The Diet Detective: The Breakdown of Halloween Candy

Mary Jane

Calories: 32 per piece

Burn It: 11 minutes trick-or-treating

Ingredients: Corn syrup, dry-roasted peanuts, sugar, molasses, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (cottonseed, soybean), soy lecithin, salt, mono & diglycerides, hydrogenated vegetable oil (rapeseed, cottonseed & soybean), glycerin and natural flavor.

What You Need to Know:

Molasses: It's just sugar.

Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil: Not good. Creates trans fats, and increases risk for heart attacks.

More: Healthy Halloween Tips

Kit Kat Snack Size

Calories: 42 per piece

Burn It: 14.5 minutes trick-or-treating

Ingredients: Sugar; wheat flour; nonfat milk; cocoa butter; chocolate; palm kernel oil; lactose (milk); milk fat; contains two percent or less of: soy lecithin; PGPR, emulsifier; yeast; vanillin, artificial flavor; salt; sodium bicarbonate.

What You Need to Know:

Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate (PGPR): Sounds bad, but according to CSPI, "It stabilizes low-fat, high-water margarines and helps the 'flow properties' in candy production," and is safe.

Palm Kernel Oil: Extracted from the palm seed (not to be confused with palm oil, which is from the fruit and is 80 percent saturated fat), it has some benefits, such as vitamin E and oleic acid.

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Kisses Milk Chocolate

Calories: 25 per Kiss

Burn It: 8.5 minutes trick-or-treating

Ingredients: Milk chocolate (sugar; milk; chocolate; cocoa butter; lactose; milk fat; soy lecithin; vanillin, artificial flavor).

What You Need to Know:

Yes, it's candy, but still, compared with the others it's better than I thought.

More: How to Conquer Your Sugar Addiction 

Starburst Original Fruit Chews

Calories: 20 per piece

Burn It: 7 minutes trick-or-treating

Ingredients: Corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil and/or palm oil, fruit juice from concentrate (apple, strawberry, lemon, orange, cherry), less than two percent citric acid, dextrin, gelatin, food starch-modified, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), coloring (Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1).

What You Need to Know:

Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil and/or Palm Oil: When you add the words "hydrogenated" it typically means trans fat, and is not healthy. See above.

Gelatin: This is the same thing used to make JELL-O. It's a protein acquired from animal hides and bones.

Blue 1 Lake: According to CSPI's Chemical Cuisine, "One (unpublished) animal test suggested a small cancer risk, and a test-tube study indicated the dye might affect neurons. It also causes occasional allergic reactions."

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