Some of the most popular candy bars on the market feature coconut coated in silky chocolate. Although coconut contains fiber, manufacturers typically sweeten it with sugar, increasing the overall carbohydrate content. Extra sugar also adds calories, making it more difficult to fit this type of candy into a balanced diet. In fact, a 1.9-ounce chocolate-coconut candy bar without almonds contains 261 calories, 14.1 grams of fat and 24.5 grams of sugar.
The good news is that you don't have to give up coconut or chocolate. Instead of eating a high-calorie candy bar, try protein balls made with unsweetened coconut, oats, honey, almond butter and chocolate protein powder. If you eat two protein balls made from this recipe by Brittany Mullins, you'll slash your sugar intake to just 6 grams — nearly 75% less than the sugar content of one chocolate-coconut candy bar.
Peanut butter contains protein, iron, selenium and vitamin E, but manufacturers often add sugar to make it tastier. Peanuts also contain saturated fats, which contribute to increased cholesterol levels and may increase your risk for heart disease. When you add chocolate, the sugar and fat content increases even more, which is why you may be searching for an alternative to peanut butter cups.
Just two peanut butter cups have 232 calories,13.7 grams of fat and 21.2 grams of sugar. If you're trying to follow an 1,800-calorie diet, that's nearly 13% of your calorie allotment for the whole day. To reduce your sugar and fat intake, make your own peanut butter cups with reduced-fat peanut butter and chocolate chips made with Stevia. Although Stevia is much sweeter than sugar, it has no calories, making it a healthier alternative to other sweet ingredients.
Jelly beans come in a variety of colors and flavors, making them a fun holiday snack. Unfortunately, one serving (30 grams) contains 110 calories and more than 20 grams of sugar. Whether you're trying to reduce your caloric intake or control the symptoms of diabetes, you may not want to eat all that sugar in one sitting. Sugar-free gelatin is an excellent alternative, as it comes in several colors and flavors — just like jelly beans.
Gelatin is also easy to make. All you have to do is mix powdered gelatin with boiling water, add cold water and then refrigerate for a few hours. If you don't feel like doing any mixing, you can even buy premade gelatin desserts.
Many brands of chewing gum contain sugar, but that's not the only reason to look for an alternative. If you have dentures or crowns, you may have to avoid chewing gum and biting into hard candies. Frequent gum chewing may even cause your jaw to move out of alignment, causing headaches, jaw pain and other symptoms. If you're in the mood for something chewy, try a soft granola bar. These bars are a little sticky, so you have to chew carefully, but that can satisfy the urge to chew gum without putting your dental health at risk.
Plain chocolate bars don't have quite as many calories as their chocolate-coconut counterparts, but they're still rather high in calories when compared to other snacks. They also have plenty of fat and sugar, making it difficult to make them part of a balanced diet. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, purchase chocolate chips made with Stevia. You can melt the chips and drizzle the chocolate over apple slices, popcorn or pretzels.
Another option is to mix the melted chocolate chips with natural peanut butter or natural almond butter to make a delicious spread. This is a good way to add protein to your diet without having to eat more meat or rely on protein powders. You can spread the mixture on toasted bread or add it to thinly sliced apples for a nutritious snack that doesn't leave you feeling deprived.
Chewing on a stick of barber pole candy brings back memories, but it also increases your sugar intake. It doesn't hurt to have a barber pole once in a while, but if you're trying to cut back, look for sugar-free hard candies. You can get peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen candies made with calorie-free sugar substitutes, satisfying your candy craving without eating too much sugar. Some manufacturers also make sugar-free candies in fruit flavors.
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