Halloween is a fun holiday for kids, and it’s no secret that plenty of adults like to indulge in Halloween candy , too. Although sugar-laden treats abound on this holiday, there are a few simple changes you can make to support heart health in your whole family. From our family to yours, the heart care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center wishes you a safe and healthy Halloween!
Understanding the heart health risks of sugar
It’s common knowledge that a high intake of saturated fats and sodium can contribute to heart health problems. On the other hand, the health risks of sugar can be overlooked. The research is ongoing, but it’s thought that a diet high in sugar can stress the heart , and contribute to heart disease diagnoses.
Limiting Halloween candy
If you have young kids or you live on a densely populated street, it probably isn’t practical to avoid candy entirely. However, you can limit the amount your family eats.
Before taking the kids trick-or-treating, you can serve a healthy dinner with lean protein and complex carbohydrates. This helps the whole family avoid over-indulging. Give your kids small containers for collecting candy, rather than empty pillowcases.
Enjoying heart-healthy treats
Make the holiday friendlier to your family’s cardiovascular health by serving nutritious treats. Use non-toxic ink to make Jack-O-Lantern faces on tangerines. Or, turn to the old-fashioned tradition of bobbing for apples.
Purchase candy alternatives to hand out to trick-or-treaters and party guests. Some suggestions are:
- Snack-size packages of unsalted nuts or raisins
- Sugar-free chewing gum
- Glow sticks
Getting physically active
Halloween is one of the few holidays that encourages physical activity, compared to typically sedentary days like Thanksgiving. Look for ways of incorporating fitness challenges into the evening.
For example, each parent or caregiver can team up with a kid or two. The two teams can compete to see how many houses they can walk to in a set period of time.
Heart Center at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center treats more cardiac patients than any other Las Vegas hospital. Our dedicated team of cardiology specialists works around the clock to coordinate with emergency responders and deliver life-saving interventions. Please call 911 if you have a medical emergency, or call (702) 233-5300 to speak with a registered nurse about non-emergent issues.