As anyone with a sweet tooth knows, there’s nothing better than tucking into a bag of your favorite candies. But the accompanying health implications are well documented. Overindulgence in high-sugar foods can lead to numerous health risks, including weight gain, an increased risk of heart disease and blood sugar problems. What’s the answer? At the very least, eating candy in moderation is the simple solution. But, there’s another answer to the problem, too. We’re talking about the best sugar-free candy.
Sugar-free candy is a handy alternative to its sugar-filled kin. However, before you gorge yourself, it’s worth understanding that the story is a little more complicated than it appears on the surface. So let’s take a look.
What Does Sugar-Free Actually Mean?
First and foremost, sugar-free does not mean no sugar. This is an important lesson, as, as of the time of writing, there is no magic answer to provide 100% guilt-free consumption of candy. Yes, sugar-free versions contain less sugar, but these alternatives usually include at least some sugar.
In terms of rules and regulations, as far as the FDA is concerned, being able to call a candy sugar-free means the candy contains less than five calories per RACC (reference amounts customarily consumed) and per labeled serving.
What is Sugar-Free Candy Useful For?
So what is sugar-free candy good for? Well, lowering your sugar intake, of course! But that’s on the proviso you don’t eat 10 times as much as normal. That would simply negate those benefits. Outside of putting less sugar in your body, sugar-free candy can also be beneficial for certain groups. These include:
Dieters – Most prominently, people on the keto diet can benefit from sugar-free candy. Furthermore, this type of candy may allow dieters of all types to enjoy a sweet treat without tipping the balance in the wrong direction by consuming too many carbohydrates. For the most part, consuming candy with less sugar can benefit anyone on a controlled diet, whether that diet is aimed at weight loss or general health.
Diabetics – Sugar-free candy can allow diabetics to enjoy a sweet treat without consuming too much of their sugar allowance.
Below, you’ll find 13 of our favorite sugar-free candy options. We’ve included something for every preference, whether that’s traditional hard candy, gummies, gum or even chocolate.
1. Jolly Rancher Hard Candy
When it comes to choosing the best sugar-free candy, it’s hard to look beyond the American staple that is Jolly Rancher Hard Candy. With their assortment of bold fruit flavors, which includes watermelon, grape and apple, there’s something for everyone inside every bag. The 3.6-ounce bag is easily kept in your car, backpack or even your pocket for moments you want a sugar (-free) fix. And, each of these individually wrapped candies is also fat-free, cholesterol-free and contains less than 10 calories.
2. Darrell Lea Black Soft Australian Made Licorice
While licorice may not be everyone’s cup of tea, even the skeptics may be surprised at just how good this Darrell Lea Black Soft Australian Made Licorice tastes. For over 90 years, this Australian-made candy treat has been handcrafted from real licorice root in a process that is free of palm oil, preservatives, GMOs and high-fructose corn syrup. In addition, this soft and chewy, sugar-free treat is both kosher and vegetarian.
3. Stevita SteviaSweet Sublime Hard Candy
If you’re searching for a classic-style hard candy, this Stevita SteviaSweet Sublime Hard Candy may be the answer you’re looking for. These sugar-free treats boast a delicious taste and come in a range of flavors, including strawberry, cherry, grape and orange. Each individual candy contains only three calories. Plus, this is a fair-trade product that is free of artificial ingredients, allergens and gluten. Handily, the candies are supplied in a compact tin which makes at-home or on-the-go storage a bit easier.
4. Jelly Belly Assorted Flavor Jelly Beans
Jelly Belly is another staple of the American candy scene, so it only seems right that you can enjoy a sugar-free version of America’s favorite jelly bean. In these Jelly Belly Sugar-Free Assorted Flavor Jelly Beans, you’ll find everything you’ve come to expect from a Jelly Belly bag of treats, with the added benefit of the beans being free of sugar. Each serving contains 28% fewer calories than the company’s normal jelly beans. Flavors that can be found in the pack include popcorn, lemon, licorice, cherry, green apple and several other favorites.
5. Atkins Endulge Treat Caramel Nut Chew Bar
While not exactly “candy,” these Atkins Endulge Treat Caramel Nut Chew Bars still boast plenty of sweetness and deliciousness to fulfill any cravings. The keto-friendly bars come in a number of flavors, including caramel nut and chocolate and chocolate caramel mousse. They also act as a healthy source of fiber. Perhaps best of all, this popular treat comes backed by over 18,000 five-star ratings from Amazon users, which means you can be pretty confident you and your friends are going to love them, too.
