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Halloween: Trick or Treat!
October 29, 2007
Since Halloween is just a few days away, I thought it worthwhile to raise the issue of both the tricks and treats of managing diabetes on this scary day. And no, this week’s posting isn’t just for kids.
How many of you:
It’s okay to admit that you like candy. Sure, we all know that eating too much candy isn’t good for any of us, diabetes or not. But gone are the days when people with diabetes were practically forbidden to swallow anything that contained sugar. What we’ve learned over the past 20 years or so is that sugar is a type of carbohydrate (or “carb”), just as starch is a type of carb. All carbs, with the exception of fiber, get broken down into glucose in the body. Our bodies then use this glucose for fuel.
Now, of course, the goal is to eat “healthy” carbs, such as whole-grain bread, fruits, and vegetables. These foods are loaded with fiber and other important nutrients. And many of the sources of healthy carbs have a low glycemic index, which means that they many not cause as large a “spike” in your blood glucose level after eating compared to more refined carbs.
So, armed with the knowledge about how carbs affect your blood glucose and how much carb you need to stay healthy and keep your own diabetes (and your weight) in good control, you can decide if you’d like to use some of your carbs for a Halloween “treat.” The “trick” here is to:
Let’s take a look at some favorite Halloween goodies and how much carb they contain.
Almond Joy, miniatures
Butterfinger, fun size
Hershey with Almonds, snack size
Kit Kat, snack size
Milky Way, fun size
M&Ms, fun size
Nestle Crunch, fun size
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, snack size
Snickers Bar, fun size
Tootsie Rolls, midgees
Remember that 15 grams of carb is considered “one carb serving” or “one carb choice.” Also, remember that the choice is yours. You might decide that eating 11 pieces of candy corn (which really isn’t all that much) isn’t worth the 18 grams of carb when you could eat about 3 cups of popcorn or a small apple. And candy generally contains more calories and fat than other, healthier snacks, so if you’re watching your weight, go easy with the treats. Limit yourself to one “fun size” treat if it’s chocolate you crave. Tell your kids to hide their candy from you, give any leftovers away, or store them in the freezer for an occasional treat long after Halloween is over. As long as you celebrate this spooky holiday just once a year, allow yourself a little treat without feeling too wicked!
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