The Diet Detective: 10 Halloween Tricks and Treats

1. Pumpkins

Pumpkins are great for a lot more than making jack-o'-lanterns. One cup of mashed pumpkin has only 49 calories and is loaded with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. It also has nearly 3 grams of fiber and 564 milligrams of potassium. Pumpkin also contains vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin (good for eye health), as well as iron and zinc.
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2. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are loaded with manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin K, zinc and protein. One ounce has 158 calories, 8.57 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of fiber and almost 25 percent of the recommend daily value for iron. Pumpkin seeds also have plant sterols that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and fight cancer. They are also a fantastic source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Wash them, dry, and then toast them with garlic and onion powder and a bit of salt and pepper. They take about 30 to 40 minutes at about 300 degrees to toast.
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3. Know What You're Eating

Hershey's Fun Bar vs. Tootsie Rolls vs. Nestle Crunch: Each Hershey's "Fun" bar has about 75 calories. A Nestle Crunch mini-bar has 60 calories, and just three Tootsie Roll Midgees have 70 calories. What about those Hershey's Special Dark miniatures? They're each 38 calories.
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Pez vs. Smarties vs. Candy Corn: One (15-tablet) roll of Smarties has 25 calories and 25 grams of sugar. The candy corn has 150 calories for 20 pieces. That's 7.5 calories each--about the same as one almond, except that the almond is a nutrition powerhouse. One roll of Pez has 35 calories and 9 grams of sugar. And remember that many of these candies contain dyes that have been associated with hyperactivity in kids.
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Twizzlers vs. Peeps vs. Now and Later: Each Halloween-sized pack of Twizzlers has 140 calories- along with red dye number 40. For eight pumpkin Peeps (32 grams) the calorie cost is 110, with 26 grams of sugar (about 6.5 tablespoons). The Now and Later has 40 calories in each small bar.
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Tootsie Roll Snack Bars vs. York Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Patties: There is some misperception out there that York Peppermint Patties are healthy, but I'm not sure why. Each 13.3-gram patty has 50 calories and 9 grams of sugar. Tootsie Roll Snack Bars are also 50 calories each.
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Tootsie Pop vs. Charms Blow Pop (with Gum) vs. Dum Dums: That's 60 calories for both the Blow Pop and the Tootsie Pop, and only 19.67 calories for the Dum Dum.?
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4. Burn it

When you go trick or treating, don't just sit in your car and drive your kids from house to house. Get out there and walk the walk. Expect to burn about 176 calories per hour during a casual stroll.?

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