We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.
Sugar-free candy used to be pushed around for being flavorless, weird, and something you would only eat when your doctor had summoned it. Sadly, opting for zero sugar has become a new reality, as roughly 1 out of 10 Americans are now diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, with another 96 million reported prediabetes. Ironically, our love (and addiction) to sugar has created a massive market for candy without, arguably, its most essential ingredient.
Today, you can find sugar-free versions of nearly every candy variety, from hard candies and gummies to chocolates and caramels. The best part is that the flavor and texture of sugar-free sweets have significantly improved. The pretty gross aftertaste of saccharin-sweetened candy is now being replaced with innovations like monk fruit juice gummies.
Many sugarless treats today also contain sugar alcohols including (among many others) mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. However, according to The New York Times, too much of these can have laxative effects or cause digestion issues, but we have to give it to them -- they make for a new breed of sugar-free candies that taste on par with the traditional ones. And, that's something if sugar-free is all you have left. Whatever the reason you may be looking for a healthier treat, let's dive in to see which sugar-free candies live up to their name.
Read more: The Ultimate Ice Cream Brands, Ranked
Jolly Rancher Zero Sugar Hard Candy
If you're a Jolly Rancher fan, you'll know the brand for its bold flavors, and the Zero Sugar Hard Candy guards its reputation. With raspberry, apple, grape, and watermelon flavors, you get a combination of classics without any sugar or aspartame.
These candies are rugged, long-lasting, and come in convenient two-size options (3.6-ounce and 6.1-ounce). You won't even feel like cheating because it tastes so close to the real thing.
Isomalt and polyglycerol syrup provide sweetness and bulk for this fruity candy, and while it is sugar-free, it does contain some sugar alcohols (Like most sugar-free candy) -- although many people with diabetes reported no difficulties with glucose numbers or gut issues. Just keep your portion control on point, and you should be fine.
Altoids Smalls Cinnamon Sugar Free Mints
Whether you're gearing up for a high-stakes business meeting or a romantic rendezvous, bad breath is the last thing you want to worry about. That's where Altoids Smalls Cinnamon Sugar-Free Mints come to the rescue and do it with zero sugar added.
These refreshing mints have a warm spiciness and fantastic cinnamon flavor without the burn. You can also find these little sugar-free mints that pack a serious flavor punch in wintergreen and peppermint flavors.
Altoids Cinnamon Mints keep your calorie count in check: Sweetened with sorbitol and sucralose, each serving contains only 0.5 calories. The compact tin makes Altoids ultra-portable and perfect for carrying in your pocket or purse. And when you are finished with your mints, the little container can be repurposed as a charming trinket box.
Werther's Original Sugar Free Caramel Hard Candies
Werther's Original has recreated its signature caramel flavor with zero sugar. Made with real butter, cream, and a dash of salt, these candies embody the same creamy, buttery goodness that has made Werther's a beloved brand for generations.
If you want a sweet treat but need to watch your sugar intake, Werther's sugar-free may be an excellent choice. These caramels are made with isomalt, a sugar substitute derived from beet sugar with a low glycemic index (per Healthline). However, Werther's still contains a fair bit of calories, with 50 per serving, along with 1.5 grams of fat. The best part is they come in a range of flavors, including coffee and chocolate options, but be cautious if you're allergic, as these candies contain milk and soy.
Tara's Handcrafted Sugar Free Caramels
Tara's Handcrafted Sugar-Free Caramels is a shining example of guilt-free decadence. These gorgeous caramels are kettle-cooked in small batches from a century-old recipe that uses real butter, heavy cream, and pure vanilla. They also use natural maltitol syrup as the sweetener, which is a type of sugar alcohol. The result is a soft and chewy caramel that melts in your mouth and satisfies your sweet tooth -- sugar-free.
These caramels have no room for artificial sweeteners or fat fillers, ensuring a pure, unadulterated taste. And don't just take our word for it -- customers on Amazon rave about Tara's caramels, noting they don't cause blood sugar spikes, while still keeping an amazing taste.
