Who doesn’t love Halloween? It’s a holiday full of spooky decor, creative costumes, and of course, candy. But for someone who is diabetic, Halloween can be a little tricky due to these sweet treats. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are already high, which means that adding more sugar to your system can have negative side effects. But never fear — there are ways to enjoy candy and still keep your glucose levels stable. To help navigate Halloween as easily as possible this year, we’ve put together some Halloween candy options for diabetics.
Carbohydrates and Diabetes
When it comes to diabetes, what’s most important is to keep a healthy diet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have candy. It’s just important to be aware of where you’re getting your carbohydrates from.
There are three types of carbohydrates: sugar (e.g. natural sugar in fruit or added sugar in drinks), starches (e.g. grains, potatoes, peas), and fiber (e.g. beans, berries, avocado). While sugar and starches raise your blood sugar, fiber does not. The CDC recommends that diabetics get half of their calories from carbs and eat about the same amount of carbs for each meal to keep their glucose levels stable. That’s why counting carbohydrates can be a good way to make sure you don’t overdo the Halloween candy.
If you or your kids are dead set on enjoying a particular Halloween candy bar, opt for a fun-size version of your favorite. Mini amounts of these sweets will be easier on your blood sugar since most contain around 15 grams of carbohydrates in each serving. This amount is perfect because it can help boost low blood sugar (for instance, if you have hypoglycemia) without causing a sugar crash.
Here’s the carbohydrate count for some popular candies, starting with the lowest.
- Kit Kat (fun size): 9 grams
- Peanut M&M’s (fun size): 10.5 grams
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (snack size): 12 grams
- Starburst (3 fruit chews): 12 grams
- Skittles (fun size): 14 grams
- Hershey’s Dark Chocolate with Almonds: 15 grams
- Caramel Apple Pops: 15 grams
- Snickers (3 minis): 17 grams
- Jolly Ranchers (3 hard candies): 17 grams
Some of these candies provide added benefits, despite being an indulgent treat. Dark chocolate includes heart-healthy antioxidants and peanuts or peanut butter add healthy fats. All in all, these candy classics — in small doses — are a good choice on Halloween.
If you’re searching for sugar-free versions of candy, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of some sugar-free options that you or your child may enjoy.
- Hershey’s Sugar-Free Mini Chocolate Bars
- Red Vines Sugar-Free Strawberry Twists
- York Peppermint Patties Zero Sugar
- Jelly Belly Sugar-Free Assorted Flavors
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures Sugar-Free
- Werther’s Original Sugar-Free
While these treats are sugar-free and may taste a little different than full-sugar options, the added benefit of being sugar-free is that you can indulge a little more freely than you may be able to with the full-sugar option. And while these are just a few of the more common brands you may already like, feel free to browse sugar-free options when you go to the store. You may just find a new diabetic Halloween treat that you’ll fall in love with.
Staying Healthy During Halloween
Beyond candy, there can be plenty of savory and sweet Halloween snacks or recipes you can try out. If you’re entertaining guests on Halloween, you may want to try out these fun Mummy Dogs, a Veggie Tray Skeleton, or Jack-O-Lantern Cheese Quesadillas. There are so many festive recipes you can find online that are sure to please everyone.
Whether you opt for something homemade or store-bought, we hope that this guide helps you and your loved ones stay healthy while still enjoying the holiday. And to help your glucose levels stay stable naturally, try Level, our Blood Sugar Support supplement that helps reduce blood sugar and insulin spikes.