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Tips for Diabetics on Halloween

The excitement of Halloween transcends the air as kids and adults prepare for the year’s most frightfully exciting event. But Halloween can be a challenge, especially for those suffering from diabetes. Whether you have Type-1 or Type-2, maintaining safe blood sugar levels can be difficult when the prospects of sweets are waiting at each door in the neighborhood.

While trick-or-treating, plan your routes. Planning your path can keep kids safe, you can calculate how many miles they’ll be walking, and can allow kids to get a light exercise without even knowing it. Too much walking for anyone can take its toll on blood glucose levels, even if they’re not sneaking a piece or two of candy to eat between each house. Having water and a healthy snack is good for anyone planning on having an extended trick-or-treating evening. Good footwear is also crucial during the evening stroll around the neighborhood. Making sure the kids, and accompanying adults have comfortable shoes made for walking longer distances can be the difference between a short evening and a comfortable one. During the evening, try to refrain from snacking on candy while trick-or-treating. Not sneaking a piece of candy here and there may take a lot of self control, but understanding how important it is can mean the difference between an enjoyable evening and a lousy one for glucose levels.

After the evening is over, and the kids have dumped their candy plunders all over the kitchen table or living room floor, try to inventory what candies they have: which are sugar free, which are not, and which you’re unsure of. Creating a dialogue about how to safely enjoy the copious amounts of candy in moderation can be a difficult conversation to have. Changing meal sizes and food types for the following weeks can make a huge difference, especially if a parent knows that the candy binge might be unavoidable by their child. Halloween can still be fun even for diabetics, if a proper understanding is cultivated and safe precautions are taken to ensure that too many sugars, fats, and carbs are being consumed.

Some candy choices for diabetics

  • Hershey's Special Dark with Almonds Nuggets, 3 nuggets: 150 calories, 15 g carb (12 g sugar)
  • Snack-size Kit Kat bar: 70 calories, 4 grams of fat and 9 grams of carbs
  • Sugar-Free Jelly Belly Gummy Bears, 12 pieces, about 1/4 cup: 50 calories, 15 g carb (0 g sugar)
  • Harder, sugar candy won’t do as much harm to blood sugar levels, as well. Three pieces of Jolly Rancher hard candies have 7 grams of sugar.
  • Fruit by the Foot Strawberry, 1 roll: 80 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated, 17 g carb (9 g sugar)
  • Snack-size almond M&Ms: 110 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 12 g carb (10 g sugar)
  • Twizzlers Strawberry Twists, 1 regular-sized twist: 40 calories, 0 g fat, 9 g carb (5 g sugar)