• brittanykurtz

Sweet Tooth Swaps: Healthier Candy Alternatives

Improving your diet doesn't mean you have to give up candy


If there is one holiday that seriously tempts us with candy the award goes to Halloween. The whole holiday revolves around that stuff (and costumes). I remember as a kid dumping out my pillowcase with candy and organizing it to see the inventory. Reece’s were the cream of the crop. They were worth a lot when It came to trading for other candies but being my favorite, I never wanted to trade.

When I started trying to find healthier candy alternatives I felt the same way. I wasn’t sure I would be able to trade my favorite sweets for “healthier” alternatives. How could anything compare?!

Well, let me tell you–I’ve spent a year searching for candy options with better ingredients that ACTUALLY taste good and found some new favorites. I want y’all to know, improving your diet doesn’t mean you have to give up candy, it just means finding better options.

So to save you the work of hunting down what those are, I’ve curated a list of healthier candies to swap for your classic favorites.

Swap your favorite gummy candies for SmartSweets

SourPatch Kids, Swedish fish, Gummy bears, Peach Rings, Gummy worms, if any of these help cure your sweet-tooth this swap is for you! SmartSweets has their version of each of these fan favorites.

Why are these so much better? One whole bag is a serving size!! So when you read the nutrition information you know exactly how much sugar you’re actually consuming. Speaking of sugar, there is only about 3-4 grams of sugar per bag and they’re sweetened with monk fruit or other natural sweeteners.

So far I’ve found them at Whole Foods, Target, and QFC grocery stores. I love that it’s so accessible like other candies.

My personal favorites are the “Sour Blast Buddies” and the “Sweet Fish”.

Here’s specific benefits of the Sweet Fish:

  • 92% less sugar than other fish

  • 3 grams of sugar for the whole bag!

  • 44% less calories than the other candy fish

  • 13 grams of plant-based fiber

I’ll be completely honest and share, that I have tried their version of starbursts and they were not my favorite. They had a funky aftertaste that lingered. However, I haven’t had that experience with any of their other candies so I encourage you to try those and tread lightly with their “Sweet Chews” (the Starbursts).

SwapYork Peppermint Patties for Heavenly Organic's Mint Patties

Where are my mint lovers at!? Not only do these Heavenly Organics taste identical to York Peppermint Patties but they only have 3 pure ingredients and have 5 grams of natural sugar pure patty!

Heavenly Organics is made with dark chocolate, raw white honey, and mint flavor.

The honey somehow has the same consistency as the York peppermint patty and the dark chocolate helps prevent the urge to over indulge. Y’all I’m not kidding, I can’t recommend these enough. My husband is the biggest fan of mint candies and couldn’t get enough of these.They come in a bag of 12 and each patty is about the size of a half-dollar. Decently sized if you ask me.

You can find these at Whole Foods, order directly from their website at https://heavenlyorganics.com/ or off Thrive Market (which is where I order mine).

To reinforce just how amazing it is that these candies taste identical with just three ingredients, here is the list of York Peppermint patties’ ingredients:

Sugar, Corn Syrup, Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa, Milk Fat, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, PGPR, Emulsifier, Vanillin, Artificial Flavor), Invert Sugar, Egg Whites, Oil of Peppermint, Milk.

Personally I try to avoid items that list sugar or corn syrup at the beginning because that means that’s the majority of the product and this candy has BOTH at them in front.

Swap your Reece's for Brooklyn Born Chocolate's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

As I was growing hopeless that I couldn’t find an alternative to Reece’s, my husband discovered the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups by Brooklyn Born Chocolate. They’re made with dark chocolate and peanut butter without the additives that Reece’s have.

These Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups come in a pack with 3 smaller squares but don’t let that discourage you! These suckers are filling. Because they’re made with dark chocolate and actual peanut butter you’ll find yourself satisfied with just one square.

They do have a small trace of sugar in them with 3 grams per square but that’s a lot better than the 22 grams of sugar in one Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup.

So far I have found them at Whole Foods and QFC grocery store and have to prevent myself from buying too many.

Swap your Hershey's Bar for Hu Chocolate Bars

Hu offers a variety of flavorful chocolate bars such as Simple Chocolate, Orange Dream Vanilla, Vanilla Quinoa Qrispy Dark Chocolate, Salty Dark Chocolate, Raspberry Jelly, and Crunchy Mint.

All their chocolate is dairy free, gluten free, vegan, non-GMO and preservative free. The goal is to provide quality healthy chocolate! Compare the ingredients of the Hu Simple Chocolate Bar to Hershey’s below.

Hu Simple Chocolate Bar ingredients: Organic cacao, unrefined organic coconut sugar, organic fair-trade cocoa butter.
Hershey’s Chocolate Bar: Sugar, chocolate; cocoa butter; cocoa processed with alkali; milk fat; lactose (milk); soy lecithin; PGPR; Emulsifier; vanillin, artificial flavor, milk.

To sum it up, Hershey’s chocolate is mostly sugar, milk, and additives If your goal is to eliminate inflammation in the body the first two things to consider eliminating are refined sugar and dairy because our bodies don’t know how to properly digest and store them.

If you want to try out Hu’s chocolate bars, I’ve seen them popping up more in grocery stores or you can order them off Thrive Market.


I used to be the girl that was always craving sugar! Looking back at how my diet used to be, I’m not surprised. I would start the day with a sugary coffee drink, eat sugar cereal, eat salads with sugary salad dressings, and have a candy bar (or a few) for snacks. I was just feeding the monster and it wanted more.

Since making these sweet tooth swaps I’ve noticed that sugar craving has decreased drastically! By eliminating the refined sugar and additives found in typical candies, I can enjoy my sweet treat and feel satisfied after.

If you end up trying any of these or find even more better alternatives, let me know on Instagram @brittbehealthy or email me at brittbehealthy@gmail.com!