27 Oct Tricks to Manage Your Treats This Halloween


Many people view Halloween as an opportunity to eat, or over-eat, lots of candy (one study found the average trick-or-treater to consume up to 7,000 calories on Halloween alone – the same as eating 13 Big Macs!)

Now, that’s pretty scary.

While not everyone is consuming that much sugar, Halloween still remains a tricky temptation for many. For people with kidney disease trying to monitor their phosphorous, or for those who may be monitoring their blood sugar due to diabetes, Halloween remains one of the toughest holidays to practice self-discipline.

With that in mind, here are four “tricks” to help you with your “treats” this week:

Keep a food diary.

If you are planning to indulge in a small, sugary treat this Halloween, you will need to cut sugar in another meal that day to keep your daily intake balanced. The easiest way to do this is to keep track of what you’re eating throughout the day in a diary or app. Many smartphone apps will even calculate and keep tabs on the nutritional facts for you. www.MyFitnessPal.com contains a food diary that tracks calories, carbs, fat, protein, sodium and sugar.

Eat balanced meals.

Dessert or carbohydrates should not count as a primary meal. A well-balanced meal includes 3-4 servings of carbohydrates, 3-5 ounces of meat and non-starchy vegetables. It is important to space your meals throughout the day, and avoid eating right before bed. Speak with a dietitian regarding your needs. Need access to a dietitian? Check out www.ReachKidneyCare.org to see if a program is in your area.

Trade the chocolate and nuts in for suckers.

If you know you’re going to be handing out candy this year (and maybe eating a few yourself) replace the chocolate with low-sugar candy. Some low-sugar candy options include lollipops, jelly beans and candy corn. In addition, candies or foods with nuts and peanut butter are often high in phosphorous. Be sure to check the nutritional label and serving size on the candy labels.

Skip the king-size candy bars.

A Hershey’s kiss has 80 calories and 8 grams of sugar. A king-size Hershey’s bar has 370 calories and 41 grams of sugar. You’re more likely to eat the whole thing if you have it on hand, so skip the king-size and go with the fun-size.