Even though you're trying to eat healthy, it's OK to give in to your sweet tooth once in a while. In fact, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans allow for discretionary calories, which are calories from foods with added sugar or fat. Licorice like Red Vines can certainly satisfy your need to eat something sweet and chewy without overdoing it on calories or fat.
A 1.5-ounce serving of Red Vines, whether it's Original Red, GrapeVines or black licorice flavor, has 140 calories. A 1.5-ounce serving of the sweet and chewy candy is four of the original-size twists. To help you control your calorie intake when snacking on Red Vines, don't eat directly out of the package. Instead, take out four vines and put the package away for another day or share it with your friends.
Carbs and Sugar
The number of total carbs in Red Vines varies a little from flavor to flavor, ranging from 34 to 36 grams per 1.5-ounce serving. The sugar content in the Red Vines does not vary, and each serving contains 16 grams. Whether the sugar in your diet comes from foods like Red Vines or from a natural source such as fruit, your body uses it in the same manner, as a source of energy. However, the Red Vines do not contain any of the health-promoting nutrients that the fruit contains.
No Fat, Low Protein
Red Vines are a fat-free treat with just 1 gram of protein per 1.5-ounce serving. Both fat and protein are essential nutrients. Fat in the diet is needed to help your body make cell membranes and absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Adequate intake of protein is necessary for maintaining lean body mass and the repair of tissue.
Red Vines are not a source of vitamins or minerals, but they do contain a small amount of sodium. A 1.5-ounce serving of the original, grape and cherry flavors all have 20 milligrams of sodium, while the same serving of the black licorice contains 60 milligrams. As far as treats go, Red Vines make a very low-sodium choice. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends most Americans limit their sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day. High intake of sodium increases your risk of high blood pressure.
Sugar-Free Red Vines
If you're trying to limit the amount of sugar in your diet, Red Vines offers a sugar-free candy option. A serving of seven of the sugar-free chewy twists contains 90 calories, 25 grams of total carbs, 17 grams of malitol -- a sugar alcohol, 8 grams of other carbs, 1 gram of protein and 15 milligrams of sodium. Sugar alcohols are a reduced-calorie sweetener that have less of an effect on blood glucose levels than regular sugar.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Red Vines: Products
- Walgreens: Red Vines Orginal Red Twists Licorice Candy
- McKinley Health Center: Macronutrients: The Importance of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat
- American Diabetes Association: Sugar Alcohols
- Walgreens: Red Vines Black Licorice Sugar-Free Twists