M&M Snack Size Nutritional Values : What You Need to Know

M&M Snack Size Nutritional Values

M&Ms are one of America's favorite candies. The snack-sized packages, though available all year round, become very affordable in October due to the popularity of small candy packages as treats for Halloween.

One package of plain snack size M&Ms has 100 calories, 15 g of sodium, 4.5 g of total fat, 2.5 g of saturated fat, 1 g of dietary fiber, 15 g of total carbohyrates, 13 g of sugar, 1 g of protien, and 15 mg of cholesterol, according to the manufacturer's label. Nutrition information for other flavors, such as peanut or dark chocolate, may vary, so read labels and make sure you know what you're getting.

Benefits

Though candy is not exactly known for being healthy, snack size M&Ms do have some advantages over other types of candy. First, chocolate contains flavinoids, powerful antioxidants that help prevent heart disease and stroke, according to The Doctors Book of Food Remedies. Second, snack size M&Ms come in small packages, making it easier to avoid mindless eating. The empty packages help you keep track of how much you have eaten, and the small size of the package itself may actually help you eat less than you would if you were to sit down with a large bag. Nibbling on your M&Ms, or sucking them, can help you eat less by prolonging your enjoyment of each piece.

Considerations

Unless you can limit yourself to one package a day, consider making M&Ms a once-in-a-while indulgence. They are high in fat, high in sugar, and generally devoid of nutrients. However, you can improve the nutrition by choosing peanut M&Ms instead of plain ones. Peanuts provide protien and fiber, two nutrients that your body processes slowly and therefore help you maintain a sense of fullness, according to David A. Kessler, a medical doctor and author of the book "The End of Overeating; Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetitie."

Alternatives

If you're a bit of chocoholic, there are other ways to get your fix. Nutritionist Ellie Krieger recommends melting chocolate chips, dipping bananas in the melted chocolate, pushing a chopstick into the end of each banana, and freezing the dipped bananas on parchement or wax paper. This "banana pop" give you a full serving of frruit and less than an ounce of chocolate. When the weather turns cold, you can also make hot cocoa. Choose high-quality cocoa powder, such as dutched processed cocoa powder, which has a more "chocolately" flavor than "natural" cocoa powder, use fat-free or low-fat milk, and go easy on the sugar.

References

"The End of Overeating" by David A Kessler, M.D, Former Comissioner of the FDA. Published by MacMillan. Publication Year: 2009

"The Food You Crave" Cookbook by Registered Dietitian Ellie Krieger. Published by the Taunten Press. Publication YearL 2008