Friday, October 30, 2015

Spoiler Alert

Well, just in time for Halloween, the Huffington Post comes out with a meany-pants list of the ten least healthy candies you’re apt to find in your trick or treat loot bag.

Now ain’t nobody wants to find anything healthy in there, so it does seem a bit mean spirited to point out that so much of it is so bad for you. It’s only one night of the year, and your parents end up spiriting away most of it, anyway.

As for healthy Halloween treats…

We had an elderly Irish immigrant couple in our neighborhood, and they followed an Old Sod tradition and gave out apples.

Apples? Apples!

Pitooey! If we wanted apples, we could get them at home. Who needed to take up any space in their goody bag with an apple. Except for their grandchildren, I don’t remember anyone ever bothering to ring the Dowds’ bell.

Similarly, the quasi-healthy popcorn ball.

No, we didn’t make popcorn balls in our house. Who wanted to gunk up perfectly good popcorn with a meld of sugar and corn syrup? But we always had popcorn on Friday nights, so who wanted or needed a popcorn ball? Yes, the orange and black cellophane wrapping was appealing, but as for eating it…

I suspect that one thing that hasn’t changed over the many decades since I was a trick-or-treater is that kids want candy. Even in this hyper-vigilant age, it should be the one night that no one (other than diabetics) worries about health.

So spoiler alert!

Here’s the Daily Meal’s list of the worst of the worst when it comes to Halloween candy.

Number One of the s/hit parade: 3 Musketeers, which is an enemy of the state because it contains loads o’ saturated fat and trans fats. I’m not wild about 3 Musketeers, but just the mention of them makes me kind of crave one.

Sour Patch Kids I would not have to worry about. Even without knowing that they contain something called “invert sugar”, I can’t stand the taste of them.

Bad day for the folks from Mars: it’s not just 3 Musketeers. Milky Way is apparently no darned good for you, either. Of course, we didn’t need anyone to point this out to us. But did they have to rub it in and mention that the  caramel and nougat sticks to the teeth and “can cause cavities.”

If there’s one thing I will always raid from an unsuspecting kid’s Halloween bag, it’s a Butterfinger, truly one of the greatest candy inventions of all time. So what if it’s loaded with sugar, with saturated fats. And so what if it “also contains a host of other artificial preservatives, like TBHQ, which is made up of phenol and butane (also known as lighter fluid).” Nothing beats a Butterfinger, and I intend to make my way to a CVS this weekend and get me one.


More Mars bashing: Down with Snickers. Bad for HDL, bad for your LDL. Even “thought to lead to the development of metabolic syndrome, a pre-diabetic condition.” Snickers and Good ‘n Plenty were my husbands two favorite candies, and in the later stages of his life, Jim liked having Snickers around as a little treat. I would carry some “fun sized” pieces with me on chemo days, when he especially liked to pop one in for a little energy burst. So to hell with these spoilers. Snickers can be good for you.

Even without the stupid ads with Nick Lachey – the ones that keep popping up when I go to play a game of solitaire – I don’t like
Twix. Still, it’s shocking to find that “one fun size pack…contains 250 calories.”

Starbursts  have, among their many nasty ingredients, Red Dye 40. I thought this was banned. Didn’t we have a scare a few decades back in which they took the red M&M’s out of the packages? Not wild about Starbursts, even before I learned that Red 40 “contains a known carcinogen called bendizine.” I suspect you’d have to wolf down quite a few Starbursts before you got cancer from it. Still…

I’d never heard of Fun Dip, but it looks like a descendant of Lik-M-Aid. Only now, instead of wetting your finger and sticking it in the package of flavored sugar – or just throwing back and tossing it down your gullet – you get a stick made of sugar to dip into the packet of flavored sugar. Capitalism is all about the innovation. And, apparently, the pure sugar. (Never liked Lik-M-Aid. Even as a kid, it was an act of pure sugar desperation that would get me to eat it.)

Don’t like Nerds either. But it’s not because of the pure sugar, the artificial flavors, and the unnatural dyes. I just don’t like them.

And what’s a Take 5, other than a wad of sugar and fat?Whatever it is, I couldn’t care less that it’s on the top/bottom ten list of Halloween baddies.

All I can say is, I’m just delighted to see that there are things a lot worse for you than candy corn.

Happy Halloween, by the way.

I’ll be going out (or staying in) as a harried, getting on in years renovator looking forward to nestling up in my new couch with a Butterfinger.

1 comment:

trixie said...

Glad to see two of my favorite Halloween staples - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Whoppers didn't make the list. But, now I am craving a Butterfinger!