Halloween Candy: The Urge for All Ages

With Halloween just around the corner, our senior citizens need to steer clear of what temps us all on October 31st, Halloween candy.  There is something about the Halloween treats that are so enticing, but having the discipline to just say no may help us all stay a little healthier.  An alarming Federal Drug Administration (FDA) report highlighted in a New York Post article said black licorice could be more of a trick than a treat. 

The chewy black licorice candy that many seniors love happens to be full of a substance that can cause heart failure, muscle weakness and lethargy according to the FDA.  It contains a sweetener called glycyrrhizin which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and congenital heart failure.  Some of the side effects include swelling, high blood pressure and can negatively impact medications.  This is not what anyone 50 and over would want to experience on any occasion, much less this Halloween.

If you are like me, it is hard to cut back on candy that is loaded with sugar.  Four of my favorites, Butterfingers, 3 Musketeers, Snickers and Milky Way, are at the top of the list when it comes to unhealthy treats.  It is not about depriving yourself, but simply making healthy choices according to The Daily Meal.

The Mayo Clinic reports some interesting data when it comes to Halloween and candy consumption.  Americans purchase 600 million pounds of candy every year.  We know everyone loves chowing down on candy, but did you know the average person consumes 1.2 pounds of candy every Halloween?  That means if you skip out eating Halloween candy this year, your neighbor may have to eat 2.4 pounds of candy, so these statistics hold true.

Candy contains sugar and the research on sugar indicates it's not very healthy. These are the facts:

  • Sugar contains extra calories that causes weight gain.
  • Sugar has no vitamins, minerals or nutrients.
  • Sugar displaces consumption of healthier foods.
  • Sugar has direct negative heath effects that lead to cardiovascular disease, inflammation and dental cavities.

On many occasions candy is just too hard to pass up and we must think wisely in an attempt to stay healthy. If you are struggling with a Halloween binge like most of us are, you may want to consider adhering to these tips:

  • Wait until 3 days before Halloween to buy your candy.
  • Buy your least favorite candy. This always seemed to work at our house!
  • Buy less than you need and give away more.
  • Set reasonable limits for candy consumption and make it fairly hard to reach.
  • Eat a well balanced meal.
  • Eat candy only during desert time.

Some of the fun filled treats have more sugar and fats than others, so this Halloween pay attention to the ingredients.  If you feel the candy urge coming on, head for the fruits and yogurt


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