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UW dietitian: Some Halloween candy is actually healthier than others

We all know Halloween candy isn’t good for you, but is some candy healthier for you than others? Apparently so.

With Halloween just a week away, UW Medicine’s dietitian Vanessa Imus says you want to look for something with a little bit of fat and protein, like a chocolate bar or something with peanuts, because it will slow down how quickly the sugar enters your bloodstream. You don’t want to be eating something that is primarily sugar like a lollipop or a Jolly Rancher.

“If you’re going to go for M&Ms, go for peanut M&Ms, something that’s got a little bit of fat, a little bit of protein, like a Snickers or a Reese’s, because that’s going to help slow down how quickly the sugar goes into their bloodstream,” she said.

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You should also look at the new labels on packaging that list how much sugar has been added. Four grams equates to a teaspoon of sugar, so you can think of 10 grams of sugar as two and half teaspoons.

With cold and flu season starting, Imus also says that sugar depresses your immune system, so if your kids have the sniffles, try to keep them away from sweets.

“Sugar causes some inflammation, it depresses your immune system, so definitely be aware if your kiddos have a cold or their sick, really try to limit their sugar intake.”

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And of course, keeping the candy always within view is never a good idea, for both children and adults.

“Keep it packaged, keep out of sight, because if we see it laying on the table and we pass by there every day after work when we’re hungry, it’s going to be like, ‘Oh, I guess I’ll have one little fun-sized this and one little fun-sized that,’ but then it adds up over time.”

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