Halloween is a hard time to go sugar free. And just as I stock up on high-fibre food, I get told to give my intestines a rest – Hayley Matthews

Halloween is a time of sweet treats for many (Picture: Timothy A Clary/AFP via Getty Images)Halloween is a time of sweet treats for many (Picture: Timothy A Clary/AFP via Getty Images)
Halloween is a time of sweet treats for many (Picture: Timothy A Clary/AFP via Getty Images)
After National No Sugar Day earlier this week, I have to say I have a love-hate relationship with sugar.

I'd like to try sugar free more often but it's so hard! Decreasing sugar is probably one of the best things we can do for our health.

However, sugar is in almost everything! I notice when my kids have had too much sugar how it effects them massively, although there are those times when a little sugar after nursery prevents a cat nap in the car.

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This may not sound the wisest move but believe me, that ten-minute nap in the car can then lead to a midnight bedtime, then a late start, grumpy kids in the morning and nobody wants to be grumpy in the morning.

So whilst a little bit of sugar can help an afternoon slump and we do use it sometimes to prevent a 4pm sleep, in all honesty, sugar clearly does more harm than good.

Mary Poppins may have said “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down" but it also causes obesity, early onset diabetes and inflammation in the body.

If I have too much sugar I get sore joints, have a sugar crash and get an upset stomach too. The best I've felt was when we quit sugar for four months but it can be hard to completely cut out.

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I lasted as long as I could then cracked, and had a massive bowl of spaghetti bolognaise. See that's the thing, you wouldn't necessary think a spag bol would thrust you into a carb crash but those starchy carbs can spike your blood sugar.

Tasty things like white bread, a toasty, a big risotto or even a bowl of pasta are all laden with carb sugars, but they taste so good! Add in a sticky toffee pudding with custard and our sugar count is easily through the roof in this house come 7pm.

So as we creep up to Halloween, surrounded by sweets and sugary treats, I do think about alternative ways to avoid sugar.

Then just as I'd filled up the cupboard with grains, lentils, pulses and high-fibre crackers in a bid to make lots of healthy low GI foods that won't spike our sugar levels, I got a hospital letter saying to only eat low-fibre foods, like white bread, soft chicken and white rice etc, ahead of a hospital stay next week. Apparently low-fibre foods allow your intestines to rest which I've been told will be beneficial before my stay.

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So whilst I'm trying to limit my kids intake of sugar, giving them healthy cereals, grains and some home-made soup, I’m on a strict diet of scrambled eggs, white bread, chicken soup and white rice. Oh and I've to do a nice little 24-hour fast just for good measure. It's funny how you always want what you can't have.

Right now, I just want a bowl of lentil soup with salad and a Ryvita but these are all no-no's for me just now. Instead toast and butter is my staple.

But, don't worry, when I get out I'll be eating all the nuts, seeds, grains and high-fibre things I can get my hands on – as well as the Halloween sweeties I have hidden in the cupboards too!

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