From chocolate to marshmallow bunnies to jelly beans, Easter is a holiday that anyone with a sweet tooth circles on their calendar. If you want to get through Easter Sunday without putting on the pounds, here is a helpful guide on the worst Easter candy for you and what you shouldn’t feel guilty about eating.
The basic rule is to eat dark chocolate, which has antioxidants called flavonoids that are beneficial to heart health, while avoiding low-fat but high-sugar Easter treats. And white chocolate should be avoided at all costs, according to Georgie Fear, a registered dietician and author of “Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss.”
“The worst Easter candy, in my opinion, is low quality ‘chocolate’ bunnies made with partially hydrogenated oil instead of cocoa butter and hardly any actual cocoa at all,” Fear told ABC News. “A milk chocolate or white chocolate rabbit lacks as many of the heart-healthy polyphenols that dark chocolate offers, and can pack a hefty calorie and fat price tag, even if the monetary cost is low. White chocolate actually contains no polyphenols at all, since it has no cocoa content.”
A serving of a white chocolate bunny contains 200 calories and about 11 grams of saturated fat, or about 55 percent of your daily allowance, while packing on 25 grams of sugar, according to Calorie Count.
Instead, opt for a piece of a dark chocolate bunny, Fear advises. “High-quality dark chocolate” like Lindt chocolate bunnies “offers some healthy polyphenols and may be satisfying in smaller portions than other types of chocolate,” she said.
If portion control is a problem, then Cadbury Crème eggs is another wise choice. “A single Cadbury Crème Egg or Russell Stover Easter Egg could be just what you want for about 150 calories. And compared to possessing a Valentine’s Day box of chocolate-filled candies, you'll be far less likely to eat past your comfort level,” Fear said. Another option is a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg, which has fewer calories and fat than a standard Reese’s peanut butter cup.
As for marshmallow and jelly bean Easter candy, Fear said the low-fat treats shouldn’t be mistaken for healthy choices. Such goodies are packed with sugar. “They’re fun Easter classics, but don't be fooled into thinking that just because these are fat free that they are healthy picks,” she said. “Essentially, both these options are straight sugar, which means that they could send you on a blood sugar roller coaster and only craving more of the sweet stuff in a short time.”