Last week I covered Sarah Hyland making some sane and refreshing comments about getting vaccinated and how science has saved her life. Her interview was promoting her partnership with a line of chocolate vitamins called Sourse. I guess they’re making vitamins more palatable than just mere gummies by adding chocolate as an incentive. Plus it has the benefit of making people think they’re “healthy” for you, but are they really? Huffington Post interviewed nutritionists about the “healthier” candies, the sugar free, keto, fiber and vitamin-fortified options that are available. The experts say that these types of candy are best for diabetics and people who need alternatives, but that kids and adults without health concerns should just eat regular candy in moderation. Nothing should be forbidden as long as children don’t have medical issues or allergies. I appreciated this message because I just saw the sugar free Russell Stover turtles bundled in with the regular candy at CVS. Don’t give those out! Sidenote: have you seen You season three? There are some funny references to how obsessed some people are about not feeding their children sugar and gluten.
If you’re feeling guilty about doling out bags full of sugar to the kids in your neighborhood, you only have a couple of options: Be the person who passes out apples on Halloween, or opt for “healthier” candy.
Healthier alternatives, made with less sugar or natural sweeteners, dark chocolate, the addition of vitamins, fiber or the latest superfoods, claim they are better for you. But is that really the case?
HuffPost spoke with nutritionists about whether there’s any reason to choose a healthier Halloween candy, and if so, who may benefit from the switch. We also checked in with nutritionists for recommendations.
The nutritionists we spoke to agreed that since sweets should be enjoyed in moderation, most people should choose the Halloween treats they like best, regardless of health halos.
“Sugar-free or buzzwords like ‘keto,’ ‘low-carb’ or ‘superfood’ don’t necessarily make sweets healthier,” registered nutritionist Amanda Frankeny told HuffPost. “While these labels sound nutritious at face value, too much candy of any type can lead to cavities and poor nutrition.”
What may be more important than the nutritional composition is the relationship to eating it. ”You don’t want to deprive your little ones of the real deal, or else they may go scrounging around for it without your supervision and eat large quantities of that candy,” said Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, author of “Better Period Food Solution.”
I’ve told this story before (and I hope she’s not reading this but if so I did tell her to her face) but I talked to a nutritionist who told me to stop eating certain snacks, like bottled ranch dressing and packaged peanut butter crackers, due to “chemicals.” I told her chemicals are in everything and I shouldn’t have to give up things I like. There’s such a push for “pure” food or more “healthy” alternatives when it should be about moderation and not limiting foods or classifying them as good or bad. Granted I should not talk given the amount of candy I eat, but I agree that nothing should be forbidden. The “healthy” candy is gimmicky, and costs more than regular, better-tasting candy. Kids should be able to enjoy regular delicious candy in moderation.
If people want to give out little toys, pencils or school supplies for Halloween that’s a different story. Only dentists get a pass to give out toothpaste, floss and toothbrushes.
Photos credit: Pexels: Charles Parker and Yaroslav Shuraev