The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Nestle Candy Choices

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Let's face it—candy isn't necessarily a health food. But, it can serve a purpose from time to time. For example, if you are someone who has diabetes and happen to experience a low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), a few pieces of sugary candy can help to raise your sugar.

In addition, candy can be a once-in-a-while indulgence because sometimes you just need something sweet. And if you can't reach for a piece of fruit or simply don't want to, it's always good to know which types of candies may be a bit more healthy and why.

It's wise not to eat eat candy all the time, but if you had to choose, below you'll find the healthiest and unhealthiest types of the very popular Nestle candy. 

Healthiest Nestle Candy Options

Finding healthy candy options isn't an easy task, as candy is typically composed of sugar and fat. Those items that contain healthier ingredients can also have high calorie and fat content. Therefore, it's always important to be mindful of the serving size and aim to keep your candy calories to about 100 calories per serving, regardless of what they are made of. 

I placed these particular items on the healthier list because they either contain better-for-you ingredients, such as nuts and dark chocolate, or because a serving contains a reputable amount of a particular healthy nutrient such as fiber, or contains fewer calories then other competitors. Lastly, some of these are on the healthier side because they contain more natural ingredients and less artificial flavors and colors.

Neslte Dark Chocolate Damak Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1/2 bar (40 g)

Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 220 
Calories from Fat 140 
Total Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 310mg13%
Carbohydrates 20g6%
Dietary Fiber 3g12%
Sugars 14g 
Protein 4g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% · Iron 4%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Nestle Damak: This particular candy is made of pistachios and either milk chocolate or dark chocolate. While it's not low in calories (containing 220 in 1/2 of a bar), it does contain some quality nutrients, including healthy fat, protein, and dietary fiber.

Some studies suggest that eating pistachios and dark chocolate can promote heart health by reducing inflammation. In fact, studies have shown that eating a small amount of cacoa found in dark chocolate may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, insulin resistance, and vascular and platelet function. The reason for this is likely due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory affects. The benefits may not be applicable to the processed milk chocolate that we often consume in chocolate products though.

When eating this bar, keep your portion controlled—about one-fourth of the bar or less should serve you just fine. The fiber and protein from the pistachios helps to keep you full and the fat content found in the pistachios and chocolate is satiating. You won't need to eat more than a few pieces to feel fulfilled. 

Baby Ruth: The nutty, chewy taste of this lifetime favorite doesn't get old. If you are looking for something sweet that is also hearty and contains some heart healthy fats, then Baby Ruth is for you.

The combination of chocolate and nuts is filling and satisfying to your sweet craving. Aim to purchase the fun size or mini ones. One fun sized bar of Baby Ruth contains 60 calories, 3 grams fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 0.2 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 1 gram protein. 

Dark Chocolate Raisinets: If you are allergic to nuts and are looking for a healthier sweet Nestle treat, then perhaps you can give Nestle Dark Chocolate Raisinets a try. We know that raisins are naturally high in sugar, but they also contain fiber which can aid in satiety, help to regulate bowels and blood sugar, and have favorable effects on cholesterol.

I am not suggesting that consuming Raisinets will help to lower your cholesterol, rather that fiber is an important nutrient in the diet. In addition, raisins contain a small amount of iron and potassium.

It is not clear what percentage of the dark chocolate is made from cacoa here, but studies suggest that dark chocolate contains antioxidative properties. To eat these mindfully, aim to consume no more than 1/8 cup (or two tablespoons) per sitting. Two tablespoons contains about: 90 calories, 4 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams sugar, 1 grams fiber, and 1 grams protein.

Unhealthiest Nestle Candy Options

The candies that made it to the unhealthiest list are those that contain mostly sugar as the ingredient and lack any type of fiber, healthy fat, and protein. These choices are also those that contain artificial colors and flavors, as well as those that contain multiple high calorie, high sugar ingredients.

Nerds: While these tiny fruit flavored balls of sugar may seem harmless, one tablespoon of Nerds candy contains 60 calories and 14 grams of sugar (which contribute to almost all of the calories). The serving size is very small and the portion is easy to overeat.

The ingredient list doesn't include any type of whole ingredient, just different forms of sugar, artificial coloring, and artificial flavors. The ingredients include: Dextrose, Sugar, Malic Acid, less than 2% of Corn Syrup, Artificial Flavors, Carnauba Wax, Color Added, Carmine Color, Blue 1, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2, Blue 2 Lake, Red 40, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 6 Lake. Since all of the calories come from sugar, you'll less likely feel full and more likely to overindulge because the candy is lacking fiber, fat, and protein.

100 Grand Bar: This decadent, caramel crunch bar may remind you of money, but it's also going to cost you quite a bit of calories and fat in a small portion. Made with milk chocolate, caramel, and crisped rice, one fun sized  100 Grand Bar weighs in at 95 calories, 4 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams fiber, 11 grams sugar, and 0.5 grams protein. This small bar provides the equivalent of almost 3 teaspoons of sugar. In addition, other red flag ingredients include high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring.

Sweet Tart Soft Chewy Sours: Although these bite sized sours are low in calories (60 per serving) and contain nearly no fat per serving (0.5 grams), the ingredient list isn't as impressive and and the serving size is small (10 pieces). With the first ingredient listed as dextrose (sugar) and the second listed as corn syrup (another sugar form), these candies are mostly made of sugar and more sugar.

Excess sugar intake has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes, to name a few. In addition, eating pure sugar can cause your blood glucose to rise quickly, resulting in a quick drop shortly after, which can cause more sugar cravings and fatigue. Lastly, these colorful candies are made with food dyes, which have been a controversial topic—There's debate as to whether or not these additives can contribute to hyperactivity and autism.

Sources:

Corti R, Flammer AJ, Hollenberg NK, Norman HK, Thomas LF. Cocoa and cardiovascular healthCirculation. 2009; 119: 1433-1441.

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