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Diabetes Friendly Halloween, is that possible?

20 October 2020

Halloween. Samhain. All-Hallows Eve. Whatever name you call it, the 31st October  brings with it spooks, goblins, thrills, chills, and sweets for kids of all ages. And many adults too. Living with diabetes can make Halloween a difficult time for people who love this particular holiday.

What’s not to love, right? You get to dress up in costumes, decorate your home, and dish up delicious treats to your close friends and family. When you have diabetes,  Halloween can be a mountain of temptation, making it easy to stray from the healthy plan you have worked so hard to create for yourself. It does not have to be. Especially if you consider healthier options that help you limit blood sugar spikes. We will share with you some of the things that can help you stay true to the spirit of Halloween without excessive amounts of sugar.

Indulge Judiciously 

It is important to focus on CAN rather than CANNOT. A diabetes diagnosis does not mean you must live a life without sugar ever again. It does mean that your body is unable to process sugar in the same way as someone without diabetes, so you need to adjust how many sweets you consume. This is especially true during times like Halloween when sugary treats are in abundant supply.

A good idea is to create a personal rule of eating good foods first. If you focus on filling up on good foods first – filling, low carb options made with whole foods – you’re less likely to overindulge on treats.

Choose your treats wisely. You may not know this, but most sweet makers offer “fun size” or smaller size versions. These contain less sugar than their larger counterparts, allowing you to enjoy them without guilt or large blood sugar spikes.

 

While size does matter, when reducing the amount of sugar you put into your body, it is not the only consideration. Some sweets have less sugar than others. Dark chocolate, for instance, is a healthier choice than milk or white chocolate.

After not having sugary snacks for a while, you may find that the sugar-free versions of sweets, make for delicious substitutions that can satisfy your sugar cravings.  Just remember to enjoy these in moderation as well.

Choose Fruit as a Treat

Fruit offers a healthier form of sugar, in moderation, of course. Berries are among the best to choose when seeking to limit sugar spikes. An apple can be a satisfying treat to eat that is quite seasonable and appropriate for Halloween festivities. Once upon a time, bobbing for apples was a widely practiced activity during this season.

You can also make a variety of snacks and treats that include pumpkin as a primary ingredient. Or make a variety of other fun, healthy Halloween treats.

Also, don’t forget to save the seeds from your pumpkin for roasting. They make tasty treats that satisfy salty food cravings and they are full of a variety of health benefits

Focus on Festivities Rather than Food

There are many exciting activities to enjoy around Halloween that do not involve food. This includes fun things like:

  • Decorate your own haunted houses
  • Ghost stories
  • Watch your favourite spooky movie
  • Family pumpkin carving
     

Focus your attention on activities in your own home where you plan the menu.

Your Halloween menu can be a “Spooktacular” array of finger foods and not-so-sweet treats that carry the Halloween theme throughout the night.

Stay Active

Diabetes UK recommends exercise as an important tool for controlling blood sugar levels and an essential part of any diabetes treatment plan. If you stay active throughout the night, you might discover that your blood sugar levels remain fairly stable even if you indulge in a small treat along the way. Exercise also helps insulin work more effectively, by reducing the body’s insulin resistance.

Perhaps one of the most important things to remember during Halloween is that you are not alone. According to the International Diabetes Federation, in 2019 there were 463 million people living with diabetes worldwide. Managingyour diabetes often involves a multi-step process that includes:

  • Following a healthy diet.
  • Taking appropriate medications
  • Monitoring blood sugar levels regularly
  • Engaging in moderate physical activity daily
  • Regularly screening for signs of complications

If you are struggling with your diabetes diagnosis or your treatment plan, talk to your healthcare professional. Your doctor may be able to recommend  resources like mySugr to help you manage your condition and treatment for a more favorable outcome. Especially during times of greater temptation, like Halloween. Visit our blood glucoses monitoring page for handy tools that may help monitor your blood glucose levels.   

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