July 23, 2024


Health's Like Heaven.

These Healthy Gummy Bears Are My New Favorite Candy

8 min read

From Women’s Health

If there’s one thing that screams Halloween (besides costumes and jack-o-lanterns), it’s candy. Sure, candy isn’t exactly the most nutritious—but c’mon, it’s just one day!

While there’s no getting around the fact that all candy—high in sugar and low in vitamins, minerals, and satisfying nutrients like protein and fiber—is a treat, some Halloween candies will leave you with less of a next-day sugar hangover than others.

Yep, there are plenty of healthy Halloween candy options out there that don’t taste like total trash.

The big question is, what makes actually makes a particular piece of candy better for you?

For starters, look for types of candy that are a little bit lower in sugar than old-school gummy bears. Options like dark chocolate and anything naturally sweetened with fruit and vegetable juice are great go-to’s, says nutritionist Lauren Minchen, RD.

You can also look for functional add-ins, like omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and antioxidants from dried fruits or cacao, for extra nutrition, she adds.

Oh, and anything with nuts, which are filled with healthy fats, fiber, and minerals? Also a win.

Whether you’re dishing ’em out to trick-or-treaters or sampling from your own stash, these 20 healthy Halloween candy options won’t disappoint!

1. Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems

“Unreal are great healthier-for-you candy options for those looking to satisfy a sugar craving, or make a smart swap for the typical Halloween go-to’s. Unreal also uses non-GMO, fair trade, sustainable ingredients!” —Eliza Savage, RD

Per serving: 140 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

2. SmartSweets Peach Rings

“I love SmartSweets candy. This company has cut the artificial colors, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners, and is a much better option when you want something sweet.” —Eliza Savage, RD

Per bag serving: 80 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 33 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 75 mg sodium, 28 g fiber, 0 g protein

3. Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

“Justin’s Peanut Butter cups have about five grams less sugar per package than typical PB cups, and have all organic ingredients. These products are not only better for you, they are better for the environment. Justin’s cocoa is Rainforest Alliance Certified and they also use sustainably sourced palm fruit oil.” —Eliza Savage, RD

Per serving: 220 calories, 14 g fat (7 g saturated), 20 g carbs, 16 g sugar, 120 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein

4. Woodstock Organic Dark Chocolate Raisins

“Chocolate-covered raisins (or pretzels) can be a good healthy candy option, since they satisfy your sweet tooth while cutting back on added sugar and fat compared to other candies.” —Jodi Danen, RDN

Per 1/4 cup serving: 170 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 20 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

5. Numa Original Creme Good-For-You Nougat

“These are very low in sugar and contain natural ingredients and fiber, too.” Lauren Minchen, RD

Per 2-piece serving: 110 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 40 mg sodium, 4 g protein

6. Ghirardelli 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Squares

“Dark chocolate packs more brain-boosting polyphenols than milk chocolate. Plus, exposing young palates to darker chocolate may help them develop a lower sweetness preference. Each square is about 60 calories with less than three grams of sugar and even contributes a little potassium and fiber in each bite.” —Maggie Moon, RD

Per 4-piece serving: 230 calories, 20 g fat (12 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein

7. Cocomels Sea Salt Coconut Milk Caramels

“When I want a candy treat, I reach for decadently delicious Cocomel Bites. These dark chocolate-covered coconut milk caramels are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic, and contain real ingredients rather than a bunch of chemicals and food dyes. I definitely believe in indulging in treats as long as you choose something of high quality that gives you pleasure!” —Lindsey Pine, RDN

Per 6-piece serving: 120 calories, 3.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 21 g carbs, 16 g sugar, 400 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein

8. 3 Musketeers Mini Candy Bars

“Whenever that craving hits, ask yourself what the most appealing texture and taste to you is at that precise moment. If fluffy and light is what you crave, a 3 Musketeers bar will satisfy. A extra bonus for me is that seven [minis] have 170 calories. Remember to enjoy every bite of those pieces!” —Ximena Jimenez, RDN

Per 7-piece serving: 170 calories, 5 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 32 g carbs, 27 g sugar, 80 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein

9. Dove Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Cashews

“I don’t like candies that are low in sugar and fat, since they have added ingredients that do nothing to increase satiety—artificial sweeteners may increase appetite because they don’t give your body the same satisfaction as real sugar. One portion of these is six pieces and has 150 calories. Plus, cashews are one of the best tasting nuts and they contain monounsaturated fat, which is good for the heart.” —Ximena Jimenez, RDN

Per 1-ounce serving: 150 calories, 10 g fat, 14 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 160 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein

10. Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears Mini Bags

“These organic gummies are also vegan and gluten-free. They get their color from natural sources like black carrots and turmeric. The half-ounce snack packs are 45 calories with eight grams of sugar and 35 percent of the day’s antioxidant vitamin C. I’m not saying this is ‘healthy’ but it certainly is a treat with cleaner ingredients.” —Maggie Moon, RD

Per 16-piece serving: 130 calories, 0 g fat, 32 g carbs, 23 g sugar, 120 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein

11. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

“Peanut butter is a great snack, but peanut butter covered in chocolate is an even better treat! The dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s are the perfect mix of sweet and satisfying. The dark chocolate coating offers just enough sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth and the creamy peanut butter center provides a hint of protein to satisfy your appetite.” —Shamera Robinson, RDN

Per 3-piece serving: 200 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated), 22 g carbs, 18 g sugar, 110 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein

12. Almond Joy

“My absolute favorite candy ever. As a die-hard coconut fan, I love the combination of the coconut flavor with the chocolate and the delicious crunch of the almond. While it’s not much, the whole almonds do provide some vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber, making this one of my favorite candy bars to truly enjoy and to satisfy my sweet tooth.” —Emily Kyle, RDN

Per bar: 220 calories, 12 g fat (8 g saturated), 26 g carbs, 20 g sugar, 50 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

13. Bissinger’s Gummy Pandas

“Sweetened with organic sweeteners and colored with fruit and veggie juice, these are a better option to satisfy that gummy craving! And they come in one- to two- serving packages, so it’s easier to keep portions in check.” —Lauren Minchen, RD

Per 17-piece serving (strawberry mango flavor): 130 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 29 g carbs, 18 g sugar, 20 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 3 g protein

14. Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree Chocolate Squares

“My favorite semi-healthy candy is Ghirardelli chocolate squares. My personal fave is dark chocolate sea salt with almonds. Nutritionally speaking, you get the benefit of antioxidants from the dark chocolate and also a tiny bit of protein and fiber from the almonds. I stash these in my desk and usually enjoy one to two squares per day as a post-lunch treat.” —Heather Mason, RD

Per 4-piece serving: 210 calories, 15 g fat (7 g satrated), 23 g carbs, 17 g sugar, 60 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein

15. Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Kisses

“I believe candy can and should be enjoyed in moderation. My best advice is to take advantage of the mini-sized candy options available to meet the need for a sweet treat without going overboard on calories and sugar. My favorite? A bag of dark chocolate Hershey’s kisses kept in the freezer for when those cravings hit. Dark chocolate has less sugar, is often dairy-free, and is rich in antioxidants that have been shown to reduce blood pressure and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.“ —Jodi Danen, RDN

Per 7-piece serving: 150 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated), 20 g carbs, 17 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

16. Mini OCHO Organic Peanut Butter Bars

“These little chocolate peanut butter bars are made with organic ingredients, fair trade chocolate, and are certified gluten-free. They run about 70 calories per mini-bar with less than five grams of sugar.” —Maggie Moon, RD

Per serving: 210 calories, 14 g fat (6 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 17 g sugar, 80 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein

17. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Skinny Dipped Almonds

“These treats are lower in sugar than other chocolate-covered nut candies like M&Ms and have a natural dose of fiber, healthy fats, and protein from the almond. These not only taste good, but they’re filling, too.” —Kelly Schmidt, RD

Per 1.2-ounce serving: 180 calories, 15 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 10 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 100 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 7 g protein

18. SmartSweets Fruity Gummy Bears

“These gummies are sweetened without sugar alcohols, which can cause major gut distress, using stevia instead. They also come in nice single-serve portions, which is self-limiting.” —Monica Auslander Moreno, RD, nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition

Per bag: 90 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 33 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 15 mg sodium, 28 g fiber, 3 g protein

19. Fun Sized Milk Chocolate M&M’s

“My personal favorite is M&M’s. I find that just three to four M&M’s can satisfy my sweet-tooth craving if I let them melt in my mouth and enjoy them slowly and mindfully. The snack packs help with portion control and have just nine grams of sugar each.” –Jessica Ivey, RDN

Per fun size bag: 63 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 10 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 0.3 g fiber, 0.7 g protein

20. York Peppermint Patties Miniatures

“I love York Peppermint Patties Miniatures, which are individually wrapped for ease and portion control. Each patty has just 50 calories and about nine grams of sugar.” —Jessica Ivey, RDN

Per 3 patties: 150 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated), 33 g carbs, 27 g sugar, 50 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein

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