6. Twizzlers Sugar-Free Strawberry Twists
BEST CRAVING KILLER
Where a single bean or hard candy is likely to struggle when it comes to fulfilling your candy craving, one of these Twizzlers Sugar-Free Strawberry Twists may well do the job. When pulled from the pack, each twist can be enjoyed at your leisure, whether you choose to bite off piece by piece or stuff it all in straight away. The zero-sugar candy snack is also free of aspartame and delivers the same great strawberry taste you’ve come to expect from a Twizzlers twist.
7. Mentos Sugar-Free Chewing Gum
Chewing gum in itself is a great way to distract your brain when it’s desperate for something to eat. Chewing this Mentos Sugar-Free Chewing Gum adds to this by offering a double hit of diet-compatible distraction. And, it can help to freshen up your breath, too. Handily, the gum is supplied in 45-piece, resealable pots, making it easy to keep one at your desk, in your car or wherever you get those hunger pangs. Furthermore, there are numerous delicious flavors to choose from, including fresh mint, cotton candy, watermelon and spring edition.
8. Werther’s Sugar-Free Hard Candy
Sugar-free Werther’s Hard Candy almost sounds too good to be true, right? Well, we’re here to tell you it’s not. Inside this bundle bag, you’ll get six 1.46-ounce bags of delicious, sugar-free candies to enjoy (three in original and three in caramel coffee). The fact that these hard candies also come individually wrapped makes them ideal for consuming one at a time or sharing with friends or colleagues. In addition, these keto diet-compatible candies contain only one gram of carbohydrates per serving and come with a bonus recipe card for creating a uniquely flavored caramel sauce.
9. Mentos Clean Breath Hard Mints
These Mentos Clean Breath Hard Mints kill two birds with one stone. In addition to providing a tasty, minty and sugar-free treat for you to enjoy, they also deliver proven minty-fresh breath for at least 30 minutes after consumption. Flavor-wise, you can choose between intense peppermint or intense wintergreen, and you’ll also have the option of 30-piece or 150-piece packs. Your choice may depend on whether you’re looking to enjoy your mints at home or on the go.
10. SmartSweets Gummy Bears Candy
LOW SUGAR PICK
If you’re looking for a candy treat with less sugar in it, rather than almost none at all, consider these SmartSweets Gummy Bears Candy. Available in sour or fruity versions, each 50-gram bag can be considered one portion, allowing you to enjoy more than one candy without feeling guilty. Each bag contains a diet-friendly four grams of sugar, nine grams of fiber and 110 calories. They are also naturally flavored and without GMOs, gluten or artificial colorings.
11. Zollipops Clean Teeth Lollipops
Is there a better go-to candy treat than a lollipop? We’re not sure there is, and the 8,000+ five-star ratings would suggest there are plenty of Amazon users who agree. What makes these Zollipops Clean Teeth Lollipops even better is that they, unlike the average candy, are actually good for your teeth. These “after you eat treats” naturally neutralize the environment in your mouth, which can help prevent cavities while also remineralizing your teeth, making them harder and stronger. Flavors in the assorted pack of these keto-friendly, vegan and dentist-recommended treats include strawberry, pineapple and cherry.
12. Brach’s Sugar-Free Fruit Slices Candy
This Brach’s Sugar-Free Fruit Slices Candy offers fruity flavor and soft chewiness in every bite. They contain 30% fewer calories than their classic counterparts, making them an ideal alternative for anyone on a sugar-restricted diet. Each candy also comes individually wrapped to make storing and sharing these treats a little bit easier. And, if Brach’s slices aren’t to your liking, you can try one of their other sugar-free alternatives, which include root beer barrels, butterscotch and assorted fruit-flavored candies.
13. YORK Peppermint Patties Dark Chocolate Candy
If chocolate is your go-to treat, you may want to invest in this YORK Peppermint Patties Dark Chocolate Candy. These treats are backed by over 5,500 five-star ratings from Amazon users who love their delicious taste. For the price, you’ll get 12 three-ounce bags, meaning, heavy binging aside, you’ll have chocolate candy to last for weeks. The candies feature dark chocolate on the outside with a rich and pepperminty interior. Plus, these gluten-free and kosher-approved chocolates also come individually wrapped, making them easier to share and harder to consume in one mammoth session.