Halloween is one of the most fun and sweetest occasions of the year. However, for people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s it can create a major throwback because of the sugar- and allergen-laden ingredients in the treats.
Many hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s patients have food allergies, are on a gluten-free diet or just need healthier thyroid-friendly alternatives with a lower glycemic impact.
Finding a safe Halloween treat can become a daunting task especially when your kids come home with pockets full of candies that just happened to be your favourites too.The temptations are everywhere and let’s not even get started on the Halloween cupcakes, candies and cookies at the office.
It is so difficult to avoid the extra goodies and maintain your willpower when you face this endless supply of Halloween treats coming your way even if know how they can affect your health and you already struggle with your weight.
While more and more companies are making allergy-friendly, gluten-free and reduced sugar products the truth is that it is just easier, cheaper and safer to make your own desserts and candies when you know exactly what ingredients are going in.
The great news is that there are many simple recipes that you can use to make Halloween treats and candy at home in a matter of minutes that are thyroid-friendly at the same time.
5 Tips How To Make Your Treats Thyroid-Healthy
Tip #1: Use allergy-free swaps for your recipes
If you have food allergies or intolerance and some foods trigger your symptoms or autoimmune flareups most commercially made candies may be just not be safe for you.
The easiest ways to modify your favourite recipes:
- This includes gluten-free flours
- Substitute dairy with coconut or almond milk (if you can tolerate nuts)
- Use coconut butter instead of butter. It retains all the fiber, protein and enzymes found in whole coconut meat and contains beneficial MCT saturated fats and amino acids (protein), which both nourish the thyroid glands on a cellular level
… and many others.
If you choose these rather than the tурісаl hіgh-ѕugаr, hіgh-саlоrіе сhоісеѕ, уоu саn еаѕіlу satisfy your сrаvіngѕ without affecting your dіеt рlаn and feeling guilty after.
However, many substitutions require testing because sometimes you cannot just make the straight swap of the ingredients or it may not work for all your recipes. If you don’t want to spend time on “trial and errors” you could just get proven and tested thyroid-healthy recipes here
Tip #2: Make your own healthier versions of popular store-bought sweets
Butterfingers… Snickers… Kit Kats… Twix… Reese’s…. and many others are full of ingredients that can cause allergic reactions in people with hypothyroidism and autoimmune Hashimoto’s disease. They are also loaded with sugar making them not suitable for you, but do they ever taste good!
As it turns out, the solution is incredibly simple and you can still be eating your favourite candy bars this Halloween without all the negative effects.
Here is the secret: If you arm yourself with healthier versions of all your favourite Halloween treats, you will never miss the originals!
Here are just some options from the Carefree Candies that can look and taste just about the same as those that are bought in the store:
Original Caramel-cookie Twix® bars have 24 grams of sugar. However, if you substitute some ingredients it can be turned into a healthy version that will still be the same chocolate-dipped, gooey, crispy tasting bar but with 8 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of sugar
The popular chocolate and hazelnut spread Nutella® has nearly 11 grams of sugar per tablespoon (not to mention artificial flavors). But you can make your own all-natural version with less than two grams of sugar in minutes!
Or how about 6-ingredient better-for-you Butterfinger® Bars? They just take half an hour to make… and have substantially less sugar!
Tip #3: Use healthier ingredients that support your thyroid
Choosing the right foods is the key to a healthy thyroid and successful thyroid healing. The best way to take care of your body is to regularly eat foods that support the thyroid gland and that will help prevent an imbalance from occurring.
Use fresh whole foods
Organic apples, strawberries or peaches are a better choice than non-organic or canned products if you are baking a pie. That said not all fruits have to be organic and many are safe to consume as non-organic even if you already have a thyroid disease. See the list of 14 most pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables
Say goodbye to the chemicals by using natural ingredients
If you have hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease you need to be aware of chemical sensitivities as they can trigger a flare up or many symptoms such as migraines, sin rashes, fatigue, mood swings or depression. The best way to avoid these reactions is to skip foods and ingredients that contain additives, preservatives, artificial colours, pesticides and GMO.
Choose low-calorie alternatives
Most desserts and candies give you an extra surplus of calories that you don’t really need. However, by cooking light you can switch to low calorie alternatives that also taste great! Choose your substitutions wisely. Many of them are promoted as better and natural alternatives like dates and chocolate chips but in fact are high in sugar and calories when you think about the quantity you need to use for your recipes.
Use thyroid-supporting super foods
Coconut oil has medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that support thyroid function, brain function, hormonal and liver health and can speed up your metabolism naturally.
Tip #4: Choose the right type of chocolate
If you love chocolate I have great news for you: the right type of chocolate actually has fat burning and brain boosting benefits.
Dark chocolate with a minimum 70% of cocoa is rich in theobromine which is a bitter alkaloid that has been shown to suppress appetite and mobilize fatty acids to be burned as energy (without the stimulatory side effects of caffeine).
Antioxidants and flavonoids help to fight against oxidative stress that deteriorates brain tissue with age. According to a recent study made by Harvard Medical School, consuming antioxidant-rich dark chocolate daily was actually able to significantly reverse cognitive decline in seniors over 60. Interestingly, white milk chocolate doesn’t have these properties.
The trick is not to eat too much of a store bought dark chocolate but we all know that limiting yourself to the 1 or 2 squares of the recommended daily “dose” of chocolate can be challenging. Instead just make a healthier version of your own chocolate.
That means you no longer have to “say no” to the delicious taste of truffles, chocolates, pralines and toffee. And you don’t have to leave behind the sweet memories of your carefree childhood either. Get the recipes here
Tip #5: Lower your sugar load
One of the reasons why candies and desserts can negatively affect your hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease and cause weight gain is their high sugar content.
However, when I turned to sugar substitutes I found out that there is actually only one that ideally suits for all my baking and thyroid needs.
Most alternative sugar substitutes like agave have lower glycemic impact than sugar but are still high for most people with hypothyroidism and those who want to lose weight. Others as sugar alcohol xylitol can cause digestive distress and diarrhea, stevia taste may not be likable by everyone, yacon is not suitable for high temperature baking an the list of limitations goes on and on.
While honey is one the great options because it is natural and has so many benefits for your health it doesn’t suit for sugar-free recipes. If you are looking for a sweetener with a zero glycemic impact that looks and tastes like sugar I use this one.
P.S. I found that there could be a learning curve when you try to incorporate some foods and ingredients substitutions. The easiest way to get your recipes to work right from the first try is to use a recipe book. I would like to recommend the recipe book I use myself which is Carefree Candies: Your Guide To Healthy Homemade Indulgences
Inside Carefree Candies, you will find 55 of the most delicious candy recipes that won’t spike your blood sugar, throw you off your diet or make you gain weight. You’ll even find dozens of candies that are autoimmune and “Paleo Diet approved” and just as many that are vegan.
But this is a LOT more than a recipe book. You’ll also receive a valuable education about how to lower the glycemic load of your recipes. You will also discover practical tips, tools and shortcuts you need to make healthy versions of all your favorite treats.
P.S. Want to bring your baking skills to the next level? Check out how to make thyroid-friendly desserts
TRADEMARKS: Twix® is a registered trademarks of Mars, Inc. Reese’s® is a registered trademarks of The Hershey Company. Nutella® is a registered trademarks of Ferrero. Butterfinger® is a registered trademarks of Nestlé. Carefree Candies™ is a trademark of Health-e Enterprises, LLC.