Friday, 31 October 2014

Food Friday (The Really Scary Thing About Hallowe'en)

It's Hallowe'en.

Let's face it ... despite the scary creatures prowling the streets and ringing our doorbells ... the most frightening thing about Hallowe'en is not the possibility of tricks ... it's the abundance of "TREATS".

Honestly, if I did not have a sweet tooth I would find it much easier to stay on my weight loss path.  Alas, sugar and chocolate are the demons that I have to wrestle with, especially on holidays.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all happy to indulge in a healthy treat like the “Skeleton Veggie Platter”?  Hallowe'en makes it so easy to "accidentally" overindulge, because really, how many calories could there possibly be in that teensy, weensy, tiny little chocolate bar?  As it turns out -- more than I ever thought and probably more than you think.

It's not only calories that we need to be frightened about.  "Most of the treats are loaded with sugar and may contain the "Frankenstein" of fats; partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.  This harmful trans fat often sneaks in under the radar because in the U.S. the FDA regulation allows any amount under .5 grams to be labeled as zero.  The scary part?  Researchers warn that even tiny amounts of trans fat can increase heart disease risk by 23 percent and raise the risk of depression by 48 percent." (information from FIRST for Women - 10/27/2014)

Rejoice though … the news is not all gloom and doom!  Some of the candies do contain some redeeming qualities – IF CONSUMED IN MODERATION.

Raisins help cut cravings and can help reduce hypertension because they are packed with potassium.  If you have to have some Hallowe’en goodies, reach for the Glossettes.

Apparently peppermint makes exercise easier so if there is a Peppermint Patty in the grab bag or the candy bowl … snag it and go and work out.

And don’t forget that pumpkins are not just for jack-o-lanterns … they are good to eat and good for you too.

I came across this infographic at and found it very scary indeed!

The picture is hair-raising enough but they drive the point home with the commentary.

"We recently explored what Halloween candies kids most want to get when they trick or treat. Today we’ll take a look at which candies pack the most calories.
With Halloween around the corner, we’ll all see our fair share of candy. And it’s hard not to love the stuff. We’re pre-wired to crave it. How many calories will we consume by eating the typical candy treats? Some of the calorie counts in these popular candies might surprise you!

For example one king size Baby Ruth = 500 calories. For the same calorie intake you could eat:
– More than a whole box of red vines
– Nearly 2 popcorn balls or caramel apples
– About 70 candy corns
– About 20 jolly ranchers
– 8 Tootsie pops
– 100 sticks of Juicy Fruit gum

One estimate puts the average Halloween candy hoard at about 9,000 calories. Yikes!"

 “The typical trick-or-treater collects 250 miniature candy bars and other sugary treats on Halloween night.

That means a Jack-O-Lantern bucket holds about 9,000 calories, 200 grams of fat and 1,500 grams of sugar.

Thanksgiving was the unofficial start to the season of holiday overindulging. We eat as many as 5,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day. (It would take jogging for more than seven hours to burn off that meal.) While some speculate that Americans gain five pounds during the holidays, the National Institutes of Health estimates that most gain only 1 pound between Thanksgiving and New Year's. The problem is if you don't lose it, your weight creeps up every year.

For Halloween, the California Milk Processor Board and the California Dietetic Association are offering tips to avoid a sugar high:

Eat a healthy dinner first

Give away school supplies (pencils, erasers) instead of candy

Allow children to only eat a few pieces of candy

Exchange Halloween candy for a toy instead

Walk a couple extra loops through the neighborhood for some extra exercise.”

If you must have a special treat because it's Hallowe'en, consider this from

I’m really not trying to take all the fun out of Hallowe’en so here’s some fun facts (again courtesy of

Wishing every one a FUN and SAFE Hallowe'en!

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