Nutrition Experts’ Fave Healthy Candy Alternatives


You may be shocked to find out that the average American eats

60 pounds of sugar in just one year. In fact, most Americans consume on average about 77 grams of sugar daily, which is more than three times the American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommended limit for women. Candy is one of the top sources of added sugar in the standard American diet. But those chocolate Easter bunnies and jelly beans are some of life’s greatest pleasures!

We believe in moderation and balance over restriction any day, and satisfying your sweet tooth is seriously necessary at times. But watching your added sugar intake is an important part of healthy living. Research shows that consuming too much of the sweet stuff can increase chronic inflammation and even raise the risk of serious health problems like diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease. While you may get a quick dose of energy from table sugar in the form of a blood sugar surge, you’ll subsequently experience that drastic drop in energy or classic “sugar crash,” which can lead to symptoms like hunger, irritability, fatigue, headaches and more.

But there are some lower-sugar options that are a better choice when you are craving something sweet. Registered dietitians in the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab, along with a panel of taste testers, evaluated dozens of treats to bring you the best of the best in terms of nutrition and taste. Here are the best healthier candy alternatives of 2023.

Our top picks:

  • 1

    Best Low-Sugar Gummies

    SmartSweets Candy Variety Pack (8 Pack)

    $25 at Amazon

    Read more

  • 2

    Organic Mango and Guava Whole Fruit Gummies (8 Boxes)

    Best Fruit Gummies

    SOLELY Organic Mango and Guava Whole Fruit Gummies (8 Boxes)

    Read more

  • 3

    Complete Variety Pack (6 Bags)

    Best Chocolate Candies

    UNREAL Complete Variety Pack (6 Bags)

    Read more

  • 4

    Joyride Gummy Candy Variety Pack (8 Pack)

    Best Sour Gummies

    PROJECT 7 Joyride Gummy Candy Variety Pack (8 Pack)

    Read more

  • 5

    Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (24 Cups)

    Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

    SkinnyDipped Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (24 Cups)

    Read more

You can read more about how we evaluate healthier candy alternatives — as well as information on added sugars and sugar alcohols — at the end of this article. Remember that the AHA recommends no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of added sugar daily for women and 36 grams (9 teaspoons) for men. Looking for more better-for-you snack options? Check out our favorite snacks to support healthy weight loss and our top picks for the best store-bought high-protein snacks.

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