Rundown: This candy is high in sugar, which causes an insulin boost and a sugar spike that makes you want more. In studies, foods high in sugar have caused a chemical change in the brain similar to that caused by drugs.
Calories, fats, and sugar: 22 pieces (serving): 140 calories, no fat or saturated fat, 28 grams sugar.
Verdict: Stay away. Since these candies don't normally come preportioned, having willpower will be hard when it's so easy to keep reaching for them by the handful.
Rundown: After just a few licks, we tend to crunch right down on these. They can be hell on teeth, especially since the hard candy can get stuck in molars.
Calories, fats, and sugar: 2 pops (serving): 51 calories, no fat or saturated fat, 10 grams sugar.
Verdict: Best bet for calorie counters who need a tiny sweet fix. Just remember to keep licking.
Milky Way Fun-Size Bars
Rundown: This chocolate has a gooey caramel center, which stays longer in your teeth and provides opportunity for cavities to grow.
Calories, fats, and sugar: 2 fun-size bars (serving): 150 calories, 6 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 20 grams sugar.
Verdict: Avoid these, mostly because of the steep saturated fat count. There are better-for-you chocolate bars to choose from.
M&M's Fun Size Pouch
Rundown: Believe it or not, these are not a bad choice, since the peanuts have protein to pack some nutritional value. (Dark chocolate is even better because of the antioxidant benefits.)
Calories, fats, and sugar: 1 pouch (serving): 90 calories, 5 grams fat, 1.7 grams saturated fat, 9 grams sugar.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
Rundown: The combo of peanut butter and milk chocolate gives this treat a high fat count.
Calories, fats, and sugar: 1 cup (serving): 88 calories, 5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 8 grams sugar.
Verdict: Stay away, since the grams of fat and calories can add up quickly. Opt for Peanut M&Ms if you need a nutty chocolate fix.
Rundown: These chewy candies are high in fructose corn syrup and can also stick to dental work.
Calories, fats, and sugar: 1 fun-size packet (serving): 60 calories, 0.67 grams of fat, no saturated fat, 11 grams sugar.
Verdict: Okay to nibble, as long as you stick to one pack. Although they're low in fat, the sugar and calories can add up.
3 Musketeers Fun-Size Bar
Rundown: Their fluffy texture (read: air) makes these bars feel substantial. No caramel is a plus.
Calories, fats, and sugar: 3 fun-size bars (serving): 190 calories, 6 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 30 grams sugar.
Verdict: The most-bang-for-your-calories choice: Space these bars out throughout your day.
Tootsie Roll Midgees
Rundown: Their gooey, ultra-chewy composition can stick to molars and between teeth. On the plus side, they're low in fat.
Calories, fats, and sugar: 6 pieces (serving): 140 calories, 3 grams fat, no saturated fat, 21 grams sugar.
Verdict: Okay in our book. These guys take a while to chew, thus extending your sugar indulgence.
Rundown: These chewy twists can be hard to bite. They look simple, but zero grams of fiber and protein makes them a pure sugar bomb that turns to fat.
Calories, fats, and sugar: 4 pieces (serving): 150 calories, 1 gram fat, no saturated fat, 21 grams sugar.
Verdict: Pass them up: That's a ton of calories for only four ropes.
Dr. Sass is adamant about children and adults not indulging in high-fructose corn syrup candy, juices, and sodas during this festive season. And although you can't really tell yourself that running house to house with your pillowcase is exercise, opt for sugar-free versions of treats or gum if you must indulge.
Our pick: Sugar-Free Lifesavers
Calories, fats, and sugar: 5 pieces (serving): 30 calories, no fats or sugar.
Verdict: Although they may not be available at Walmart by the lot, sugar-free versions of your favorite candies will be your best options. (Beware of low-calorie or low-fat versions, as the flavor could be substituted in other areas, such as sugar.)