Russell Stover Sugar-Free Pecan Delight
Russell Stover's Sugar-Free Pecan Delight is a delicious blend of crunchy pecans, buttery caramel, and fine chocolate. Stevia extract is the magic ingredient that replaces traditional sugar in this candy, along with maltitol. The rich, chocolatey flavor comes from cocoa butter and chocolate, while pecans deliver a satisfying crunch with each bite.
Although these candies are 100% sugar-free (hard to believe once you taste them), maltitol (or sugar alcohol) is something to watch out for if you plan to eat more than a few. They taste undoubtedly creamy and sweet and are also relatively low in carbohydrates, but some customers reported issues with their stomachs due to eating too many of them. Other than that, for anyone craving a sugarless yet enjoyable chocolate treat, this one's a definite go-to.
SmartSweets Gummy Bears
Smart Sweets Gummy Bears boldly declare, "Say YES to Candy," and they mean it. With just 4 grams of sugar per bag, these gummies are a game-changer for anyone with a sweet tooth and watching their sugar intake. Sweetened with allulose (a type of naturally occurring sugar found in figs and raisins) and a touch of stevia, Smart Sweets gummies deliver a wholesome candy experience, completely guilt-free. They also don't contain any sugar alcohols, eliminating the unpleasant digestive surprises that plague many sugar-free candies.
The taste of SmartSweets Gummy Bears may not be as intense as traditional gummies, but that's a blessing in disguise -- you can enjoy genuine raspberry, lemon, peach, and green apple flavors without overwhelming sweetness. In fact, many fans reported that these bears have transformed their palate, making overly sugary candies seem cloying in comparison.
Asher's Sugar-Free Chocolate Candy
Asher's Chocolate Co. has been crafting fine chocolates and candies for over a century, and their sugar-free selection is no exception. With every assorted box of Asher's, you get a range of milk and dark chocolate treats filled with irresistible jellies, caramels, and truffles -- a perfect way to treat yourself or your sugar-mindful loved ones for any occasion.
Asher's chocolates are luxuriously smooth and creamy, with a delightful crunchiness from the nuts, but just like most sugar-free candy, they are sweetened with sugar alcohols such as maltitol and sorbitol. While a healthier option than regular sugar, overindulging in these sweeteners may cause a laxative effect -- moderation is key here, and the warning on box confirms that.
Hershey's Zero Sugar Chocolate Candy
Hershey's made a winning entry in the sugar-free candy world with its Zero Sugar Chocolate Candy. These delightful treats embody all the Hershey's goodness you adore but with a sugar-free twist. Sweetened with maltitol (a type of sugar alcohol), Hershey's is nothing short of a game-changer for chocolate lovers watching their sugar intake -- perfect for gifting, snacking, or enhancing sugarless baked goods.
With some reviews saying the taste is indistinguishable from the original, it's no wonder fans can't get enough of these chocolates. And, if you like a variety, you're in for a real treat. Hershey's offers not one but four enticing options: original, caramel-filled, almond, and dark chocolate. While all four have their merits, most fans lean towards the classic.
Dr. John's Healthy Sweets Classic Fruits Hard Candy
Dr. John's Healthy Sweets Classic Fruits Hard Candy is another game-changer in the candy world. These fruity candies are made from all-natural ingredients and are sweetened with xylitol and erythritol, two plant-based sugar alcohols that provide a healthier alternative to traditional sugar. Not only does it help with a lower glycemic index, but xylitol has been shown to prevent tooth decay, plaque, and dry mouth (via Healthline).
The candies have a smooth texture and are bursting with fruit flavor that is not overly sweet or sour. With six flavors in the bag, including cherry, orange, lemon, lime, blue raspberry, and grape, there's something for everyone. Plus, each candy is packed with 10 grams of fiber and 160% of the daily value of vitamin C per serving (4 pieces) -- it's a treat you can feel good about enjoying.
