The crunchy sweet sensation of a Payday candy bar makes it a popular choice, especially for those who aren't so much into chocolate. But what's the nutritional profile behind a Payday confection? If it has peanuts and if it doesn't have chocolate, does that make it good for you?
What Are Payday Nutrition Facts?
Most experts will tell you that peanuts are a great healthy snack option. Harvard Health explains that even though nuts are high in calories and fat, the fats they contain are mono- and polyunsaturated fats, commonly known as the "good fats" because they help improve blood lipid levels. A 1-ounce serving of dry-roasted peanuts has 167 calories with about 2 grams of fiber and nearly 7 grams of protein, according to the USDA.
That's great — but a Payday confection is a two-act show where peanuts share the spotlight with caramel, so that means lots of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily consumption of added sugars. In general, men should not consume more than 36 grams and women should not consume more than 25 grams.
Payday nutrition facts will depend on what size candy bar you choose. A regular Payday bar, which is 1.85 ounces, has 240 calories with 13 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar and 7 grams of protein.
In addition to the peanuts, the ingredients include everything used to make the caramel: sugar, corn syrup, skim milk and vegetable oil.
The Payday calories for a king-size bar actually seem better than the regular size until you realize there are three servings per bar. The king-size version — which the Hershey's company describes as "perfect for sharing" — has only 150 calories per serving. If you eat the entire bar, the calories total 450, coming from 24 grams of fat, 48 grams of carbohydrates (36 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber) and 12 grams of protein.
Read more: The 20 Most Dangerous Candies
Sweet but Healthy Peanut Recipes
If those Payday nutrition facts aren't the right fit for your diet, don't despair — you can still enjoy the taste of peanuts combined with caramelly sweetness if you get a little creative in the kitchen. Your best bet? Try recipes such as Moroccan peanuts or smoky peanut brittle, courtesy of the National Peanut Board.
Moroccan peanuts is a much simpler recipe that sweetens the peanuts by roasting them in a blend of sugar with cinnamon and other spices. If that doesn't quite cut it for you, the smoky peanut brittle combines with peanuts with a candy base made from butter and sugar. A single serving of the smoky peanut brittle has only 150 calories, far fewer than the regular Payday candy bar — plus you get the fun of making it yourself.
But maybe the peanuts weren't the part of the Payday confection you loved the most — you were eating it for the caramel. If you're craving that caramel taste and don't care whether you're enjoying it with popcorn rather than peanuts, you can try making sneaky salted "caramel" popcorn, which uses a low-glycemic sweetener called raw coconut nectar in place of sugar, and coconut oil in place of the butter.
- Hershey’s Smart Label: “Payday Peanut Caramel Bar”
- Hershey’s Smart Label: “Payday Peanut Caramel Bar (King Size)”
- Hershey’s: “Payday King-Size Bar”
- National Peanut Board: “Moroccan Peanuts”
- National Peanut Board: “Smoky Peanut Brittle”
- Harvard Health Publishing: “Why Nutritionists Are Crazy About Nuts”
- MyFoodData: “Dry-Roasted Peanuts”
- American Heart Association: "Added Sugars"