When we were kids, Halloween used to be the greatest holiday. I mean, the whole point is to dress up like your favorite superhero/monster and see how much free sugar you can collect. That’s every kids dream scenario.
But now that we’re adults, we have our health to worry about which means Halloween starts to lose a bit of its charm (obviously the dressing up part is still great). With all the sugar involved, the Halloween holiday actually seems purposefully set up to prevent us from being able to fit into the costumes that we bought.
Now, one option for a healthier Halloween is to just stay away from the sweets. Give it all to your kids or the neighbor kids. Their young metabolisms can handle the comical amounts of sugar.
But c’mon, that’s not really Halloween then is it? And if you have the dietary self-control to completely resist all that candy lying around, then you probably don’t need to be reading this blog in the first place. You’ve already won the health battle and can proceed to ride off into the sunset.
For the other 99% of people, Natural Flow Health Care is here with the definitive list of healthy tips to help you survive Halloween this year (then it’s on to Thanksgiving! Autumn is the best!)
Know Your Candy
As previously stated, it’s probably best to avoid candy entirely, but what’s Halloween without some delicious sugar bombs?
The biggest key to remember when helping yourself to a couple tasty candy pieces is that not all candy is created equal. You’d be amazed how much worse one fun size bar can be compared to another.
(I think it goes without saying that eating King or Share size bar is not part of the Flow Healthy Halloween Plan).
Here are the Top 5 Unhealthy Candies you want to avoid:
- Butterfingers – Delicious but deadly. Not only do Butterfingers contain high amounts of sugars and fats, but they also have a weird chalky center and their name can potentially be hurtful to kids who aren’t good at catching things.
- Sour Patch Kids – Loaded with sugar as well as artificial food additives that the government is only kind of sure are safe.
- Twizzlers – They may say that they’re low fat, but each individual Twizzler nozzle/noodle/stick/whatever you call them contains 5 grams of sugar. Extrapolate that over a whole package and then start extrapolating your waist line if you decide to eat them.
- Fun Dip – I mean, this one should be obvious. Fun Dip is like the satirical conclusion to America’s relationship with candy. It’s a brightly-colored sugar that you eat by dipping a sugar stick into it. Fun Dip is essentially Oompa Loompa drugs. Definitely best to avoid it.
- Milky Way – I hate to include these on here because quite frankly, they are delicious – but it’s also tough to argue with 35 grams of sugar per bar (!!!)
When you inevitably steal some candy from your kids, try to avoid the sugar bombs listed above (especially Fun Dip; how does that even exist? Where’s the FDA on this one?)
So What Candies Are Healthy(er)?
On the flip side, here are the Top 5 Healthiest Candies you can eat this Halloween (healthiest obviously being a very relative term; this is still candy we’re talking about):
- York Peppermint Patties – These delicious treats are a double winner. Not only do their servings have less sugar and fewer fats (1 gram, 0.5 grams) but their sizes are also smaller. Don’t go crazy on YPPs though, because they are still candy.
- Peeps – I know, I also found this surprising. Eating a peep is like sampling some food aliens synthetically designed to kill humans through clogged arteries and diabetes. There’s no way that peeps aren’t just incredibly unhealthy, right? In actuality, peeps contain low amounts of sugar and no fats. You can eat 8 (you can, we don’t recommend it) and only take in 29 grams of sugar. So you could do poorer than popping a couple peeps in your pecker.
- Hershey’s Special Dark – Dark chocolate, like a fine red wine or a wild blueberry, is rich in antioxidants. Two of these contain roughly half the calories of a Milky Way. Dark chocolate also has soluble fiber and many of your daily minerals like magnesium, iron, and copper.
- Peanut M&Ms – With only 9.1 grams of sugar, these candy staples are considerably better for you then their milk chocolate counterparts. They have protein and fiber from the peanuts, so they basically swapped out the unhealthy chocolate with (still kind of unhealthy) peanuts.
- Tootsie Rolls – Three mini rolls contain only 70 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. Plus, they take a while to eat so you’re less likely to egregiously overindulge in them.
So while not necessarily ideal, these candies are considerably less devastating than their sugar-infused counterparts. Look for them in stores this Halloween if you want to make a simple adjustment that can have big ripple effects.
Develop a Plan
Now that you know which candy is better to avoid than others, you need a specific game plan. It’s been proven that if you write out a food plan, you’re much more likely to follow through, stay consistent, eat with intention, and not become discouraged after slip ups.
Some things to consider for your plan:
Keeping the candy put away in drawers. Nothing encourages casual sugar intake like a bowl of candy on the counter. Keep it out of sight and out of mind. You’ll wind up having to exercise much less self-control. Which is good because modern psychology points to self-control being a very finite resource (Unless you’re Rocky Balboa), so the more times you walk by that bowl of candy, the harder and harder it will be to resist (this is known as willpower depletion).
- Cut out sugary drinks. Ingesting some sugar over the course of Halloween is almost unavoidable with all the candy floating around. However, you don’t need to double down by adding sugary drinks like soda or Gatorade on top of it. One is bad enough. The last thing your body – or anybody – needs is to mix Red Bull with Fun Dip.
- Swap out sugar for healthier alternatives. This is not going to make you popular with your kids or the kids around the neighborhood. You’re going to be that household. At the same time though, no one said eating healthy was easy or didn’t come with some consequences. Here are some great and festive ideas for Halloween snacks that aren’t going to break your bank or pancreas.
- Relax and Enjoy Halloween– Don’t stress too much if you slip up and eat some unhealthy treats. There’s a reason why holidays don’t occur 365 days a year. Halloween is a special occasion and it’s perfectly ok to indulge a bit. Just don’t get too carried away and let it knock you off your general healthy eating game plan.
We hope this helps you enjoy a healthy and happy Halloween this year. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss comprehensive full-body and mind preventative healthcare, please don’t hesitate to call us today at Flow Natural Health Care! (503) 974-9283