Tom & Jenny's Classic Soft Caramels
Tom and Jenny's Classic Soft Caramels is a line of delicious, decadent, and sugar-free caramels made with natural ingredients and no artificial sweeteners. Dr. Jenny, a dentist, and her husband, the masterminds behind these beloved caramels, created a perfect guilt-free treat sweetened with natural plant-derived maltitol and non-GMO xylitol -- great for your cavities.
Tom and Jenny's caramels have only 20 calories and 2.5 grams of net carbs per piece. They're gluten-free, soy-free, and keto-friendly, making them suitable for pretty much any dietary preference or restriction. The best part? They're absolutely delicious. Made with real butter and heavy cream, they have a perfectly chewy texture that lasts. Tom and Jenny's caramels are available in five flavors: classic, chocolate, coffee, ginger, and spiced rum.
Solely Organic Mango & Guava Whole Fruit Gummies
Solely Organic Mango & Guava Whole Fruit Gummies are crafted with only three ingredients: organic mango, guava, and vitamin C. Free from any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, gelatin, or fillers, these gummies offer a pure fruit taste in every bite. With one whole serving of fruit in each pouch, you can enjoy a guilt-free snack as part of your daily fruit intake.
As they are made from fresh fruit, Solely Gummies contain naturally occurring sugars (6g per serving) that can affect your blood sugar levels (via WebMD). Just be mindful of that. Nevertheless, they absolutely deserve to be on this list as a wholesome, low-sugar treat. Great if you have a toddler around.
Lily's Chocolate Milk Chocolate Style Peanut Butter Cups
Lily's Chocolate Milk Chocolate Style Peanut Butter Cups are a luxurious, guilt-free treat for those special occasions when you need something rich. These cups are unbelievably creamy and satisfying, and the best part is that they have zero added sugar. They're also low-carb, keto-friendly, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Instead of sugar, the cups are sweetened with stevia and erythritol (with 1g gram of total sugar per serving), which gives them a decadent bite without the sugar crash.
You'll find these peanut butter cups in milk and dark chocolate flavors: The milk chocolate is milder and slightly sweeter, while the dark chocolate has more intense and bittersweet notes. Unlike the overly sweet regular versions, Lily's creamy peanut butter filling is seriously delicious.
Created by young entrepreneur Alina Morse, Zollipops are specifically formulated to reduce acidity and elevate your mouth's pH level, effectively preventing tooth decay and promoting good oral health. They are popular with parents for their children, but grown-ups can't resist them either. Zollipops are 100% sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and allergen-friendly.
Zollipops are crafted with natural flavors and colorings, such as blueberry juice and orange oil, and are sweetened with xylitol and stevia, both plant-based sugar substitutes. The taste is not overly sweet and long-lasting, with no unpleasant aftertaste. With Zollipops, you are spoiled for choice. Aside from classic assorted fruit, you'll find peaches, chocolate, and cherry-flavored pops.
Choc Zero Keto Bark
If you're looking for a premium sugar-free chocolate treat, check out Choc Zero Keto Bark. With just 1g of net carbs per serving, it won't derail your dietary goals. And here's the kicker: It's sweetened exclusively with monk fruit extract, avoiding the pitfalls of sugar, maltitol, or erythritol. That means no blood sugar spikes, tummy issues, or compromise on flavor. With thousands of 5-star reviews on Amazon, it's evident that Choc Zero is doing something right.
Choc Zero has a range of flavors to choose from, including the popular dark chocolate with crunchy salted almonds or invigorating peppermint. And for a slightly sweeter finish, a creamy caramel comes highly recommended. Besides being low in carbs, Choc Zero Keto Bark is dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan -- checks all the boxes for us.
Brach's Sugar-Free Star Brites Peppermint Candy
Brach's Sugar-Free Star Brites presents a satisfying alternative to traditional peppermint candies. Brach's hard candy has a smooth and creamy texture with a refreshingly clean peppermint flavor. Customers have also praised their lack of stickiness, making them a hassle-free choice for on-the-go snacking.
