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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Low Calorie Candy Without TOO Much Sugar

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When it comes to sweets, sometimes, you just can’t resist! That’s okay! We all should have the opportunity to indulge once and awhile! When you find the urge to reach for something sweet, consider some of these low calorie candy options! They will curb your craving without ruining your healthy eating plan!

Colorful sweet low calorie candy buffet table scene. Above view over a rustic wood background.

I love dessert! I have the biggest sweet tooth ever – candy, cookies, chocolate, ice cream – you name it – I’m a fan. If I’m at a dessert buffet, it’s always really hard to resist temptation!

Most candy and sweet treats are mainly made of a fair amount of sugar — so they are technically just empty calories. Even though all this junk isn’t good for you, depriving yourself completely isn’t necessarily the way to go. If you totally deprive yourself you’ll only crave it more, and eventually you’ll go nuts and eat like 5 chocolate bars and your whole healthy living plan will be gone. Junk food is ok – in extreme moderation.

Because I’m a candy addict, I took the initiative to find healthier, better choices for dessert options when I have my sweet tooth cravings!

Tips for Healthier Low Calorie Candy Options

  • Limit the serving size: One way to make sure you don’t overindulge is to choose a candy that already has a pre-portioned amount in a small bag. The snack size candy bars and chocolates you get around Halloween are the perfect size for a quick treat!
  • Chew Gum: If you have a sudden urge for something sweet, try opting for sugar free chewing gum. For just 10 calories, you’ll get all the sweetness and flavor you’re looking for! I like to opt for fruity flavors like watermelon, orange, or berry!
  • Hard Candy: When you really want something sweet, try sucking on a hard candy. This will give you a longer lasting flavor in a small size, for fewer calories. Try peppermint, butterscotch, caramels, Jolly Ranchers, Werther’s, or Life Saver’s.
  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup: High fructose corn syrup has been linked to weight gain, diabetes, an increased risk of heart disease, arthritis, insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.
  • Stay away from some artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame and sacchrin will lower the calorie count of any candy, but they can cause other problems — research shows that these 3 sweeteners can change our gut bacteria or cause an insulin response. But some sugar substitutes are ok in moderation – like sugar alcohols or natural substitutes like monk fruit or stevia. So candy that includes more natural sugar substitutes can be a good choice if you are diabetic or cannot have any regular sugar at all.

Do You Really Want Candy?

Before you reach for your candy stash, ask yourself, if you really want it. Sometimes we reach for something sweet when we’re feeling tired, or bored. Prevent yourself from indulging in your candy stash too often, by checking in with yourself and really asking yourself, why you’re reaching for something sweet.

If you’ve reached a mid-afternoon slump, and need a pick me up, walk away from your work, or take a break. Get a tall glass of water, and go for a brief walk to refresh your senses.

If you are reaching for candy because you are bored, consider engaging in a conversation with a friend or colleague, read a book, or listen to music.

After you’ve done those things, if you are still craving something sweet, go ahead and give yourself a small indulgence.

Tips for Limiting Sweets

  • Hide Your Sweets Stash: Instead of giving your candy a prominent place in your pantry, hide it behind other food so it’s out of sight. Same goes with your sweet treats in the freezer, or refrigerator. If you don’t see it every time you open your pantry and fridge, you will be less likely to reach for it.
  • Plan for It: Instead of snacking on sweets whenever the mood strikes, make a plan for when you enjoy your sweet treat! Maybe it’s after dinner, or lunch, or as a reward when you get home from work, or when you have a chance to sit down and watch your favorite show. Making a plan for when you can enjoy your candy, and only allowing yourself to enjoy it at that time will give you something to look forward to, and prevent you from snacking on sweets throughout the day.
  • Mix it up with some fresh fruit: Fruit can be surprisingly sweet, so even if you are craving candy, try a piece of fruit first, and then try one of these lower calorie candies below!

15 BEST Low Calorie Candy Options (120 Calories or Less)

package of dr johns healthy sweets - low calorie candy
Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets

This healthy sweet snack is sugar free and has added dietary fiber and vitamin C. They don’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. They’re also gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, Kosher, and made in a nut free facility. 4 pieces of these hard candies have only 35 calories, 18 g carbs, and 0 grams sugar, but has 10 g fiber!

endangered species 88% cacao dark chocolate bites package
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bites

If you are a fan of dark chocolate, you will love these dark chocolate bites! This fair trade chocolate made with all natural ingredients is one of my favorite treats to enjoy on almost a daily basis. These individually wrapped bites will help you keep your portion in control. A two bite serving has just 120 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and only 2 g sugar! As an added bonus, Endangered Species donates 10% of net profits to protect wildlife, so you can help save endangered animals while you enjoy your sweets!

package of unreal coconut bar - low calorie candy
UnReal Coconut Bars

Sweet coconut is covered in dark chocolate. With only 3 grams of added sugar, and 70 calories per bar, these small chocolates are made with just 3 simple ingredient; organic coconut, organic cassava syrup & dark chocolate. They are small, and perfect for a quick on the go treat!

smart sweets packages
Smart Sweets

If you like chewy candy, then Smart Sweets are for you! They have a variety of gummy candies including sweet chews, sour gummy bears, sweet gummy bears, sweet fish, peach rings, and sour blast buddies. One whole bag has just 3 g sugar and 120 calories!

