Fitness, Health

Halloween With Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Diabetes and Halloween

When you have diabetes, even the spookiest holiday comes with special considerations. While most people look forward to all the fun and tricks of Halloween, those with diabetes must take extra precautions when planning their own personal witching hour. Many people who have diabetes aren’t aware that some traditional Halloween candies are not safe for them. The problem is that most of these goodies are loaded with sugar, fat and carbs. Those who live with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can’t safely consume many of the common ingredients found in creepy-crawlers, candy apples and other treats. Instead, those who have diabetes must learn about safer alternatives. With some planning and a few special tricks in your arsenal, you’ll be able to enjoy this spooky night while keeping your blood sugar levels under control. Read on to discover how!

A brief history of Halloween with diabetes

Halloween is a very old holiday, dating back to the pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sah-win). While its origins are murky, it is believed that the Celts celebrated the end of the harvest season on October 31 as a way to mark the beginning of winter. When the Romans conquered the Celtic lands, they added their own twist to the festival. They believed that on October 31, the spirits of the dead would roam the earth freely. People would dress up in costumes and go door to door in an effort to trick the spirits and avoid bad luck. The modern North American version of Halloween we see now emerged in the early 20th century. In the 1930s, the focus shifted from the spooky to the silly as children began trick-or-treating. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the focus shifted back towards being scary.

How to have a safe and spooky Halloween with diabetes

First, it’s important to understand how your blood sugar levels are affected by certain foods. Then, you can make a few simple changes to your eating plan and routine to have a safe and spooky Halloween with diabetes.  Choose the right candies! If you have diabetes and want to indulge in that trick-or-treat bounty, you’ll need to choose your treats carefully. Most candy is loaded with sugar, fat and carbs, which can cause blood sugar spikes. Eat earlier in the day if you are going to indulge. This will allow time for your blood sugar to return to normal levels before you go trick-or-treating. Exercise if you want to eat sweets but also want to keep your blood sugar in control. A short 15-minute walk can help reduce your blood sugar levels and make candy less harmful.

What’s so bad about sugar?

Sugar is a carbohydrate and is found in many treats and candies that are considered “scary” for those with diabetes. When consumed, it is quickly broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream as glucose, your body’s main source of energy. When levels of glucose are too high, your body secretes insulin to help shuttle the excess sugar out of the blood and into the rest of the body. This is what keeps your blood sugar levels balanced.

Safer alternatives for people with diabetes

Most candies and treats are loaded with sugar and saturated fats, so what can you eat that’s both safe and spooky? There are many alternatives to the traditional treats, so you can have a safe and spooky Halloween with diabetes. – Gummy candies – Gummy candies are a low-sugar alternative. The trick is to look at the ingredients. Some gummy candies have artificial sugars or other ingredients that can be harmful for people with diabetes. – Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate has antioxidants, which can be good for your health. Plus, it has a low amount of sugar. Look for dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa. – Popcorn – Movie-theatre popcorn is a safe treat that is low in sugar. Make sure to avoid the buttery varieties, which are high in fat. You can also use a fat-free flavoring to make it even spookier. – Candy corn – Candy corn, the spooky staple, is low in sugar. It also contains a small amount of protein and potassium, which are helpful nutrients. – Fruit – Fresh fruit is a great choice. Choose a variety that is lower in sugar, such as grapes, apples or pears. – Nuts – Nuts are a great source of protein, fiber and healthy fats. They’re also low in sugar, making them a safe alternative.

A word on exercise

Exercising before indulging in some treats can help reduce the impact of the sugar. It can also help prevent future diabetes complications like heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney disease. While Halloween is the perfect time for a spooky workout, you can also do this anytime throughout the year. Short workouts such as walking, jogging or running can help lower your blood sugar levels and reduce the impact of eating sweets.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Halloween is a fun holiday, but it can be dangerous if you overindulge in sugary treats. If you have diabetes, it’s important to choose safer alternatives so you can enjoy the festivities without harming yourself. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be able to celebrate the spooky season without harming your health. You can even make your own healthy treats to share with your trick-or-treating friends.

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