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How to choose wisely when eating Halloween candy

At Halloween, it seems like candy is everywhere, just begging to be eaten. Even if you can resist buying it for yourself at the store, your kids are going to be bringing it home by the bagful.

And yes, we know you're going to sneak a piece - or two, or three, or 10 - from their overflowing pumpkin-shaped containers. Who can resist those tiny little Hershey's bars and miniature packets of M&M's?

But it doesn't take that many small packs of candy to completely derail a diet. Still, we're not suggesting that you avoid the candy altogether. Just try to be more aware of what you're eating.

We took a look at some of our favorite treats, carefully analyzing their calories and fat content. What we found is that -surprise - candy isn't really that good for you. It contains lots of sugar and, in some cases, lots of fat.

But compared to their full-sized counterparts, miniature treats do have fewer calories. And the small packs make it easier to practice self-restraint.

To satisfy the smallest of cravings, we suggest choosing one, and only one, packet of Sweetarts. Three of these tangy candies have only 10 calories and 0 fat grams. Candy corn is another fat-free treat, though eight pieces of it have 50 calories.

A small box of Nerds or one Blow Pop has 50 calories and 0 fat grams. Be wary of Laffy Taffy, though, which contains unexpected fat. Sure, each tiny bar of it has only .4 fat grams and 32 calories, but that can add up fast.

The mini-chocolate bars we sampled had similar calorie counts. Both fun-sized Snickers and mini Almond Joys have 80 calories each. The Snickers has 4 grams of fat and the Almond Joy 4.5 grams. A two-piece Kit Kat bar has 100 calories, while a mini-Hershey's bar has 90. Both have 5 grams of fat each.

The Reese's Cup, with 110 calories and 6 grams of fat, weighed in with the biggest numbers. Still, having just one wouldn't be that bad.

No matter which treat you choose, the key to enjoying Halloween candy responsibly is moderation.

However, if you can't resist your kids' stash, you might want to place it out of reach, perhaps on one of your highest cabinet shelves. If you have to climb onto a chair or step stool every time you want a piece, you'll probably think twice about what you're eating. At the least, you'll burn a few calories while getting the candy down.

By the Numbers

Here's a rundown of your favorite candy's nutritional

information.

n Almond Joy

Serving size: 1 miniature bar

Calories: 80

Fat: 4.5 grams

•Brach's Candy Corn

Serving size: 1 packet (8 pieces)

Calories: 50

Fat: 0 grams

•Blow Pop

Serving size: 1 pop

Calories: 50

Fat: 0 grams

•Bottle Caps

Serving size: 1 packet (6 pieces)

Calories: 35

Fat: 0 grams

•Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar

Calories: 90

Fat: 5 grams

•Kit Kat

Serving size: 1 two-piece bar

Calories: 100

Fat: 5 grams

•Laffy Taffy

Serving size: 1 mini-bar

Calories: 32

Fat grams: .4 grams

•Nerds

Serving size: 1 mini-box

Calories: 50

Fat: 0 grams

•M&Ms, Plain

Serving size: 1 packet (21 pieces)

Calories: 90 calories

Fat: 4 grams

•Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Serving size: individually wrapped cup

Calories: 110

Fat: 6 grams

•Runts

Serving size: 1 packet (16 pieces)

Calories: 70

Fat: 0 grams

•Snickers

Serving size: 1 fun-sized bar

Calories: 80

Fat: 4 grams

•Sweetarts

Serving size: 1 packet (3 pieces)

Calories: 10

Fat: 0 grams