10 Low-Sugar Candy Options to Try When You’re Craving Something Sweet

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low sugar candy: a pile of sour candy
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You’re craving something small and sweet, and no, a handful of raisins isn’t going to cut it this time. You want candy and you want it stat. But you also know that downing a whole bag of sour gummi worms, while extraordinarily tempting, won’t leave you satisfied in an hour or two. Is it possible to have the best of both worlds? Sure, if you swap your usual snack for something smarter. Here, ten low-sugar candy options to try (plus what a nutritionist thinks about “healthy candy”).

Meet the Experts:

Vanessa Rissetto is a registered dietician and the CEO and co-founder of Culina Health, a virtual nutrition platform powered by registered dietitians.

How Much Sugar Should You Aim for in a Day, According to the Experts?

When it comes to considering low-sugar foods in your diet, a little context in the form of recommended daily intake (RDI) can be very helpful. So how much sugar is the average adult supposed to be consuming anyway? The answer is a bit more complicated than you think—namely because the only hard and fast recommendations you’ll find relate to added sugars, which are considered more sinister for your health than the natural sugars found in dairy and whole, raw fruits and vegetables. According to registered dietician Vanessa Rissetto, paying attention to these added sugars is a good place to start when evaluating your own sugar intake.

Per the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, no more than ten percent of your daily caloric intake should come from added sugars (for a diet of 2,000 calories per day, that’s 200 calories or 50 grams of sugar daily). But the American Heart Association has more conservative guidelines, recommending an upper limit of 100 calories or 24 grams of added sugar per day for most women, and 150 calories or 36 grams for men. And when we asked Rissetto for her advice, she cited the same parameters as the AHA.

Unlike added sugars, which contain calories but no essential nutrients, the natural sugars found in fruits and veggies are a very different story. There are no upper limits on their consumption—namely because they are often good sources of dietary fiber and nutrients, and are processed by the body very differently than added sugars. As such, aim to eat natural sugars in place of added sugars whenever you can. And because we know you’re wondering: You don’t need to worry about eating *too* much fruit. Sure, it’s technically possible to get too much of a good thing, but according to the experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, you’d have to try really hard to achieve a problematic level of sugar consumption from fruit alone.

The TL;DR? Steer clear of added sugar, but don’t sweat the natural stuff found in fruits, vegetables and dairy. And if you have diabetes, remember that the most important thing is to monitor your blood glucose levels according to your doctor’s instructions, because those can be influenced by a variety of foods (including fruit) and they’re a very big deal for your health.

Is Low-Sugar Candy a Healthy Snacking Choice?

TBH, “low-sugar candy” sounds a bit too good to be true…and that’s because it kinda is. No candy is going to be good for you, but it’s more about making smart choices than depriving yourself of a treat every now and then. So while we wouldn’t call low-sugar candy “healthy,” we say it’s fine to indulge (and probably a better snack than that bag of sour gummi worms).

What Low-Sugar Candy Do Nutritionists Recommend?

Per Rissetto, dark chocolate tends to be lower in sugar, making it a smart choice for your sweet tooth. “Many candy companies do have low sugar or sugar-free options,” she explains, “but they tend to have artificial sweeteners in them.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but anyone who’s tasted sugar substitutes knows that they’re not without, well, an aftertaste. “That being said,” she continues, “you can find the ones that you like best and stick with those.”

30 Healthy, Sweet Snacks to Satisfy a Craving (Plus, What Nutritionists Think About ’Em)

The 10 Best Low-Sugar Candy Options in 2023:

  • Amount of Sugar: 3 grams per serving

Consider these mouth-puckering cuties—which are sweetened with allulose and stevia—a “dupe” for your favorite movie theatre candy, the difference being that these contain just three grams of sugar in the entire bag.  

  • Amount of Sugar: 1 gram per serving

Since they’re draped in a coating of oat milk chocolate, these low-sugar PB cups are plant-based and dairy-free. They’re also individually wrapped, so you can stash one in your bag for “emergencies.” They’re sweetened with monk fruit, FYI.

  • Amount of Sugar: 1 gram per serving

If you’re more of a dark chocolate person, these caramel-filled squares contain one gram of sugar per piece. They’re sweetened with allulose, which is a naturally occurring sugar that your body doesn’t absorb. (And according to the Cleveland Clinic, that means it doesn’t affect blood glucose levels.)

  • Amount of Sugar: 2 grams

Another allulose-sweetened low-sugar candy, these swimmers are also plant-based and colored with fruit and vegetable juices instead of funky food dyes. They’ll stick to your teeth like the ones from your childhood, but without a scolding from your dentist.

  • Amount of Sugar: 2 grams per serving

These sweetened condensed milk candies are creamy, rich and surprisingly high in calcium, but with just two grams of sugar per serving. And if artificial sweeteners aren’t your thing, these don’t contain any (they’re sweetened with sucrose and glucose).

  • Amount of Sugar: <1 gram per serving

These sour worms are sweetened with stevia, allulose and erythritol, so they’re low in sugar and keto-friendly. Reviewers praise their chewy texture and generous sour coating.

  • Amount of Sugar: 3 grams per serving

We’ll be the first to admit that a 90-percent cocoa chocolate bar is not for the faint of heart. But dark chocolate purists will be pleased to find that these rich, bitter bars contain just three grams of sugar per serving.

8. SmartSweets Caramels


  • Amount of Sugar: 1 gram per serving

Not only are these stick-to-your-teeth sweets low in sugar, they’re also made with coconut cream so they’re dairy-free.

9. Joyride Uncommon Candy Gummies

Joyride Uncommon Candy

  • Amount of Sugar: up to 3 grams per serving

If you simply can’t decide between fruit gummy bears, sour gummy bears, sour gummy worms or peach-mango rings, don’t worry. A variety pack of these low-sugar candies means you can have all four.

10. SmartSweets Lollipops


  • Amount of Sugar: 1 gram per serving

We’re suckers (pun fully intended) for anything blue raspberry flavored. These stevia-sweetened pops satisfy a craving without leaving our teeth feeling fuzzy. (Even better, the blue ones are joined by our other favorite flav, watermelon.)

The 12 Best Low-Sugar Fruits for Snacking, According to a Dietician

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...