By Erin Palinski-Wade for KnowMore.tv
Easter is right around the corner, and you know what that means -- chocolate bunnies! Pastel mints! Peeps! Baskets of deliciousness.
Before you get started loading your cart with candy from the supermarket's colorful seasonal display, let's take a look at what those favorite Easter sweets really contain. We'll also share the exercise it will take to burn off a serving of those pastel-covered treats. (Like anyone even stops at one serving!) And no, hunting for Easter eggs is not among the recommended workouts.
Now, don't get us wrong: We're not suggesting eating kale instead of chocolate bunnies. We're just giving you the knowledge you need to enjoy Easter treats responsibly!
A staple at Easter, Peeps candy are colorful, fluffy marshmallow bunnies and chicks that are so cute as to be almost irresistible. Although they provide little nutritional value, they also have only 28 calories per Peep, so they're low on the list of worst Easter offenders.
Burn it off: It takes only 4 minutes of biking to burn off each Peep, but if you overindulge, you may feel them on your waistline well into spring!
Chocolate Bunny, Milk Chocolate, Solid
What's Easter without the classic chocolate bunny? Ranging in size from tiny to larger than life, these confections can really pack in the calories and fat. A small 1.5 ounce bunny contains 240 calories and 8 grams of saturated fat. With the American Heart Association recommending no more than 7% of total calories come from saturated fat, that is more than half of a day's worth of saturated fat if you consume a 2,000 calorie diet!
Burn it off: It would take 67 minutes of walking to burn off this small bunny--that's more than an hour, at a brisk pace.
Cadbury Crème Egg
It's chocolate, it's creamy, and it's everywhere at Easter-time. However, unlike a real egg, which is rich in high quality protein, Cadbury eggs are packed with sugar--fully 20 grams per egg. And at at 150 calories per piece, they contain twice the calories of a real egg.
Burn it off: It would take 17 minutes of continuous jogging to burn off one Cadbury egg.
Everywhere you look this time of year, it seems there is a bowl of jelly beans--colorful, flavorful, tempting. Grabbing a handful here or there seems like no big deal. However, those pinks, greens and yellows can really add up. Just 1 ounce of jelly beans contains 106 calories. And coming mostly from sugar, it provides little satisfaction, prompting you to eat more food and potentially blow your calorie budget for the day. If you do choose to indulge, limit yourself to one handful per day. Better yet, display colorful bowls of fruit throughout Easter instead!
Burn it off: To use the fuel of one serving of jelly beans you would need to swim for 9 minutes.
Marshmallow Egg, Milk Chocolate Covered
They're are so light and airy, they can't possibly contain a boatload of calories. Guess again! Marshmallow Eggs, while certainly on the low end of the fat and calorie scale, will still set you back 100 calories and 1.5 grams of saturated fat each. Stick to indulging in just one, and eat it slowly!
Burn it off: It will take approximately 28 minutes of walking or 11 minutes of jogging to burn each one off.
Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, Milk Chocolate Covered
Peanut butter is a healthy fat that's rich in protein, so this has to be a good choice, right? Not so much. Although Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs are filled with peanut butter, they're also chock full of added sugar -- 16 grams per 1.2-ounce package! A better bet would be to enjoy a scoop of natural peanut butter atop 1 ounce of dark chocolate for a sweet treat that's rich in both healthy fats and antioxidants.
Burn it off: To burn off the 180 calories in one Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, you would need to participate in fast-paced ballroom dancing for 35 minutes.
When it comes to candy, there really isn't a "healthiest" option, however, all things in moderation have their place in a balanced diet. If you love Easter candy, select your favorite and limit yourself to one serving per week during the holiday season and just 1 to 2 pieces on the holiday itself to satisfy your sweet tooth without outgrowing your pants.