As much as most people love candy, for some folks, sugar is not an option due to medical reasons such as diabetes. For those affected by this disease, consuming excess sugar leads to unbalanced blood sugar levels. This in turn can do long term damage to kidneys, eyes nerves and the cardiovascular system. For healthy people, candy is often avoided because sugar can put a major dent in their waistlines if not consumed in moderation. Thankfully, there is an alternative out there for those adverse to consuming candy due to health or dietary issues. With no sugar versions candy no longer needs to be the proverbial forbidden fruit. Instead, everyone can enjoy an occasional sweet treat without putting their health at risk.
For folks who just cannot bear the thought of life without candy, candy versions are definitely something to consider. The main benefit to going the candy route is that they are less caloric than their sugar-laden counterparts. Now granted, just because you save some calories because of the absence of sugar does not mean you can eat the entire bag in one sitting. Chocolates still have calories from fat so while they are waistline friendlier, they will pack on the pounds if eaten to excess. Non-chocolate sugar free candy gives you a bit more play in the calorie department, though as they do not usually have a high fat content. On average, sugar free candy has an average of 40% less calories than their regular counterparts.
Another benefit to taking the sugar free candy route is that Xylitol, the chemical used to sweeten many of these treats, has some positives things going for it as far as your health is concerned. Xylitol is a 100% natural sweetener that is found in berries, fruits, and vegetables. It is not an artificial sweetener like saccharine or aspartame. Xylitol is also naturally found in our bodies with the average adult manufacturing up to 16 grams of it during metabolism. Pure Xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar. On food labels, Xylitol is classified as both a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a sugar alcohol or polyol, which can be confusing because it is considered a sugar free sweetener.
The main benefit of Xylitol sweetened candies is that they have 40% less calories and 75% fewer carbs than regular sugar. Xylitol will not raise blood sugar so candy sweetened with it is safe for diabetics.
Folks who chew sugarless gum sweetened with Xylitol also benefit because this it has been found to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Tooth decay happens because sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth, which causes them to multiply. This metabolic process then produces acids that cause cavities to form. Using gum or mints with Xylitol stops this acid attack for over a half hour. This is because mouth bacteria cannot ferment xylitol in their metabolism, thus reducing their growth, inhibiting acid formation and keeping the pH of saliva steady.
Another reason to opt for candy is on par with the old beer commercial tag line "tastes great, less filling." While in the past anything labeled sugar free had that medicinal, chemical aftertaste, advances in how today's products are made have improved the taste significantly. The use of xylitol, stevia, or Sucralose as sweeteners puts these candies on par with their sugar-laden counterparts so the taste factor is no longer a valid reason to shun candies This is great news for people who cannot consume sugar, as they are no longer stuck with subpar products.
So now that the benefits of candy are clear, and you are considering making the switch, it is time to explore just what kinds of confections are out there. For folks in need of a chocolate fix, movie theater favorites like chocolate covered peanuts or raisins are two great choices. Delicious milk chocolate will satisfy your craving just as well as the classic Goobers or Raisinets but with less calories and no sugar to bust your belt.