Best and Worst Easter Candy for Your Diet

What did the bunny put in your basket this year? Was it choc-a-block with chocolate? Brimming with beans? Plenty of Peeps? Childhood favorites need to come with a warning: nostalgia is not calorie-free.

What did the bunny put in your basket this year? Was it choc-a-block with chocolate? Brimming with beans? Plenty of Peeps? Childhood favorites need to come with a warning: nostalgia is not calorie-free.

Before you dive face-first into the traditional treats of this season, check out what dietician Georgie Fear told Good Morning America about some of these favorites. It may change your mind on what constitutes a harmless treat, and what can really hamper that spring in your step.

Easter candies ranked, best to worst:

Somewhere between world peace and a blank check lies the wish that chocolate would be considered a diet food. Recently, researchers have proven that in addition to all of the great antioxidants in dark chocolate, there is a bunch of fiber that will help you feel more satisfied and fuller. So go ahead and gnaw off the ears of that dark chocolate bunny — it’s the closest thing to health food in an Easter basket.

Like those 100 calorie snack packages, spring candy often comes in single-serving sizes. Russell Stover’s and Cadbury make the most famous, but just about all crème eggs are 150 calories per foil-wrapped morsel. One of these guys is not going to ruin your diet for the day … unless you decide to deep fry them.

(Photo via Flickr user Jamie/CreativeCommons license)

The benefits of the egg-shaped peanut butter treat versus the traditional 2-cup package have been widely discussed: better PB-to-chocolate ratio, one egg has less fat and fewer calories than 2 cups, and the fact it only is available once a year. Another benefit to these single-serving sweets? They’re pretty easy to recreate at home, which leads us to…

When the creative urge strikes, spending a day crafting homemade Easter treats for friends and loved ones is a fantastic outlet. But beware, because it’s very easy to eat-as-you-make and suddenly find yourself gorged on the sugary stuff. On the other hand, when you’re choosing the ingredients you can ensure only healthy treats go in: fruit, nuts, and other whole foods.

If you feel like releasing your inner four-year-old, stuff a whole bunch of jelly beans and pastel marshmallows down your throat and feel the sugar buzz set in. Only when you crash will you contemplate that these traditional Easter candies are made of sugar … and not much else. Perhaps these colorful, squishy sugar bombs are best saved for arts and crafts than a snack.

Step back from the low-quality chocolate bunnies. Do not unwrap the foil, do not fall for the cute face, and step back from the low-quality chocolate bunnies. These basket-staples are big on fat and calories and low on anything nutritious. While dark chocolate has antioxidants and fiber to offset some of the unhealthy parts of the treat, milk chocolate and — particularly -- white chocolate do not contain any of those benefits. You’ve been warned.