Kicking the sugar cravings and trying to opt for healthier alternatives is no easy task. It takes time, dedication, failures, sugar relapses, and an immense amount of willpower to fight temptation. Lucky for you, millennials have become obsessed with wellness, optimizing health, and demanding healthier food alternatives, which has driven a 30 billion-dollar industry for creating tasty treats and healthy candy alternatives that compare to some of our favorite sugary snacks. Now you can really have your cake and eat it too.
Why Do You Need Healthy Alternatives?
Sugar is directly correlated with chronic disease states such as Diabetes and Heart Disease. Sugar is also is the focus of many current studies investigating claims, that sugar feeds cancerous cells, promotes body fat gain, obesity, declining heart health and poor insulin balance and control. The more sugar you have on a regular basis, the more that your body signals to your brain the dopamine response, triggering your happy hormones to explode like fireworks, sending a rippling craving and debilitating desire over the coming weeks for, you guessed it, more sugar. If you’re not quite ready to give it up, or are at a point in your life where you have moderation and control over what types and how much sugar you eat on a regular basis, then opting for these guilt-free, healthy candy alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth are a great place to start!
By far my favorite healthy candy alternative are Pretzel M&Ms! They have every single element you need in an amazing candy; crunchy, salty, and sweet all wrapped up in the traditional hard coated M&M candy shell. Seriously, nothing beats it in my opinion. With so many new healthy snacks hitting the shelves, the feeling of nostalgia flooding your veins, is an incomparable added bonus.
Although these heavenly morsels of crunchy delight only have 150 calories per bag, they do have 23g of net carbs, 16 of those grams coming from added sugar. So, even though they don’t have many calories, they are a bit carb heavy. If you’re counting your macros or watching your sugar intake, stick to just the one, regular sized bag (not the king size, sharable size, although it’s tempting).
Quest Peanut Butter Cups
If you love peanut butter cups, then these healthy peanut butter cups from Quest, will absolutely blow your mind. Honestly, these things are so good, they are almost better than the real thing.. Not kidding. Quest Peanut Butter Cups satisfy your sweet tooth with less than 1g of sugar, 11g of protein, and 1g of net carbs per serving.
Get yours now here
Protein Power Bites
Protein Power Bites are exactly that – Protein Bites. Packed with 3 grams of plant-based pea protein per ball and amazing clean ingredients such as oats, peanuts, dates, chia seeds, dark chocolate, and cinnamon these delicious little treats will satisfy that sweet tooth without breaking your diet or macros. Talk about a healthy candy alternative that you can make at home for cheaper than a candy bar!
Choose from a variety of flavors such as lemon coconut, oatmeal cinnamon raisin, dark chocolate peanut, maple dark chocolate sea salt, mint dark chocolate, and mocha java crunch! The greatest thing about these protein power superheroes, is that they don’t contain any added sugar. The sugar comes from the natural sweetness of the dates, honey or agave.
If you don’t feel like making them, then go buy some Protein power balls
RECIPE: Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Whey Protein Isolate
I know what you’re thinking... Protein Powder as a healthy candy alternative? Maybe not candy, but ice cream? Yes! Mix one scoop of Swolverine’s Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter, Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Milkshake, or Vanilla Milkshake Whey Protein Isolate with some delicious oat milk, and you’ve got yourself the most amazing healthy milkshake on the planet.
A high-quality protein shake will help satisfy those sweet cravings, curb your appetite and even help you hit your macro goals. Oh and did I mention, protein + complex carbs, is literally the perfect post-workout meal to help build more muscle and recover faster.
If you need more sweet, then turn your milkshake into a full blown smoothie. You can add any type of fruit, greek yogurt, and delicious toppings to treat your tastebuds.
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Delicious Protein Shake Recipes To Keep You Lean and Strong
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Listen up kids, we’re not talking about plain ole Quaker instant oats here that your grandparents ate and called ‘porridge’. We’re talking warm, mouth-watering savory guilt-free oatmeal that straight up tastes like a healthy candy alternative without the guilt and sugar high.
