Do you have a sweet tooth that seems to get revved up for the holiday season at Halloween time? Although candy is a delicious and sweet treat that many people enjoy and look forward to at this time of year, it is full of sugar and can be the downfall of a healthy diet plan.
The high calorie content, cavity-causing properties and allergenic ingredients of candy treats make them a poor choice for maintaining overall good health. Starting at Halloween, try to keep your diet and your health on track by enjoying these healthier alternatives to candy.
1. Homemade Granola Bars
A lot of store bought granola or trail mix is high in sugar and fat, but making your own allows you to include only the ingredients that you'd like and to limit the calorie load. Bake your granola into bars for a healthy protein-rich snack, using either dried fruits, natural stevia or sucralose (Splenda®) to sweeten it.
2. Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is full of nutrients and natural sugars (fructose). Changing seasons bring new fruits, and autumn is no exception. Apples, blueberries, blackberries and plums are just a few of the delicious fruits available from September through November, so enjoy seasonal fruits to keep your sweet tooth satisfied.
3. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is always in season, and small and easy to transport. It offers a concentrated sweetness, like candy, though if you check your labels carefully, will not overload your body with as much added sugar. Be careful, if you decide to replace your candy supply with dried fruit, check to make sure that there is no added sugar in it, which can make it almost as unhealthy.
4. Fruit Popsicles
Having natural or sugar-free fruit popsicles on hand is a great way to satisfy a craving for sweets. They are delicious, healthy and refreshing.
5. Sugar-Free Treats
Thanks to the popularity of conveniently pre-packaged diet products, there are now many sugar-free sweets available in the diet or specialty foods section of your supermarket. From Atkins or Zone bars to sugar-free chocolates and ice cream, you should be able to find some sugarless treats that satisfy your sweet tooth cravings without breaking your diet resolutions.
For more information about nutrition and healthy eating, visit our Nutrition forum.