Tried and True Tasty, Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy



Written by: HealthStreet Volunteer Phoebe Jin

With Halloween coming up, the days are getting shorter, houses are starting to look spookier, and candy is filling the aisles of supermarkets. Before you reach for those “buy one, get one” chocolate bar packs, consider the potential health risks of consuming too much refined sugar. According to HealthStreet’s data that you, the community, told us: Diabetes and weight are among the community’s top 5 health concerns. 

  • Type 2 Diabetes (resistance to insulin)

    • When you eat food, your body signals your pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps you break down sugar from the food you eat into energy. With type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to insulin and do not use it as efficiently. Since your cells are not able to breakdown sugars, your blood sugar levels remain elevated. Over an extended period of time, high blood sugar can cause problems with your heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and wound healing.

For more information visit:

  • UF Diabetes Institute
  • HealthStreet’s diabetes support group that meets the 4th Wednesday of every month!  For questions, contact us at (352) 294-4880.
  • Weight gain

    • Weight gain occurs when we intake more calories than we output. The problem with foods that are high in refined sugar is that they contain a larger number of calories while being nutritionally empty. This makes eating sugary foods unsatisfying and can easily cause someone to overeat. In addition, when sugar is consumed, the brain releases a neurotransmitter, or chemical within the brain, that makes you feel good, which is why sugar is so addicting!

For more information visit:

Not all sugars are bad! There are healthy alternatives such as fruit. You can even try swapping some of your candy craving for healthier treats. Check out for some swaps.


Try This Recipe: Peanut Butter Pumpkins


½ cup peanut butter

1 tbsp honey

½ cup rolled oats

1 tbsp ground flax

Peanut butter chips

½ bar of dark chocolate


Mix oats and flax in a bowl. In a separate bowl, microwave the peanut butter and honey until easily stirred. Combine the two mixtures until they are well mixed. Use mixture to form balls. Freeze overnight. Melt peanut butter chips until smooth. Using a toothpick, dip the frozen balls into the melted peanut butter and lightly coat the balls. Freeze again for an hour. Cut pieces of chocolate for stem.