Brach's are sweetened with sucralose, also known as Splenda, and sugar alcohols such as isomalt and maltitol syrup. All these sweeteners account for only 30 calories (0 sugar) per serving (3 pieces).
Nutritionally, Brach's provides little sustenance. Star Brites have no fat or protein and only 15 grams of total carbohydrates, which is made up entirely of sugar alcohol. While a great sugar-free alternative, Star Brites (sadly) have to be eaten responsibly.
Atkins Endulge Chocolate Coconut Bar
The Atkins Endulge Chocolate Coconut Bar delivers the taste of your favorite coconut candy bar without a single ounce of regret. Imagine a lush, moist core of coconut encased in a thick layer of velvety dark chocolate-flavored coating. Unlike regular candy bars, Atkins has only 1 gram of sugar and 2 grams of net carbs per serving. They also contain 4 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber, which will leave you feeling full.
Fans of Mounds candy bars agree they found a new favorite treat. While some have noted they may be less sweet, it doesn't diminish the experience. To sweeten the deal, Atkins uses sugar substitutes such as polydextrose, maltitol syrup, sucralose, and glycerin, a game changer if you want to limit your sugar intake. However, self-control is essential, like with most sugar-free candy.
See's Candies Sugar-Free Butterscotch Lollypops
If you're trying to avoid sugar, you may think your candy options are limited to tasteless and dull treats. But, that's not the case with See's Candies Sugar-Free Butterscotch Lollypops. These delicious caramels are made with the same top-notch ingredients and craftsmanship as the original See's lollypops but without added sugar. Instead, they are sweetened with maltitol, a sugar alcohol with fewer calories and less impact on blood sugar levels.
Just don't let the sugar-free label fool you. These lollypops are just as good as the original. They have a warm buttery flavor that reminds you of homemade butterscotch sauce or caramel popcorn. They are also long-lasting so you can consume less for the same impact. With each lollipop containing 0 grams of sugar, these See's are certainly a guilt-free sweet you'll want to have on repeat order.
York Zero Sugar Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties
Crafted by Hershey's, York Zero Sugar Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties are a breath of fresh air for fans of the classic mint and dark chocolate combo. Sweetened with a blend of alcohol sugars, including maltitol and isomalt, two pieces of these peppermint patties contain only 80 calories, 8g of total fat, and 0g of sugar.
According to hundreds of thrilled Amazon customers, York Zero Sugar Peppermint Patties hit the sweet spot -- some even claim that they're better than the original. Indeed, the creamy, smooth texture and excellent balance of mint and chocolate make distinguishing them from their sugar-loaded counterparts challenging.
Reese's Zero Sugar Miniature Cups
Hershey's has proved it again: You don't have to compromise on flavor to enjoy a sugarless confection. With 0g of sugar per serving, Reese's Zero Sugar Miniature Peanut Butter Cups are a dream come true for anyone watching their sugar intake. It isn't magic, however. Reese's Miniature Cups contain a whole bunch of sugar replacements like maltitol, lactitol, and sucralose, providing enough sweetness without your blood sugar going wild.
One of the best things about these bite-sized cups is that they taste almost identical to their sugar-filled peers. The combination of smooth peanut butter and decadent milk chocolate is simply irresistible. They also come individually wrapped, making it easy to pop one on the go. A word of caution: No matter how tempting it may be, do not exceed the recommended serving.
Spry Sugar-Free Cinnamon Mints
Spry Sugar-Free Cinnamon Mints are one of the top breath-freshening candies out there. They are made with xylitol, which is great for your teeth and gums. It also has a low glycemic index -- excellent if you monitor your sugar levels.
Spry mints have a mild and refreshing cinnamon bite, leaving your breath clean and your mouth pleasantly hydrated. They are perfect for after meals, between brushes, or whenever you need a sweet boost. Unlike some other sugar-free mints, they do not have any weird aftertaste.
Spry's come in four flavors: cinnamon, peppermint, lemon burst, and berry blast. The most popular is (obviously) cinnamon, followed by peppermint, while lemon burst, customers find a tad sour.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.