10 Best Sugar-Free Candy for Diabetics

Whether it’s a dessert, an everyday snack, or an occasional treat, we all love candy. However, if you or a loved one has diabetes, you may need to put a little more effort into finding candy that works for your household. 

Worry not! There are plenty of sugar-free alternatives to your favorite sweets that are just as accessible (and just as tasty).

We’re breaking down some of the big questions surrounding diabetes, sugar-free candy, and the best candies for people with diabetes.

Can People With Diabetes Eat Candy?

For many people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, managing a careful diet and monitoring blood sugar is routine. That also means keeping a careful eye on the intake of sugars, even in fruits. At most points, this makes lollipops, licorice, butterscotch, toffee, and peppermint patties off-limits.

So, when it comes to sugar-free chocolate candy and other sweets, store-bought and homemade treats must be out of the question, right? Wrong! 

People with diabetes are no longer limited in their choices of sweets, thanks to easy-to-find sugar-free versions with fewer calories. Sugar-free candies, chocolates, and products are more widely available than ever. 

Even homemade desserts, drinks, and sauces can be made using sugar-free sweeteners like erythritol, stevia, monk fruit, allulose for a DIY, sugar-free treat any day of the week.

Products like our Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar can help satisfy your sweet tooth while only containing 4g of sugar in the entire bar! It’s keto, vegan, and plant-based and has no added sugars — making it a great snack for anyone with health on their minds, and not just people with diabetes.

To put all of this in perspective, the maximum recommended amount of added sugar in grams per day for type-1 and type-2 diabetics is 25 grams (or less). If you have diabetes, it’s best to check with your doctor on how much sugar is safe for you to eat and how yummy treats can fit into your personal equation.

What Does Sugar-Free Mean?

With so many terms surrounding terms like sugar-free, low-carb, fat-free, non-GMO, gluten-free, and low sugar, grocery shopping can be a maze to navigate. Put simply, sugar-free items contain less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. 

This number includes both natural sugars and added sugars. Sugar-free options in pre-made foods and ingredients can be helpful alternatives for people who are limiting their sugar consumption to curb cravings, aid in weight loss, or due to diabetes.

Of course, it’s not just people with diabetes who are keeping an eye on their sugar intake. People looking to lose weight, maintain their weight or simply be more health-conscious have their eyes on those labels, too. Thankfully, sugar-free eating is way more accessible than you might guess.

How Much Sugar-Free Candy Is Too Much?

We all love a sweet treat. With the option to go sugar-free, you may be wondering how sugar-free options stack up against traditional candies. Can you eat as much sugar-free candy as you want?

People with diabetes should still consume any sweets in moderation and speak with their doctor regarding any specific concerns. Your healthcare provider can best determine the amount of sugar you can safely eat and how sweets can factor into the equation.

Carbs in Candy

Of course, table sugar isn’t the only sugar people with diabetes are keeping an eye on. If you go for a stroll down your grocery store’s candy aisle, you will notice candies usually contain carbs. Everything from milk chocolate to Jelly Bellies to saltwater taffy is typically loaded with carbohydrates.

However, if you’re looking to manage your intake of carbohydrates, there are options. While sugar-free candies still have a few carbs, studies have shown that they have a less significant effect on blood sugar levels. But that doesn’t mean carbs won’t negatively affect you.

If you need to limit your carbohydrate intake, it’s always best to consult the label for nutritional facts. Again, speaking with your doctor about your specific needs (and whether you should be concerned about the carbs from sugar-free candy) is an important first step to help maintain your health.

How Carbs in Candy Affect Diabetes Symptoms

Carbohydrates are sugar molecules, but the source of the carbs can be more important than the amount! When the food you eat is digested, your body will break open the molecules and turn them into sugar. The sugar then enters your bloodstream. 

Once the sugar is in your blood, your pancreas will create insulin. Insulin is a call to your body to take the blood sugar and use it as energy or store it for use later. 

For people with diabetes, it can go one of two ways. People with diabetes sometimes can’t produce enough insulin. Other times, their body does not respond to the insulin properly. 

Consuming too many sugary foods can exacerbate the condition, leading to hyperglycemia. A person with diabetes’s key to success? Monitor your blood glucose levels, account for the amount of sugar you consume and maintain regular healthcare visits to stay on top of your condition.

