Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tricks and Treats

Where has 2013 gone? Halloween is just around the corner, and soon following will be Thanksgiving and Christmas. For those of us who are sweet lovers; it is a hard time of year. Candies, pastries, and all sorts of treats can be found all around us. Though we are surrounded by temptation, we can still make this time of year a healthy holiday season.
Follow the information below to learn how to do that.

Are you carving pumpkins? Remember to save the seeds and roast them! A half-cup of toasted pumpkin seeds provides 92 percent of your daily magnesium needs. Pumpkin seeds have a high content of iron, protein, and fiber. They also contain most of the B vitamins, folate, and vitamins A and C. Pumpkins themselves are a healthy, low-calorie food
(just 49 calories per cup). Their orange coloring reflects that they are full of beta-carotene, which helps reduce cell damage and improve immunity. Interestingly, pumpkins have also been shown to increase good cholesterol and improve prostate health.

Another tasty treat that can be relatively healthy are caramel apples. A medium apple contains 14% of your daily Vitamin C needs, which can boost your immunity. Apples are also high in phytonutrients, which help regulate blood sugar. You can also cover the apple with peanut butter, instead of caramel. Peanut butter adds protein and healthy fats
to the apple.

Another possible healthy treat are popcorn balls. My niece loves popcorn. Popcorn CAN be healthy, when it isn’t doused in butter. Popcorn boosts heart health and aids in weight management due to its high fiber content. For a sweet, savory snack, make popcorn balls with honey, peanut butter, dried fruit, and nuts.

A great drink at this time of year is apple cider. Now, do not confuse cider with apple juice. Apple cider includes high-fiber pulp and sediment. Thus, improving digestion, as well as lowering cholesterol. Also, spicing your apple cider with cinnamon sticks is great for blood sugar control.

Finally, chocolate! Chocolate can be healthy, but it has to be the dark kind. Dark chocolate is high in disease-fighting antioxidants and flavonoids, which have been linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. When shopping for dark chocolate, look for the higher numbers of cacao because the higher the percentage of cacao, the higher the amount of
flavanols. Beware of cacao that was “processed with alkali”; it contains less flavanols. So, instead of milk chocolate, drop dark chocolate into trick-or-treat bags.

Below is nutritional information for a few of the most common Halloween candy:

Tootsie Rolls six pieces (40 g) 140 calories 20 g of sugar
Brach's Candy Corn 22 pieces (40 g) 140 calories 28 g of sugar
Kit Kat one package (43 g) 210 calories 22 g of sugar
Milky Way one bar (58.12 g) 260 calories 35 g of sugar
Butterfinger one bar (60 g) 270 calories 29 g of sugar
Snickers* one bar (58.7 g) 280 calories 30 g of sugar
Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses nine pieces (41 g) 230 calories 21 g of sugar
M&M's Milk Chocolate Candies small bag (47.9 g) 240 calories 31 g of sugar
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups one package (51 g) 280calories 26 g of sugar


• Above nutritional information came from http://www.familydoctormag.com/nutrition/1497-halloween-candy-nutrition-calories-fat-and-good-news.html

• * Opt for the Fun Size, where sugar, calories and saturated fat drop by two-thirds.)
Happy Haunting!