Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you


on June 18, 2011

I know today isn’t payday- but I have somewhat hit the jackpot with the Payday candy bar.  Yes, I eat too much candy but I am working on cutting back and getting more nutrition out of those mostly empty calories.  The Nu Val system has helped me locate the unassuming Payday bar, which I have always overlooked in favor of my favorites- Butterfinger and Baby Ruth. 

On the nutrition scale, Payday ranks at 22, which is higher than most breakfast cereal!  On the Calorie Count grading system, it is a B-, which is good for candy.  Almost all other candy is a 1 or 2, meaning it has no nutritional value at all.   Candy is just wasted calories. 

Why does the Payday rank so high? Peanuts.  Anytime you have nuts in candy it increases it just a bit.  Plain M & M’s are a 1, Peanut ranks a 2.  Plain Hershey-1, Almond-4.  Take into account that a strawberry or blueberry ranks at 100 and this seems pretty poor, but sometimes a strawberry just doesn’t feed the craving. 

The Payday bar has 240 calories, which is high for a treat, so eat sparingly.  However, you do get 7 grams of protein, which helps satisfy your hunger.  You will also get 2 grams of fiber and it is surprisingly low in sodium.  On the downside, read the ingredients: Peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, non-fat milk and palm oil. Yes, two of the top 3 ingredients are sugar that equal 21 grams.

Let’s compare that to my beloved Baby Ruth.  Nu Val score-1.  Calorie Count Grade- D-.  Calories-280
It has 8 grams of saturated fat compared to 2 in the Payday. It has just 1 gram of fiber and not enough protein to register.  (even though it does have peanuts, darn it).  On the upside, it is relatively low in sodium but that’s about all I have for good news on this one.  Butterfinger doesn’t fare any better, high in fat and sugar, low in protein. 

So- what is the takeaway from this?  If you work out, watch what you eat and are generally healthy- a candy bar once (or twice!) a week is a nice treat.  But, if you are going to be bad, make it a healthier bad.  I didn’t say candy is healthy, just try for healthier. 

With so many  bad choices you could make, look for something with fewer calories  and/or more protein.  If you think non-fat means  it’s better for you, we would all be skinny eating jelly beans and licorice!

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