Weekly Wellness: Making good decisions for trick or treat

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COLUMBIA - Costumes, plastic pumpkins with handles and those three words "trick or treat!" Every October, Americans buy about 600 million pounds of candy to celebrate Halloween.

It's practically impossible to completely avoid the sweet stuff at this time of year, but you can get some help with the best (and worst) choices from a website called Fitbie.com.

Let's start with the worst options. Based on sugar content, fat and calories, these are the candies to limit or avoid altogether:

Snickers
1 bar (58.7 g), 280 calories, 14 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 30 g sugar

Mounds
1 bar (49 g), 250 calories, 13 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 21 g sugar

Skittles
1 bag, 250 calories, 2.5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 47 g sugar

Baby Ruth
1 bar (60 g), 280 calories, 14 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 33 g sugar

Butterfinger
1 bar (60 g), 270 calories, 11 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 29 g sugar

Keep in mind, the World Health Organization has dropped its sugar intake recommendations from 10 percent of your daily calorie intake to 5 percent. This means that for an adult of a normal body mass index (BMI), that works out to about 6 teaspoons (or 25 grams) of sugar per day.

So what are the best options?

Smarties
1 roll, 25 calories, 0 g fat, 6 g sugar

York Peppermint Patty
1 large patty (39 g), 140 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 25 g sugar

Starburst
9 pieces, 130 calories, 0 g fat, 22 g sugar

Jolly Rancher
3 pieces, 70 calories, 0 g fat, 11 g sugar

Sugar-free Gum
1 piece, 5 to 10 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g sugar

The take-away is to read your labels for the sugar and fat content in the candies you are choosing and make the best decisions possible. Then increase your activity level to make up for the extra calories consumed.

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