Sugar-free candies have benefits

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Sweets don’t need to have sugar included to sweeten them.

Rylyn Castisimo, School News Editor

The holiday season is here and many of us receive candies! Some of those candies may include sugar-free candies, but do we really know what sugar-free candy is? Many just think of it as “bad candy” since we only like candy because of the sugar, but this is what it actually is!

Sugar-free candies use artificial sweeteners to give them that same taste of candies with actual sugar, or they contain no more than 0.5 grams of sugar. Most of these sweeteners have fewer calories and carbohydrates than sugar, but not all of them are calorie-free or carb-free. If you see sugar-free on a candy bar, it doesn’t actually mean it’s sugar-free. It just means that the product contains no added sugars or sugar alcohols.

Natural sugars are usually safe, but eating sugar-free candies doesn’t actually give you any health advantage, and sometimes might even give you a health disadvantage, such as tooth decay, weight gain, poor nutrition, and increased triglycerides. However, the sugar-free option is necessary for people who suffer from diseases like diabetes or who are watching their weight but still want a sweet treat.

While not all sugar-free candies are created equal. Some are created by popular manufacturers of “regular” candy, like this variety pack from Hershey’s., or less familiar manufacturers that specialize in the product, like https://www.drjohns.com/.  While these candies have reductions or eliminations in sugars, they should still be enjoyed sparingly as some of the sweeteners can be dangerous in large amounts and they can still pack on the pounds when eaten in volume.