Two words that rarely seem to go together: “healthy” and “candy.”
But let’s be real: No matter how healthy you’re eating on the reg, you’re probs going to crave some kind of candy now and then. And ideally, one that doesn’t taste like ashy kale. (Also: You so don’t want to be that house at Halloween.)
To ensure you’re getting healthy candy and chocolate that actually…well, tastes good, nutritionists share their favorite picks for when your sweet tooth strikes:
BUY IT $4, goodsuperfoods.com
“I love these because they are low in sugar and rich in so many other phytonutrients and antioxidants from cacao, DHA omega-3, probiotics, and coconut oil. With only about five to seven grams of sugar per serving, it’s a great option when craving chocolate. My favorite flavor: toasted coconut!” —Lauren Minchen, R.D.
Per 1/2 bar serving: 140 cal, 9 g fat (6g sat), 12 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 4 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein
BUY IT $14 for 8.5 ounces, amazon.com
“Chocolate covered raisins (or pretzels) can be a good healthy candy option, since they satisfy your sweet tooth while cutting back on added sugar and fat compared to other candies.” —Jodi Danen, R.D.N
Per 1/4 cup serving: 170 cal, 8 g fat (5g sat), 27 g carbs, 20 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein
BUY IT $6 for 3.5 ounces, amazon.com
“When I want a candy treat, I reach for decadently delicious Cocomel Bites. These dark chocolate-covered coconut milk caramels are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic, and contain real ingredients rather than a bunch of chemicals and food dyes. I definitely believe in indulging in treats as long as you choose something of high quality that gives you pleasure!” —Lindsey Pine, R.D.N.
Per six piece serving: 120 cal, 3.5 g fat (3.5 g sat), 21 g carbs, 16 g sugar, 400 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein
BUY IT $4 for 10 oz bag, target.com
“Whenever that craving hits, ask yourself what the most appealing texture and taste to you is at that precise moment. If fluffy and light is what you crave, a 3 Musketeers bar will satisfy. A extra bonus for me is that seven [minis] have 170 calories. Remember to enjoy every bite of those pieces!” —Ximena Jimenez, R.D.N.
Per seven piece serving: 170 cal, 5 g fat (3.5 g sat), 32 g carbs, 27 g sugar, 80 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein
BUY IT $4 for a 5 ounce bag, target.com
“I don’t like candies that are low in sugar and fat, since they have added ingredients that do nothing to increase satiety—artificial sweeteners may increase appetite because they don’t give your body the same satisfaction as real sugar. One portion of these is six pieces and has 150 calories. Plus, cashews are one of the best tasting nuts and they contain monounsaturated fat, which is good for the heart.” —Ximena Jimenez, R.D.N.
Per 1 ounce serving: 150 cal, 10 g fat, 14 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 160 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein
BUY IT $11 for 16 oz, amazon.com
“Peanut butter is a great snack, but peanut butter covered in chocolate is an even better treat! The dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s are the perfect mix of sweet and satisfying. The dark chocolate coating offers just enough sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth and the creamy peanut butter center provides a hint of protein to satisfy your appetite.” —Shamera Robinson, R.D.N.
Per 3 piece serving: 200 cal, 12 g fat (6 g sat fat), 22 g carbs, 18 g sugar, 110 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein
BUY IT $1, amazon.com
“My absolute favorite candy ever. As a die-hard coconut fan, I love the combination of the coconut flavor with the chocolate and the delicious crunch of the almond. While it’s not much, the whole almonds do provide some vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber, making this one of my favorite candy bars to truly enjoy and to satisfy my sweet tooth.” —Emily Kyle, R.D.N.
Per bar: 220 cal, 12 g fat (8 g sat fat), 26 g carbs, 20 g sugar, 50 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein
BUY IT $3 for 3 ounce bag, amazon.com
“Sweetened with organic sweeteners and colored with fruit and veggie juice, these are a better option to satisfy that gummy craving! And they come in one- to two- serving packages, so it’s easier to keep portions in check.” —Lauren Minchen, R.D.
Per 17 piece serving (blackberry hibiscus flavor): 130 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 29 g carbs, 18 g sugar, 20 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 3 g protein
BUY IT $5 for 5 ounce bag, target.com
“My favorite semi-healthy candy is Ghirardelli chocolate squares. My personal fave is dark chocolate sea salt with almonds. Nutritionally speaking, you get the benefit of antioxidants from the dark chocolate and also a tiny bit of protein and fiber from the almonds. I stash these in my desk and usually enjoy one to two squares per day as a post-lunch treat.” —Heather Mason, R.D.
Per 4 piece serving: 210 cal, 15 g fat (7 g sat fat), 23 g carbs, 17 g sugar, 60 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein
BUY IT $11 for 12 ounce bag, amazon.com
“I believe candy can and should be enjoyed in moderation. My best advice is to take advantage of the mini-sized candy options available to meet the need for a sweet treat without going overboard on calories and sugar. My favorite? A bag of dark chocolate Hershey kisses kept in the freezer for when those cravings hit. Dark chocolate has less sugar, is often dairy-free, and is rich in antioxidants that have been shown to reduce blood pressure and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.“ —Jodi Danen
Per 9 piece serving: 190 cal, 12 g fat (7 g sat fat), 26 g carbs, 22 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein
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