In her latest Lunch & Learn segment on Facebook Live Get Healthy U founder Chris Freytag talks about healthier Halloween options, showing us that the holiday’s fun-sized candy bars are not as innocuous as they appear. Due to the amount of sugar in fun size candy bars.

Sugar in Fun Size Candy

“I’m not going to be Debbie Downer and tell you not to eat candy or tell your kids not to eat candy because it’s part of the ritual,” says Freytag, a certified fitness trainer and health coach. “That’s like telling you not to eat Christmas cookies on Christmas.”

But for all you moms out there who buy “fun-sized” candy bars to hand out on Halloween night and then end up snacking on them before and after, take note. Each fun-sized candy bar contains typically 7-10 grams of sugar. Pop two of these candy bars in your mouth, and you’ve just consumed approximately 20 grams of sugar, which is like eating 4 teaspoons of white granulated sugar, straight from the bowl.

Freytag explains that unlike natural sugar, added sugar—such as high fructose corn syrup or white granulated sugar—spikes your blood sugar, making your body work harder and throws your insulin production into overdrive. When your body can’t use up all that insulin, the residual is stored as fat. Added sugar also causes also inflammation in your body, especially in adults. “And when you’re a kid and eat 10 fun-sized candy bars in a row, you’re fine,” she says. “But when you’re 50, and you eat 10 candy bars in a row, you feel like crap. Why? Because so much inflammation happens as we get older.”

25 Grams of Sugar

The American Heart Association recommends for grown women, to consumer no more than 25 grams of added sugar a day, which is 6 teaspoons.  Men are advised to have no more than 36 grams of added sugar. 

What is the potential source of all of that sugar?  Cereal that has added sugar, fun-sized candy bars, even specialty drinks from your favorite coffee shop. “If you only knew how much sugar is in those drinks, you’d start crying.” she says, adding that specialty flavored coffee and tea drinks have anywhere from 45, 50 or 60, 90 or more grams of sugar.  Added sugar is even lurking in things like condiments, salad dressings and tomato sauces, resulting in many people having added sugar in their diets that they’re not even aware of.

Count those grams!

Freytag suggests counting every gram of added sugar you consume in a day by reading labels and see if you exceed the AHA’s recommended limit.

Fruit is your friend

Fortunately, natural sugar found in fruit reacts differently in your body because it’s mixed with nutrients, Freytag says, and the fruit’s fiber and antioxidants don’t cause a spike in your blood sugar. She likes Crispy Fruit because it’s crispy like a chip, but contains no additives or added sugar. It’s just 100 percent fruit. She sampled the Crispy Apples and Crispy Bananas, and explained the difference between Crispy Bananas and other varieties of banana chips.

“If you’ve ever bought banana chips at the store, buyer beware,” she says. “Look at the back of the package, and often the chips will have added sugar. “You don’t want that. Bananas are sweet enough, you definitely don’t need to add any extra sugar.”

Smart Lifebites