Sugar Free Candy: Spilling the Tea on Maltitol vs Natural Sweeteners

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Ok, here’s the deal…before going back on Keto, I swear I never craved sweets. Every now and then I’d eat a snickers or a kit kat bar but never had the urge to go out of my way for some candy. Now? It’s like I’m a hunting dog on a mission to find every sugar free option on the market!

The standard sugar free candies that come to mind when I crave them are the popular maltitol based options. Maltitol is a sugar alcohol that is common in sugar free candies such as Werthers Caramels, Sugar Free Reeses, and Sugar Free Russell Stovers. These candies can typically be found next to the regular candy at the grocery store or in the diabetic care area of pharmacies/drug stores. Target and Walmart both carry them regularly.

So what’s the deal with Maltitol? The body does not absorb Sugar Alcohols the same way that it does sugar, but there are still some carbs in the candies. A lot of people who follow the keto diet do not like to eat foods with Maltitol because it’s not a sweetener that is found naturally. Others choose not to eat these because of the um…laxative effect if you have too many. For me, having one or two pieces will not make me feel sick or kick me out of ketosis. Sometimes, a girl just wants a sugar free gummy bear or Twizzlers! I will choose a more keto-friendly alternative if it’s available, but I do have a stash of candies with maltitol in my pantry to keep in the sweets rotation. Here is an article, of thousands, that spills the tea on Maltitol: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/is-maltitol-safe#2

Now, there are other sugar free candies that are sweetened with naturally occurring sweeteners such as monk fruit or Stevia and these can usually be found in the health food section of most grocery stores. The only drawback to these candies are that they can be very expensive. Luckily, these items often go on sale or there are coupons available to reduce the cost. Some of my favorites are the Lilly’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Smart Sweets Gummies. Whole Foods, GNC, and large grocery chains will typically carry these items. Stay tuned for some upcoming grocery hauls that include different candies we’ve picked up!

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