It’s simple - add some healthy ingredients such as dark chocolate chips, chia seeds, peanut butter, dried fruit, or even some of your favorite organic fruit preserves, and you’ve got yourself a delicious healthy treat. You can even add some whey protein isolate, or a scoop of unflavored collagen to get that extra boost of protein. We recommend opting for old fashioned oats instead of the little sugar filled packs of instant oats and adding your own toppings/ingredients at home.
RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Delicious Oatmeal Recipes To Boost Your Metabolism
With their own healthy candy alternative take on traditional gummy and sour gummy candy such as Swedish Fish, Peach Rings, Gummy Bears, and Sour Patch, Smart Sweets have invented an ever so heavenly gummy bear snack, that only has 100 calories 18g of net carbs and 3g of sugar per bag. Their motto goes “kick sugar, keep candy”, so if you usually reach for the high fructose corn syrup containing sweets in the candy isle, trust us, Smart Sweets are going to be your new best friend.
In all honesty, a pack of these things are so filled with fiber that you’re GI is probably going to thank you as much as your taste buds do! Build your own box or locate a store near you on the website.
MusclePharm Protein Candies
These delicious crunchy chocolate candies are packed with 10g of protein per bag and taste like the real thing. If you're a fan of M&Ms then these healthy candy alternatives are for you.
MusclePharm's protein candies come in three traditional and amazing flavors, milk chocolate, crunchy, and chocolate peanut. They are the perfect healthy candy snack to help you meet your macros, without the guilt. Buy some here
Ellenos Greek Yogurt
One word…Ellenos. Ellenos Greek Yogurt, could be the best thing that’s touched your taste buds, since your first bite of raw cookie dough, [believe me, I am not exaggerating]. If you live in the pacific north west you may have encountered their yogurt bar in your local supermarket or Whole Foods, where you can literally get Greek yogurt dished out like ice cream, in a cup.
Ellenos makes amazing yogurt, but adds real fruit such as marionberry, lime, passion fruit, lemon, pumpkin, and mango taking their Greek yogurt to a whole different level, making this protein and probiotic snack a great, healthy candy alternative. Not only that, but they top if off with a crunchy and sweet cookie/granola topping.
If you don’t have access to Ellenos Greek Yogurt just yet [they’re starting to launch them in Costco], you can make your own amazing Greek yogurt, and add healthy toppings such as granola, honey, banana, chia seeds, or fruit preserves to make it a healthy tasty treat. We recommend using Greek yogurt instead of traditional as it has less lactose and a higher protein content.
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Reasons Why Greek Yogurt Is The Best Food To Lose Weight Fast
Chia pudding is a tasty, creamy, wonderful source of soluble fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. When made without extra sugars, chia seed pudding supports healthy blood sugar control, cholesterol levels, and gut health, while the omega 3s help fight inflammation. We recommend using black chia seeds as they contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid, that provides antioxidant effects. They also possess anti-diabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-obesity effects, as well as prevention of cardiovascular diseases. [R]
Add a scoop of Swolverine’s whey protein isolate or Plant Protein to get a little protein boost in your snack or chia pudding meal replacement. All you need to make chia pudding are chia seeds and a liquid, such as milk, non-dairy milk, or water. Add in the protein powder and you’re sure to satisfy your sweet tooth by reaching for this healthy candy alternative.
RELATED ARTICLE: 6 Easy Protein Chia Pudding Recipes
Last but not least on our list of healthy candy alternatives is arguably one of our favorites, Doughbar Donuts. Their slogan literally says “why have a protein bar when you can have a DOUGHnut or two? They’re a healthy alternative to the average donut and they’re shipped right to your door. For easy storing, you keep them in your fridge, pop them in the microwave when you want one (or two), top with the homemade toppings and glaze that come in the box, and wahlah, a scrumptious protein donut in your kitchen.
Healthy Candy Alternatives: Takeaway
No matter if you’re favorite indulgence is chocolate, milkshakes, ice cream, or doughnuts, I guarantee that once you try some of these healthy candy alternatives, you’ll kick that sugar right to the curb. Even though these are healthier alternatives, you still need to manage your portions appropriately. If you have 3-4 bags of Pretzel M&Ms, then you might as well of eaten the pint of ice cream you were trying to avoid.
Need Help With Optimizing Your Diet And Kick Those Sugar Cravings?
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