Nov
09
2005

  Candy Data

It is an intriguing problem, finding candy to approximate the nutrition of a "healthy" breakfast. I looked up the nutrition information about a bunch of the leftover Halloween candies I have in the house (plus a few other favorites I'd be happy to purchase), and compared it against the nutrition information of my usual healthy breakfast (1/2 bagel, 1 oz neufchatel, 1/2 peeled orange).

This first round of analysis I aimed to keep grams of protein & % daily value of vitamin C the same in both meals while keeping vitamin A within 5% of its daily value. The good news is that I came up with a candy combination that acheives these goals, as well as provides an extra 5% of the daily value of iron, an extra 16% of the daily value of calcium, and an extra gram of fiber while keeping cholesterol and sodium levels equal to those in the healthy meal. The only negative is that to get these health benefits from candy one must consume an extra 585 calories (pretty much evenly split between calories from fat and calories from sugar) more than the traditional breakfast.

The meal plan? Eat 119 grams of milk chocolate (about 7 of the snack-size Hershey Bars) and 50 skittles (roughly the amount in a 2 oz package). Surprizingly, the skittles are very high in vitamin C--packing more vitamins per gram than a fresh orange!

In days to come I'll hold different values constant and see what I can come up with to match (between candy & traditional breakfast) calories, or grams of protein, or grams of fat, or grams of carbs. Because just chocolate and skittles is a bit dull, even though I suspect it is the healthiest choice. Although for people who would like to avoid fat and don't care about the calories, the fig cookies are a pretty good choice. I'll run the numbers and post the results when I'm done.