Even eating too little sugar is an issue that can also lead to hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can cause you to feel lightheaded, shaky, dizzy, or hungry, among other symptoms. Not fun!

When it comes to carbohydrates in candies for people with diabetes, keeping things in check is the most important — as it is for most of us!

The Best Sugar-Free Candies for Diabetics

So, what are the best kinds of candies for people with diabetes? Sugar-free products, with your doctor’s approval, are a great choice for any diabetic looking to manage their sugar, carbohydrate, and calorie intake.

Read the nutritional facts and ingredients if you’re ever in doubt. It may not sound like the most fun way to pass time, but inspecting labels is the best way to stay informed. Our best advice is to stick to sugar-free candies that have fewer ingredients and incorporate whole foods to help avoid any label confusion.

That’s why our products have just a handful of ingredients and use quality sugar alternatives. Instead of added sugars, we prefer to use chicory root, stevia, and erythritol to satisfy our sweet tooth!

Our picks for the best sugar-free candies? We’re glad you asked. 

MiiRO Peanut Butter Cups 

Peanut Butter Cups give you one of the tastiest flavor combinations ever! The contrast of sweet chocolate and nuttiness will make you feel like a kid again.

Jolly Rancher Zero Sugar Originals 

The best thing about Jolly Ranchers has got to be their variety of flavors! Grab a variety bag of zero sugar candies for fun flavors like watermelon, grape, apple, and raspberry. You don’t have to worry about unpleasant aftertastes with these hard candies!

MiiRO Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars 

What’s better than peanut butter cups? A melt in your mouth bar of deliciousness to share with others (or keep for yourself)! No added sugar, and yet it still tastes delectable. For a full detailed review, you can also check out this article from Tami Smith, aka Fit Healthy Momma.

Sugar-Free Jelly Beans 

Jelly beans are a wonderful candy when you feel like something with a soft, chewy texture. Jelly beans come in a ton of Splenda-sweetened flavors, like buttered popcorn, green apple, lemon, tangerine, and more.

Brach’s Sugar-Free Gummy Bears

 Another contender for the soft and chewy category is Brach’s Gummy Bears. Simple and sweet, they’re perfect for any time you feel like a sugar-free treat.

MiiRO White Chocolate Bar With Crispy Almond Pieces 

If you’re looking for something a little different from a traditional chocolate bar, look no further. White chocolate has a delectable creaminess that goes perfectly with the crunchy almond pieces spread throughout.

MiiRO Dark Chocolate Baking Chips 

If you’re looking to bake some cookies, you’ll need chocolate chips that don’t sneak in excess sugar! Meet our Dark Chocolate Baking Chips. They’ll impress your friends and help keep your blood sugar in check.

Werther’s Original Caramel Sugar-Free Hard Candies 

If you’re looking for something a little creamier in the hard-candy department, consider Werther’s Originals. Caramel candies are a classic, so these should definitely be on your radar when looking for an easy go-to. These would also make a yummy sweet treat during a movie!

MiiRO Peanut Butter Baking Chips 

Peanut butter fiend? We are too! You owe it to yourself to bake a dessert with our Peanut Butter Baking Chips. Here’s a tip: Go for something different with your next chocolate chip cookie recipe by adding some peanut butter chips!

MiiRO No Added Sugar Maple Flavored Syrup 

Okay, it’s not candy by default. But our No Sugar Added Maple Flavored Syrup can be used to easily sweeten a baked dessert… after you put it on your waffles, that is.

Conclusion

With so many options, these are our picks for the 10 best sugar-free candies for people with diabetes (based on your doctor’s approval, of course). Not only are there fewer limitations with inclusive sugar-free choices, but making treats for yourself or others is easy with store-bought sugar alternatives.

People with diabetes given the doctor's go-ahead can join in on the party with sugar-free counterparts for their favorite sweet treats! We think that’s pretty neat. 

Disclaimer:

People with diabetes should still consume any sweets in moderation and speak with their doctor regarding any specific concerns. Your healthcare provider can best determine the amount of sugar you can safely eat and how sweets can factor into the equation.

Sources:

Sugars and type 2 diabetes | ActionSugar.org

What's the Difference Between Sugar Free and No Added Sugar? | American Heart Association

Is Sugar-Free Candy the Best Choice If You Have Diabetes? | Cleveland Clinic

Carbohydrates | Harvard 

Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar | Harvard

What is diabetes? | CDC

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