I don’t proclaim to be a doctor or nutritionist, but I do know that certain candies are sinful, and certain ones are a bit healthier to put in our bodies than others. I also know what I like and don’t like, so keep in mind this list is subjective and you might not agree with me. But, man, did I have fun sampling this stuff in advance of Halloween. So here goes: the five best, five worst and five healthiest candies you can (or should not) indulge in.
Twix – The fine folks that make Twix (thank you Mars, Inc.) have delivered a delicious trifecta this year. In one bag you get three styles of mini candy bars: the regular Twix, which is a chocolate-covered shortbread cookie and caramel; a dark chocolate version of the same; and a triple chocolate version, which is chocolate over a chocolate cookie with chocolate-flavored caramel. Man, they got me. They just got me.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – You ask any candy lover, and this one is always a favorite. I mean, you can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter, unless of course you are allergic to peanuts. I feel really bad for those people right now as I write this.
Kit Kats – When you bite through that chocolate into the crunchy wafers, you forget about everything else you’re doing.
Tootsie Rolls (and other flavor rolls) – I would hate to read the ingredient list for a Tootsie Roll, because I’m sure it’s all sugars and starches and artificial everything. But somehow they make this nostalgic candy as good as they made it all those years ago -- and I don’t have to be that old to know it. As for the flavor rolls, vanilla is still my favorite, followed by cherry. Or you can combine them to make a cherry vanilla, or a Dr. Pepper (chocolate and cherry).
Dots – The only thing that sucks about this small box of gummy deliciousness is that you only get, like, four candies in the pack.
Nerds – Like pop rocks without the fizz. And what fun is that?
Bit-O-Honey – Seriously, who came up with this one? It’s the candy equivalent of cod liver oil. It’s fake peanut butter and taffy and honey all rolled into one, and I do mean fake.
Laffy Taffy – If the neon yellow glow of the banana taffy isn’t bad enough, the chemically enhanced artificial flavor puts this one over the edge. Blech.
Milk Duds – I think at one time these were good, but the version they sell now is like fake caramel covered by fake chocolate, and it really tastes disgusting.
Those black and orange paper-covered candies – I think these might be like the generic version of Bit-O-Honey, but they seem to rear their ugly heads every Halloween.
Candy Corn – I know these are like pure sugar and starch like Tootsie Rolls, but they taste damn good and are 140 calories for 22 pieces.
Smarties/Sweet Tarts – Also low in calories and fat, but very high in sugar, these candies taste great and won’t hurt your waistline if you just have a few.
Tootsie Pop – Again, just have one, not a whole bag, and this hard candy with very small Tootsie Roll center is only 60 calories
Whoppers – Unlike Milk Duds, these are covered in what tastes like real chocolate, and are just 10 calories per ball. Yum.Dark chocolate – Remember you used to turn your nose up at Hershey’s Special Dark? Turns out dark chocolate is loaded with anti-oxidants that help fight disease. You can’t go wrong with that, right? In fact, while you’re at it, have a few blueberries and a glass of red wine and you’ll be chasing germs away for a month.