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Explore our expert knowledge on topics such as healthy eating during the holidays, and how to live into a happier and healthier you in the New Year. Discover tips and tricks on how to avoid weight gain at holiday parties and while on vacation.

Food Fight! Which Halloween Candy is Healthier?

While "healthy" and "candy" tend to not fit together side-by-side, there may be healthier candy choices to makes this Halloween. In this food fight, it is candy vs candy in a battle of Halloween supremacy!


While there may not be a "healthiest" candy, there certainly are options that surpass the others when it comes to their nutrients and ingredients comprising them. In this food fight, it is candy vs candy in a battle of Halloween supremacy!

Round 1: SweeTarts vs. Smarties

Is it better to be smart or sweet?

The Winner: Smarties
While both characteristics are desirable, being "smart" may be favorable this Halloween... Smarties actually contain approximately half of the sugar and calories as SweeTarts, as a Smarties roll contains about 25 calories and five grams of sugar. A serving of eight SweeTarts contains about 50 calories and 13 grams of sugar. Smarties' smaller size is also favorable for this fight because in a sense, Smarties take longer to eat, making you feel as if you are getting more bang for your calorie buck, and lessening the risk of overindulging.

Round 2: Jolly Ranchers versus Skittles

To be or not to be jolly this Halloween...?

The Winner: Jolly Ranchers
Though both Jolly Ranchers and Skittles are simply nothing more than sugar and coloring, opening up that Skittle bag may be game over... A single Jolly Rancher supplies approximately 24 calories and 4 grams of sugar while lasting for a longer duration, dismissing the risk of indulging on 61 calories and 12 grams of sugar from a Fun Size Skittles bag (almost three times the amount)!

Round 3: Twix versus Snickers

Does the motto of "Hungry? Grab a Snickers!" actually live up to its name?

The Winner: Snickers
While a Snickers should not replace a well-balanced meal or snack, it appears to be the winner in this food fight. A two cookie serving size of Twix Fun Size supplies 250 calories 14 grams of fat, 27 grams of carb, and 5 grams of protein. Per same two serving of Snickers Fun Size, 160 calories are supplied, 8 grams of fat, 21 grams of carb, and 3 grams of protein. Though Twix surprisingly provides more protein, the large disparity between the calories, fat, and carb passes the torch to Snickers.

Round 4: Tootsie Roll versus Tootsie Pop

The battle of the Tootsies!

The Winner: Tootsie Roll
According to the official Tootsie webpage, a 33 gram serving of Tootsie rolls (approximately 2 snack bar pieces) contains 120 calories and 16 grams of added sugars. There are 60 calories in a Tootsie Pop (approximately 17 grams), along with 11 grams of added sugar. Though the portion sizes are not exactly comparable and the pop is lower in calorie, the ingredient label mostly determines the winner. While sugar intake is always concerning, Tootsie Pops include artificial colors (including FD&C Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1) which may contribute to potential health consequences, such as cancer, hyperactivity, and allergies.

Round 5: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup versus Peanut M&Ms

The real question is... Creamy peanut butter or crunchy peanuts?

The Winner: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
One fun size packet of Peanut M&Ms supplies 90 calories, half of them being from fat at 5 grams per serving. They also contain 10.5 grams of carb, 9 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of protein. Comparative to one Reese's peanut butter cup, there is 87 calories, 5 gram of fat, 9 grams of carb, 8 grams of sugar, and 1.7 grams of protein. The breaking point, once again, lies in the ingredients. According to the official Reese's site, the cups supply a mere seven ingredients while Peanut M&Ms bare quite a lengthy list, including the addition of various food colorings.

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on April 26, 2019.


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