Candy, sugar everywhere…what to do and how to care
Don’t get frustrated, there is a way to manage your blood sugar levels on Halloween. Being too restrictive on yourself will lead to closet binging. I know, I’ve done it. My life and my family’s life changed big time when I became a diabetic. I was only ten years old and that was 40 years ago. Do the math…I’m OLD now! But I still LOVE Halloween candy. And I eat some every year. There are ways to make it work for yourself and your health.
40 years ago, on July 4th, I laid in a hospital bed while the rest of the children on the pediatric ward had pizza, soda, and cake. I heard them giggling and smelled the New York pizza’s intoxicating aroma. A nurse came in with these annoying food exchange cards and offered me a piece of cantaloupe and a dry hamburger without ketchup. Oh gag me.
By time I became a teenager, My mom and I learned a lot more about diabetes and rules became lifestyles instead of mandatory forbiddances. Candy on Halloween was allowed–with a few helps; eat in moderation, a few pieces a day is good, exercise to combat high blood sugar levels, remember the digestion info like chocolate has more fat than hard candy so it absorbs slower.
Here’s some good info from Diabetes Health online:
Linda Haselman, RN, CDE, of St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital’s Joslin Diabetes Center in New York City, believes in limiting candy intake. “I would never suggest, ‘Forget it for the day and enjoy yourself,'” says Haselman. “Alternate treats are the best-fruits, popcorn or nuts. Many candies are just pure sugar.” If you choose to eat sugar, do so in moderation, and pay attention to the type of candy you eat.
Chocolate bars have fat, which can be a benefit: the fat slows down the carbohydrate absorption. Candy without fat raises blood sugars more quickly. What will shoot you up the quickest? According to Chalmers, things like gummy candy, Skittles, Sweet Tarts, Life Savers and jelly beans will cause glucose to peak very fast.
Chalmers adds that peanuts, a popular feature of many American candies, also slows down carbohydrate release.
“Peanuts do have a little bit of protein,” she says, “but they are really in the fat category.”
Take It Easy
Both Chalmers and Haselman advise prudence about candy consumption for adults and children with diabetes. Everyone should stick to a healthy amount of calories each day, and candy can quickly consume that daily allowance.
“If there’s something in your diet that you really want to have,” says Haselman, “then you have to compensate by cutting back on something else. Weight gain in and of itself is no good.”
Betschart adds another tip: sharing the candy with others. “I have seen children take their bags to less advantaged children for distribution,” she says. No matter which path you choose, says Betschart, “allowing your child some choices and control over the situation will help him feel a part of the solution, and he may be less likely to resent any decisions.”
The advice is solid and it works. I still use it. Another good idea; do not buy candy in your house to give away if YOU LOVE it…ask your mom or dad to buy stuff you don’t like so you won’t be tempted to grab some leftovers.
And guess what? Pray and ask the Lord to help you–HE will!
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)