Packaged treats with less sugar do exist—here, yummy candies that won't give you a sugar crash.
Here's a not-so-sweet statistic: While the American Heart Association recommends women have no more than 6 teaspoons (that's 24 grams) of added sugar per day, the average American consumes more than 80 grams, according to 2013 brief from the CDC. And considering how often sugar hides in seemingly healthy foods—one small container of flavored yogurt can top 15 grams, for example—it's easy to see how quickly those numbers add up throughout the day.
If you have a sweet tooth, though, take heart: It is possible to enjoy packaged candies without immediately reaching your 24-gram max. The key is to choose packaged snacks with shorter ingredient lists and, as always, to be mindful of portion sizes; most nutritional information on these candies is calculated per piece or serving, so you still can't go overboard (sorry!).
Want to slash even more sugar? Consider signing up for Health's 14-Day Sugar Detox. Each day, you'll receive an email from Health in your inbox with tips on how to gradually eliminate sugary foods from your diet, including advice from nutritionists and easy-to-follow recipes.
Eating Evolved Mint Cream Dark Chocolate Coconut Butter Cups
Sugar: 5 grams per cup
These subtly sweet, so-creamy coconut butter cups will give your standard ultra-processed peanut butter cups a run for their money. We love the blissfully short and all-organic ingredient list (just coconut, cacao, coconut sugar, cacao butter, and peppermint oil) that's safe for vegans and those following a Paleo diet.
Nutiva O'Coconut Lightly Sweetened Organic Coconut Treat
Sugar: 3 grams per piece
Coconut flour and desiccated coconut come together for a portable, bite-sized snack that's perfect for stashing in your bag when you crave something sweet on the go. The treats get their sweetness from monk fruit extract, which has zero calories and is a good option for people with diabetes.
Unreal Cups Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
Lakanto Monkfruit Sugar-Free 55% Chocolate Bar with Almonds
Sugar: 0 grams
This vegan, dairy-, and gluten-free chocolate bar is another candy that bypasses regular sugar thanks to monk fruit extract. In addition to the alternative sweetener, you'll find ingredients like Arriba cacao beans, almonds, cocoa butter, and sea salt.