Halloween’s battle of the bulge

How to keep your trick or treat from turning your trunk into junk

These tasty treats look tiny, but they pack a deadly one-two punch of fat and calories. Enjoy in moderation.
These tasty treats look tiny, but they pack a deadly one-two punch of fat and calories. Enjoy in moderation.
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By now, the media has made it clear that eating a healthy diet, rich in fibre and nutrients, and low in fat and sugars, is important to overall health. And if you’re like me, you try to follow a balanced diet. Yet I’m finding lately that life can get in the way of healthy eating. Just when you have gotten over the Thanksgiving damage, and have put your diet back on track, another holiday is now threatening to put a dent (or perhaps a bulge) in the healthy plans of the Queen’s student body.

Halloween, with its bounty of candies and chocolate, is hard to resist, whether you go trick or treating or not. And even if you can avoid the temptation of picking up your favourite chocolate bar in miniature form at the A&P, it’s likely that your housemate or roommate has a stash just waiting to be discovered.

What do you do when you’re trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, but are having trouble avoiding what Halloween has to offer? I was going to do a nutritional analysis of a few Halloween candies and report on which are the healthiest choices. But after reading the nutritional information of many popular Halloween treats, it turns out they are all pretty bad for you.

Most chocolate bars and other candies are high in fat, sugar and calories, all factors that the Registered Dietitians of Canada tell you to avoid when following a healthy diet. Still, my advice is to go ahead and eat a few of your favourite Halloween candies anyway. This may seem like bad advice coming from a health columnist, but hear me out.

While it is important to make healthy food choices on a regular basis, indulging in a treat now and again is important so that you don’t deprive yourself and end up binging on your housemate’s stash when he or she leaves for the weekend. I’ve found that enjoying a snack rich in calories and fat every once in a while fits in to an overall healthy diet. I have realized, that it is what one eats on a regular basis that counts.

If you stick to one or two mini chocolate bars, you can keep your indulgence to less than 100 calories, according to most of the nutrition labels I examined. The key here is moderation. Indulging now and again is fine, as long as you know when to stop.

So, if you love Halloween candy, buy one pack of your favourites, ration yourself a couple of servings, and share the rest with your friends.

Halloween Nutrition

Just how bad are those miniature versions of junk food that we eat at Halloween?

  Calories Fat SodiumMr. Big (12 g) 70 3.5 g 20 mg
Caramilk (11 g) 50 2.5 g 10 mgWunderbar (12 g) 60 3.5 g 15 mgCoffee Crisp (16 g) 80 3.5 g 20 mgSmarties (12 g) 50 1.5 g 5 mg
Kit Kat (16 g) 80 4 g 15 mg
Aero (7.5 g) 40 2 g 3.6 mg

—Source: Cadbury, Nestle, Equality

Overheard in Kingston this week

“It was really uncomfortable because everyone had their clothes off and they wanted

me to protect them.”—Girl talking to her friends, crossing City Park, Thursday at 7 p.m.

“I thought I could trust you … But … I guess I can’t!—Melodramatic girl on her cell phone in Stauffer, obviously unaware that the hallway in which she was standing echoed loudly, Tuesday at 3 p.m.

“Men with complicated relationships with the church can always find the clitoris.”—Really confident girl who was obviously drinking too early in the day, downtown bar, weekday afternoon

“Sono il maestro!” (“I am the master”)—Some guy suffering from Napoleonic moments, more than one occasion at different places around campus

“The goal is to find a job that makes you want to kill yourself the least.”—Disenchanted Ph.D student, Kirkpatrick’s on a Tuesday night.

Have you heard? Overheard in Kingston wants the gleanings of your eavesdropping.

E-mail journal_postscript@ams.queensu.ca with what you heard, when and where.

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