Students find it hard to resist the Halloween sweets


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Kylie Jo Skellen, education sophomore, loves classic candy corn and, like others with a sweet tooth, struggles to balance her candy intake during the Halloween season.

“There are a few days where you’re like, it doesn’t really matter, it’s whatever, I guess I won’t eat tomorrow,” Skellen said. “Then there are a few days where I need real food. I can’t do it, put the candy away.”

Many Halloween and sweets lovers share this challenge – indulging, but not devouring, their favorite festive sweets.

There are many ways to avoid being spooked by your scale following Halloween festivities, from fighting the urge to devour dozens of fun-size candies to finding alternatives to calorie- packed Halloween-themed sweets.

The American Heart Association recommends that the average woman consume no more than 25 grams or 100 calories of sugar a day and the average man consume no more than 37 grams or 150 calories of sugar a day. In Halloween candy terms, women should not consume more than the equivalent of 3.5 Reeses peanut butter cups and men no more than five fun-size Snickers.

It’s not a specific food or candy you should avoid throughout Halloween, “it’s mindless eating; eating without awareness,” said Molly Kimball, registered dietician with Oschner’s Elmwood Fitness Center.

Overindulging varies on an individual basis, but Kimball classified it as, “if a food leaves you feeling bottomed out or rotten later.”

The rapid surge of energy followed by a rapid crash created by excess sugar intake should be avoided. Ingesting too much sugar causes a “cycle of highs and lows of energy and blood sugar,” Kimball said.

“One or two days of overindulging is not a big deal – it’s when it becomes routine,” Kimball said. “Know your weaknesses. If a certain candy is truly a weakness, don’t keep it too close or don’t

purchase it.”

“I have a dark chocolate stash, but I don’t keep it in my office,” Kimball said. “I keep it in a co-worker’s office so, if I want a piece, I have to walk to get it.”

Kimball suggests keeping sweets out of sight, in a drawer, pantry or colored container, and out of arm’s distance.

Looking for a healthy alternative to a candy bar? Try homemade rice crispy treats or low-sugar popcorn balls. Candy covered fruit, such as a chocolate covered banana or strawberry, will always have more nutritional value to a candy filled with added sugar. Instead of caramel apples, slice up pieces of fruit and dip in warm caramel.

When eating Halloween meals in the Orleans Room, pass up the pie and look towards low sugar and low calorie options.

The Orleans Room has a “variety of fresh fruits and sugar-free ice creams,” said Scott Goodstal, Loyola Dining Service’s executive chef. “We make sure to have plenty of freshly cut fruits and four sugar free ice cream flavors – butter pecan, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate – daily.”

One day of gorging on Halloween treats may not have huge impacts, but don’t let this overindulging become habit – remember: Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Lauren Irwin can be reached at [email protected]