Halloween with Diabetes Doesn’t Have to Be Scary!

How do you “survive” a holiday that seems to revolve around candy and other sugary treats? I’ve had Type 1 Diabetes for 8 years, so I’ve had some experience dealing with the holidays. My first Halloween with diabetes was a complete disaster! I tried to restrict myself from eating ANY candy, and I ended up going overboard and eating way too much and then had to deal with the resulting high blood sugar.

I came up with a few tips based on my own experiences that might help you enjoy Halloween while still being healthy and managing your diabetes.

  1. I try to make sure that I give away all my candy by the end of the night, so I’m not tempted by any leftovers.
  2. Another trick that helps beat candy temptation is to stock up on treats that you dislike. If your candy bowl is filled with things you don’t enjoy, you are less likely to be reaching in throughout the night and overindulging.
  3. If you can, go trick-or-treating with your kids or grand kids.  Walking is great exercise and it can help control blood sugars after indulging in Halloween treats.
  4. Check out this list of carb counts for various Halloween candy. Limit yourself to a candy choice that fits in your meal plan and pay attention to the serving size! Decide what candy choice fits in your plan and enjoy it guilt-free. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t eat ANY candy, it just means you have to plan for it and eat it in moderation.
  5. Don’t get caught up in the sugar-free candy hype. The majority of the sugar-free candy options out there still have carbs in them, so they raise your blood sugar just like regular candy. I’d rather enjoy a small piece of “real” candy that tastes good instead of a larger piece of sugar-free candy that may not have the same great taste.

Halloween only comes once a year, so enjoy it! Holidays aren’t an excuse to take a break from diabetes care, but you should still be able to enjoy them. It’s important to pay attention to the amount of carbs that you’re eating and stick to what your meal plan allows for. If you do overindulge, don’t beat yourself up! Diabetes is a disease that requires attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We’re all entitled to make mistakes from time to time; the important thing is to learn from those mistakes and make the necessary adjustments in the future.

Happy Halloween & Go Cardinals!!

By Kait Roarty, psychology and sociology student, diabetes education intern

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