Prediabetes is a condition characterized by higher than normal blood sugar levels, often a precursor to full-blown diabetes. If you've been diagnosed with prediabetes, it's important to manage your diet and make healthy choices to prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.
Can Prediabetics Eat Candy at Halloween?
It's Halloween time, a challenging time of year for people with prediabetes. Whether it's a bowl of candy in your company's conference room or extra candy bars your kids bring home from school, the temptation can be overwhelming. But what if I told you that you can still enjoy an occasional treat during this festive time? A common misconception is that people with prediabetes must completely avoid sweets and candies. While moderation is key, there are indeed some candies that can be enjoyed even by those with prediabetes.
In this article, we'll explore the best Halloween candy when you have prediabetes, providing a balance between satisfying your sweet tooth and keeping your blood sugar levels in check. As someone with prediabetes, I've tested a lot of options, and below are my top picks!
Things to Consider When Choosing Candy
When searching for a low-carb or sugar-free candy, you'll find a variety of sweeteners to choose from. It might take some trial and error to find out which ones you like and which ones you don't care for so much.
Many candy companies use artificial sweeteners, and a few of those have been linked to a higher cancer risk. Specifically, aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame-K are ones that I recommend avoiding. Stevia, monk fruit, and allulose come from more natural sources and are less likely to have a strong aftertaste.
Some candies use use sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol. While these are sugar-free, they might still raise your blood sugar. Sugar alcohol, while technically not a source of sugar, still gets absorbed as a type of carbohydrate and can impact your blood sugar later. It's important to consider this when you look at the total carbohydrates in these products. The best way to know how any food affects your blood sugar is to track your blood glucose using a glucometer or continuous glucose monitor (CGM).
Lastly, some sugar alternatives can impact gastrointestinal health. Sugar alcohols in particular are highly fermentable in the gut, and in large quantities, can cause gas, bloating, and unwanted gastrointestinal cramping or pain.
These are all things to consider when you choose a sugar-free candy. Ok, let's get into the good stuff and see my top eight recommendations!
ChocZero Milk and Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is a great choice for people with prediabetes because it's higher in fat, and cacao even contains a little bit of fiber. These two ingredients help to slow down the sugar response. ChocZero uses monk fruit as the sweetener in all their products, which produces a sweet taste with very little aftertaste. For people who are particularly sensitive to a bitter aftertaste, these chocolates are a great option.
Who doesn't love a good caramel at Halloween time? These caramels are great because not only are they low in sugar, but they're also dairy free so they're perfect for those with dairy allergies. They're made with coconut milk, and they are DELICIOUS! Sweetened with monk fruit and allulose, they're sweet and chewy and very challenging to eat only one.
3. Nüma Taffy
Taffy is such a classic Halloween favorite. Nüma is a newcomer to the scene, and they're unique in that their taffy does contain sugar but in a lower quantity. The taffy also contains protein via egg whites, so that slows down the sugar response in your system. Best of all, Nüma Taffy comes in five delicious flavors, including banana, strawberry, coconut, coffee, and vanilla.
4. Tom & Jenny's Sugar Free Soft Caramel Candy
If you're looking for a more chocolate-y caramel, this is it. Sweetened with maltitol and xylitol, this is a soft, sweet and chewy treat with only about 4 grams of carbs per caramel. Because it's sweetened with sugar alcohols, eat them in moderation to avoid gastrointestinal issues.
5. Smart Sweets Lollipops
Sometimes, you just want a good ol' fashioned lollipop. Smart Sweets has sugar-free hard candy mastered. Sweetened with isomalo-oligosaccharides (a sugar alcohol) and stevia, these lollies come in yummy flavors like blue raspberry and watermelon.
6. Rhea Peanut Caramel Candy Bar by ChocZero
Another great product from ChocZero, this bar is for you Snickers lovers out there. Sweetened only with monk fruit, you'll get no bitter aftertaste. I always have these around on Halloween night so that I don't get tempted by my kids' sugar-full candy bars.
7. Kiss My Keto Gummy Bears
Gummy bear lovers, don't fret. There is a sugar free option, and these taste like the real deal. Sweetened with xylitol, they come in all the classic flavors like berry, lemon-- and even a unique sour cola!
8. Dark Chocolate Keto Peanut Butter Cups by ChocZero
Can you tell I love ChocZero? I also love Reese's peanut butter cups, but these are sweetened with monk fruit and contain no nasty preservatives. And they taste just as good! These are also available in milk chocolate flavor.
Living with prediabetes doesn't mean completely giving up sweet treats, even at Halloween. The key is to make informed choices and consume candies in moderation. Opt for options that are low in added sugars and contain fiber and healthy fats to slow down the sugar response.
It's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to create a personalized dietary plan that suits your specific needs and preferences. By making smart choices, you can participate in the Halloween festivities without blowing up your blood sugar. Happy Halloween!
Did you know that a steam sauna can improve blood sugar?
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