This weekend marks the start of the Halloween festivities, starting with an epic party at my dance studio of choice. I simply can’t wait.
I know what you are thinking… what diabetic in her right mind would get excited about Halloween – a holiday centralized around eating candy, sweets, and other not-so-healthy delights?
Perhaps it’s the many years of sugar avoidance that allows my body to quickly tell me that eating empty calories on the couch and watching scary movies is not a fun way to spend an evening. I mean, why would you want to spend an evening feeling sick to your stomach, overly tired, and poking buttons on your insulin pump to cover your indulgence.
The alternative opportunities are endless. I prefer to play dress up and dance around with friends. (Bonus – it’s exercise!) And I’ve really started taking an interest in make up techniques, so Halloween allows me to experiment with products that aren’t as socially acceptable on a daily basis. Like turquoise eye shadow and purple glittery fake eyelashes.
Now that I’ve stated what I do like about Halloween, let’s talk about what I don’t like. Namely the sad alternatives to make diabetic life seem more “normal.” That, of course, is the influx of sugar free candy that somehow is gifted to me every single holiday. It was more prominent in my childhood, but for some reason, it continues to creep into my life around this time.
Sugar free candy does no one any favors. First, it’s ridiculously over-priced and never goes on sale. You can probably get a 2 pound bag of regular candy for the price of a 5 oz bag of sugar free stuff.
Secondly, it all tastes like crap. Seriously. Do you know what it’s like biting into something expecting decadent chocolate only to find out you’ve suddenly bitten into plastic? Yeah – it’s kinda like that.
It may say “sugar free,” but it’s not really free of anything else. These candies typically contain way more fat than most candy (gotta get the flavor in their creation somehow), and various participants from the sugar alcohol family. (Mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt…) While sugar alcohol may not be an active net carb, all of them do some pretty bad side affects. You may not be sick to your stomach from DKA, but you’ll probably still be sick to your stomach in a much different way. And if you are on a natural foods kick… this isn’t the route to go.
Also – it’s not carb free. See comment about the added fat. It may not cause an immediate spike in sugars, but you’ll be sitting pretty around the 250 range eventually.
If you MUST have a piece of candy, or you somehow feel compelled to give ME candy as a treat, just give me the real stuff. I’ll deal with it later or pawn it off to my friends with a functional pancreas.