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What Are the Different Types of Low-Carb Candy?

By Erik J.J. Goserud
Updated May 16, 2024
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Low-carb candy is an alternative to traditional candies with high sugar. Diets with low carbohydrates are becoming more and more popular, especially in the Western world, creating a higher demand for these diet candies. Consumers can find sugar-free or low-sugar favorites, like licorice, candy bars, and gum, while recipes online provide even more options for sweet desserts. The major benefit from this type of candy is that it is a healthier dessert option to candies, cakes, and other sweets. The main negatives to low-carb candy are that it is more expensive and more difficult to find in stores.

Much of the low-carb or low-sugar candy available uses sugar alternatives. Maltitol and Stevia are alternatives to sugar that are present in some of these candies. Other artificial sweeteners may be used as well. The taste of low-carb candy can be compromised by these alternative ingredients and may not taste quite as sweet as the usual candies. The amount of sugars contained can be more than half that in traditional candies.

While low-carb and sugar-free options can be difficult to find, there are major candy manufacturers that produce low-carb options in addition to their mainline candies. Specialty health stores sometimes carry these. Stores dedicated exclusively to candy usually have some good low-carb choices. Purchasing online is often the best way to find low-carb candy as many options exist with different price points.

Sugar-free licorice and jelly beans are popular options and include very few carbs. These alternative options have as much as 35% fewer carbs than regular jelly beans or licorice. Some people have been known to get stomachaches from certain alternative ingredients. Sugar-free and low-carb candy bars are also available from candy manufacturers big and small.

Sugar-free gum could be considered a low-carb candy. It uses tiny hints of artificial sweeteners and has almost zero carbs. It also freshens breath and, in some cases, whitens teeth. Sugar alcohols are alternative ingredients for many low-carb candies and gums. These candies contain almost zero protein.

Some types of low-carb candy are the preferred choice of diabetics, who usually need candy with no sugar or sugar alternatives. While diabetics are encouraged to stay away from sugary foods, these special low-carb candies can be enjoyed as a safe dessert. It is important to consult a health professional before adding these into a regular diet. There are recipes online for consumers to make their own sugar-free candies and desserts.

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Discussion Comments
By fBoyle — On Mar 12, 2013

I like sugar-free mints and sugar-free licorice candies. They are low carb and they don't give me cavities. I buy them online.

By ZipLine — On Mar 12, 2013

@MikeMason-- Oh, is it the ones with sugar alcohol in them instead of sugar?

I've seen those candies and cookies at the store. They don't have sugar but they have artificial sweetener and sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohol isn't sugar and it's not supposed to increase your blood glucose levels. From my experience though, it can if you eat a lot of it.

Plus, those candies give me diarrhea because artificial sweeteners can have a laxative affect.

You should go for all-natural candies with natural sweeteners like stevia. They won't increase your blood sugar and won't cause side effect. I think everything else is a risk. Just because a product labels itself as "low-carb" doesn't necessarily mean that it is.

By stoneMason — On Mar 11, 2013

Does anyone here have diabetes?

Have you ever eaten some of those, low-carb, zero sugar candies that are labeled safe for diabetics?

I had some yesterday an it actually increased my blood sugar. How is this possible? Are there any low-carb candies safe for diabetics?

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