemistry Central Journal found that chocolate generated more antioxidant activity than fruits (including antioxidant-rich acai berries). However, when it comes to chocolate candy, you want to stay away from fatty milk chocolate bars. This is because the darker the bar, the higher percentage of healthy chocolate and the less sugar is in the ingredients. Plus, dark chocolates' near-black coloring makes them easier targets for a nighttime candy pale heist.
In a ranking by three nutritionists, Snickers bars were cumulatively rated as the healthiest candy bar, even over plain milk chocolate. While all chocolate-based candy bars contained the same range of calories, Snickers bars had the lowest amount of saturated and trans fats. Additionally, Snickers includes a serving of healthy peanuts hidden inside its chocolatey shell. Peanuts are a good source of protein and various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B (important for brain health and mood stabilization).
For those without a chocolate craving, the controversial and much-maligned candy corn may be your healthiest option. While biting down on candy corn may lead to thoughts of pure sugar, it actually contains less sugar per serving than the more popular Skittles candy. A range of ingredients, including gelatin, confectioner's glaze, and sesame oil (rich in Vitamin E), fill much of candy corn. Additionally, since candy corn has been around more than 100 years, it doesn't contain many of the cancer-causing high-fructose corn syrups or hyper-saturated sugars developed and deployed in newer candy market additions.
Regardless of your candy choice, eating any sugary food in moderation is best for health. Personally, this makes candy corn my healthiest option, as I can only stomach two or three before I'm feeling sugar-sick. Your results may vary.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Concord, N.C.