Many people have a difficult time giving up chocolate and candy while trying to lose weight. But a lot of people have discovered a solution! Sugar-free candy and chocolate seem like a great option for a sweet-toothed individual that’s looking to drop some pounds.
But will sugar-free candies stall your weight loss? And isn’t “fake sugar” bad for you?
There are definitely some obvious advantages to choosing sugar-free options:
- They’re better for your teeth.
- They can be lower in calories and carbohydrates.
- They don’t spike blood sugar as much.
Still, there are limits to the amount of sugar-free candy you should have. Just like having too much of any other food, having too much sugar-free candy can stall weight loss. Still, if you keep portion sizes in mind and keep your consumption moderate, sugar-free candy can definitely be part of a weight loss diet, and a great alternative to traditional sugared treats.
Here’s what you should know about sugar-free candy and how it might affect weight loss.
Beware of the Health Halo Effect
The health halo effect is a well-known effect that happens when people choose a food that has some sort of positive health characteristic. They then tend to eat more of that food than they normally would have because they think it’s good for them. The overall effect is that they end up with a less healthy meal or snack than they would have otherwise.
In this case, the positive health characteristic is that the candy is sugar-free. It’s also often lower in carbs and sometimes lower in calories. The health halo effect might lead you to eat unlimited quantities of your sugar-free candy choice, and that can stall weight loss since you’ll still be getting calories. You can avoid the health halo effect by being aware of what you’re eating and keeping portions to reasonable amounts.
Sugar Alcohols and Upset Stomach
Another reason to eat sugar-free candy in moderation only is that many of them are made with sugar alcohols. Some, such as maltitol and sorbitol, can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea if you have too much of them. The best way to avoid this is to have just a small serving to start, and see how your stomach feels.
Still, sugar alcohols are natural and they don’t seem to have any long-term health problems. Some do have calories and carbs, though they don’t spike blood sugar. Xylitol may help protect teeth.
Can Artificial Sweeteners Affect Weight?
There’s another concern with artificial sweeteners. It seems as though they may increase the insulin response. Eventually, they may increase hunger or insulin resistance. Also, some have been suspected of causing cancer if you eat very high quantities of them. Aspartame is an example of an artificial sweetener.
Natural Sweeteners in Sugar-Free Candies
Sugar alcohols are common natural sweeteners in sugar-free candies. Monk fruit and stevia are also natural sweeteners. They are free from calories and carbohydrates, and there aren’t known health risks of them.
Serving Size of Sugar-Free Candies
One of the most important things you can do when eating sugar-free candy is to be mindful of the portion that you eat. A reasonable portion size can help with the following.
- Limit calorie and carb consumption to levels that fit within your weight loss diet.
- Reduce the chance of having stomach discomfort due to any sugar alcohols.
- Keep you within a safe level of consumption of any artificial sweeteners that you are consuming according to guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on safety studies.
Eight Sugar-Free Candies with Natural Sweeteners You Should Try
Interested in trying out some sugar-free options? No matter what kind of candy you’re into, Netrition has tons of sugar-free choices. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Keto Cinnamon Glazed Almonds
- Dark Chocolate Sunflower Cups
- Chocolate Bark with Salted Almonds
- Chocolate Covered Coconut
- Chocolate Truffle
- Dark Pecan Delights
- Peanut Butter Cups
- Mint Patties
- Strawberry Flavored Creme
- Chocolate Covered Toffee
There are many to choose from, so it may help if you just opt for a Sugar-Free Variety Pack with a mixture of five favorites.
- Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolates
- Special Dark
- Caramel Filled Milk Chocolate
- York Peppermint Patties
- Dulce de Leche
- Key Lime
- Wild Cherry
There are 4 servings per container, but no judgment or harm done to your waistline if you eat the whole container. They have zero net carbs!
- Berry Mix
- Chocolate Brownie
- Pumpkin Spice
- Root Beer Float
- Salted Caramel
- Strawberry Daiquiri
- Sour Cherry
- Pina Colada