We’ve all sneaked a cupcake, secretly snacked on a chocolate bar, or simply downed a bag of candy at some point while on a diet. And, with the holidays approaching, the temptation to stay away from unhealthy sweet foods will be stronger than ever. So, how can you keep your hunger at bay when you’re on a low-calorie diet?
Some zero or low-calorie candies are chewing gums, jelly beans, Peppermint Patties, Jolly Rancher Hard Candy and Darrell Lea Soft Australian Made Licorice. These candies can fulfill your sweet appetite while also assisting you in reaching your weight-loss objectives.
Whatever is your reason for craving sweets, here is a list of healthy snack alternatives. In this article, we’ve uncovered sweet foods in a variety of categories to help you manage calories and carbs or minimize your sugar or fat intake. You’ll also find healthier alternatives to your favorite sweets, as well as a variety of options that could make any candy envious.
5 Zero and Low-Calorie Candies
If you experience a sugary snack craving in the middle of the day, opt for a stick of sugar-free gum. Chewing gum is available in various flavors, with the majority of sugar-free variants containing only 5 calories per serving.
Jelly beans are a tasty snack that can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Thanks to the emergence of gourmet jelly bean companies, you can now buy low-calorie versions of this delight in various tastes. Each bean contains only approximately 2 calories, so you don’t have to worry much about your diet!
Most chocolate bars have around 300 calories per serving. If you enjoy chocolate but want to reduce your calorie intake, consider trying Peppermint Patties. These minty treats will provide a creamy chocolate flavor, with half the calories of a regular candy bar.
Jolly Rancher Hard Candy
Sucking on a couple of pieces of sugar-free hard candy, such as Jolly Rancher Hard Candy, might satisfy your sweet tooth without adding inches to your waistline. For calorie-conscious candy fans who would prefer something fresher, sugar-free mints are another great low-calorie candy choice.
Darrell Lea Soft Australian Made Licorice
While licorice definitely isn’t for everyone, even skeptics may be surprised by how delicious Darrell Lea Black Soft Australian Made Licorice is. This Australian candy delicacy has been created from natural licorice root in a process devoid of palm oil, preservatives, GMOs, and high-fructose corn syrup, and is both kosher and vegetarian.
What Is the Best Candy to Lose Weight?
If you want to lose weight, fruit is probably the most natural alternative to candy. Fruit cravings are a normal and healthy response to your body’s demand for vitamins and nutrients, and it knows where to look for them. Fruit also promotes electrolyte balance and even aids hydration when consumed. So, the next time you crave chocolate, try eating kiwi, apple, blueberries, or watermelon instead!
Chocolate is another guilty pleasure responsible for a sugar rush, which can cause unbalanced hunger and make you lose focus on your diet. However, you don’t have to give up chocolate completely! Instead of consuming milky chocolate bars full of unnecessary calories, opt for dark chocolate, which contains as many cocoa beans as possible—bars with 85% cocoa are probably the best option. Alternatively, you can eat carob or sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder on greek yogurt.
If you want to make sure your snack is truly healthy, you can make your own sweets at home, following sugar-free recipes that can easily be found online. To keep your blood sugar stable and enhance the beneficial nutrients you’re getting along with the carbs, calories, and fat, look for those recipes that include whole grains, nuts, or dried fruit, or add them to the recipe on your own.
However, the most obvious but harsh solution is to wean yourself off candies. The body is simply not wired to consume candy and pastries daily because they fool our brains into thinking we need to look for energy-rich food items.
The adage goes that “If you aren’t hungry enough to eat a raw apple, you aren’t really hungry.” If you really do have a need for snacks, either because you are feeling light-headed, or have just done some strenuous activity, find some other kind of food that actually provides what your body needs.
So, the bottom line is that if you want to be as healthy as possible, forgo the candy and opt for a snack that combines sweetness with other nutritious nutrients like fiber or protein. For example, you can pair strawberries with a piece of dark chocolate, or spread peanut butter on apple slices.
Finally, keep in mind that sugar-free sweets, like any other less-than-healthy food, are best consumed in moderation. Know what you’re putting into your body and how it may affect your health and goals, and try to make healthier choices as much as possible.
What Sweetener Is in Sugar-free Candy?
Since it has been invented, sugar-free confectionery has provided folks with a sweet tooth a false sense of security. The truth is that candy, whether sugar-free or conventional, is still candy and will have a high fat and carbohydrate content.
Sugar-free chocolates are sweetened with artificial sweeteners or sugar replacements rather than actual sugar. They usually include fewer carbs and calories than ordinary candy, but only by a small amount. The important thing to remember is that sugar-free does not equal carbohydrate-free, so if you’re watching your carbs or calories, be careful not to overdo it.
Some sugar substitutes you can see on candy labels are saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose, which are calorie-free and carb-free. Some other alternatives are erythritol, xylitol, maltitol, lactitol, and sorbitol.
Another popular sweetener is stevia, which is a non-alcohol, non-artificial sugar substitute made from the leaf of a sweet plant native to Brazil and Paraguay. For ages, people have used stevia leaves to sweeten food and drinks and as herbal supplements. It is now widely used as a sugar substitute in everyday items such as tea, candy, soy sauce, and soft beverages.