Yum Earth

Yum Earth makes a variety of candies from Lollipops to Gummies, Licorice and more! They are all Organic & Non-GMO: Project Verified Non-GMO, Made with organic ingredients, Gluten Free No artificial flavors, no dyes, no high fructose corn syrup. Their licorice is just 110 calories per serving for 15 pieces!

black forest gummy bears box
Black Forest Gummy Bears

These cute little gummy bears come in a convenient pouch, so you don’t overindulge! Made with organic ingredients, they are fat free, gluten free, 70 calories, and 11 grams of sugar per serving!

unreal chocolate - package of low calorie candy
UNREAL Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

If you crave Reese’s then you will love the Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Indulge in your chocolate peanut butter craving with these gluten-free, vegan, fair-trade treats, with 36% less sugar than a Reese’s! One peanut butter cup is just 80 calories!

package of wedderspoon manuka honey pops
Wedderspoon Organic Manuka Honey Pops

These natural lollipops are perfect for kids or the kid at heart! They come in three flavors: raspberry, orange, and grape. With no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, a low calorie count, and sweetened with Manuka honey, these lollipops are just 35 calories for 2 lollipops, or 17 calories for one!

low calorie candy - tom and jennys caramels package
Tom and Jenny’s Chocolate Soft Caramels

If you love the flavor of salted caramel and chocolate you will want to indulge in this chewy treat! They are naturally sugar free, sweetened with natural plant-derived Maltitol and Non-GMO xylitol. They’re keto friendly and gluten-free! Enjoy 5 caramels for 100 calories!

dove chocolate bars
Dove 100 Calorie Bars

These single serving milk chocolate bars are sure to quench your chocolate craving! With just 100 calories, 6 g fat, and 10 grams of sugar, you can indulge in a full bar of chocolate without any guilt!

package of low calorie candy - red vines
Red Vines Made Simple (Licorice Twists)

These twists are made with simple ingredients, hence the name! This version is made non-GMO, using natural flavors and colors, and including NO high fructose corn syrup. They’re also Kosher certified. They have a soft and chewy texture. Enjoy three long red vine twists for 100 calories!

york peppermint patties box
York Mini Peppermint Patties

Mini Peppermint Patties are a great way to indulge in your chocolate mint fixation! Opt for the minis that are individually wrapped. One mini is only 50 calories!

3 musketeers candy
Mini 3 Musketeers

If you like chocolate, you’ll love this low calorie chocolate snack! One mini musketeers has only 30 calories! All of the “mini” versions of Mars snacks are pretty low in calories too. Reeses mini cups are about 40-50 calories per cup, Rollos are about 40 calories, Snickers are 40-50 calories per snack, Milky Way is 40 calories. If you eat 2-3 of these you’ll get your chocolate fix but will only have eaten up to 100 calories.

package of jelly belly jelly beans
Jelly Belly

This is a great alternative to skittles, starburst, etc. One jellybean has only 4 calories!! That means you can have 10 jelly beans and you’ll have only racked up 40 calories. The flavors are great too and the variety is always fun to eat. Keep in mind, Jelly Belly does contain artificial flavors and colors, so they are a much more processed treat than some of the other alternatives above.

chips ahoy 100 calorie pack
Chips Ahoy 100 Calorie Packs

These packages have 15 mini cookies in them, which helps with portion control. And you’ll only end up eating 100 calories, even if you finish the entire bag! It’s not the same as chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, but it’s a decent snack-alternative. There are tons of other 100 calorie options from Nabisco so pick your favorite variety pack and enjoy! Other good cookie options: Trader Joe’s Organic Animal Crackers. Each cookie/biscuit is about 7 calories! You can even mix and match these 100 calorie packs — if you take 2 Chips Ahoy cookies, 2 Oreo cookies, 2 Shortbread cookies and 3 Animal Crackers, you’ll end up with a candy mix is only about 50 calories! Note: many Chips Ahoy products still contain small amounts of high fructose corn syrup, so keep that in mind before purchasing these products!

For more eye-opening health guides on what goes into your favorite products, take a look at these food guides:

If you have found this low-calorie candy guide helpful, or tried any other recipe on my blog, then feel free to reach out to me in the comments below! I respond to every question and comment I get! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTER,  INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!


10 responses to “Low Calorie Candy Without TOO Much Sugar”

  1. Can you tell me where you found the chocolate mint fudge Jell-O pudding snacks? Thanks : )

    • Hi Debra! I wrote this post in 2009 so I’m not sure if they are still available, but I just found them in my regular grocery store!

  2. Some of my favorite easy “desserts” – sugar-free Fudsicles or popsicles! One Fudgsicle only has 40 calories, while a popsicle only has around 15.

    Another favorite is to make microwave smores using one graham cracker, 10 semi-sweet chocolate chips, and two marshmallows. In all, it ends up being around/under 100 calories!

    • Those are great ideas Amy!! I will definitely have to try your smores recipe soon – that sounds absolutely delicious! 🙂

  3. I don’t think eating handfuls of mini Musketeers (like I do) really counts as being “healthy”!


    • Hahaha! Yes – well I guess the caveat here is that none of these options are true “healthy foods.” But they’re healthier alternatives to the full fat junk foods out there 🙂 Try sticking to 2 of the mini musketeers – that’ll only end up costing you about 50-60 calories max!

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