I’ve never been too worried about what I put in my mouth. As a runner I’ve got the luxury of burning off those not-so-healthy foods on my next long run. But now that I can’t get in my typical 30 to 35 miles per week, I’m starting to worry about all the little extras that somehow make their way into my diet. And I just don’t trust my willpower with all the Halloween candy hanging around. Here’s what I’m eating and skipping this week:
Treat! Dark Chocolate Recent research from The Cochrane Library suggests dark chocolate and cocoa may lower blood pressure and could potentially decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Yum! It’s still full of sugar though, so I’m sticking to an ounce and really savoring each bite.
Trick. Peanut Butter Cups I love everything and anything that contains peanut butter. (Seriously, I think Elvis was on to something with those peanut butter and bacon sandwiches…) Sadly though, the typical peanut butter cup is loaded with fat, sugar, and artificial ingredients. For a similar taste, I’ll sprinkle a few dark chocolate chips on a teaspoonful of all-natural peanut butter.
Treat! Tootsie Pops These suckers are only 60 calories, and, since they take a while to eat (unless you happen to be a dumb owl who bites after three licks), they’re more satisfying than one of those fun-size candy bars. The chocolate-y center offers no nutritional value, but in moderation I think this is still a good pick.
Trick. Candy Corn Sugar, sugar, and more sugar make up the ingredients list on this popular seasonal treat. A fistful (about 20 pieces) contains 150 calories—not a terrible number for a snack, but the resulting blood sugar spike will only lead to you crashing and feeling tired in a couple hours. I won’t be making a stop at the candy dish with this offering.
Treat! Raisins Kids hate finding “nature’s candy” in their stash (Can you blame them? This is a lunchbox staple, not a Halloween treat!). Still, this humble dried grape can subdue a sweet tooth in seconds. And when my legs are able to log distance again, I’ll be popping them instead of run candy—a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that raisins are as effective as sports beans for fueling workouts. Raisins are a natural source of carbohydrates, and they cost less, too!
Which Halloween treats are your favorites? Who’s getting dressed up?