Want Healthier Candy? Here Are 4 Companies You Should Know

I typically don’t have a major sweet tooth and I’m more likely to crave the 4 ounce filet after dinner than an ice cream sundae. But sometimes even my carnivorous tendencies take a back seat and I’m just dying for something sweet. When that happens, I’d love to reach for some peanut M&Ms, tropical Starbursts, or something like a Snickers or KitKat, but as a reasonable adult, that just seems wrong.

I’m also no sucker for the “just eat an apple instead!” trick. I’m hip to your game, Fitness Bloggers! Now, unless you completely bypassed any sort of childhood, you’re probably pretty familiar with candies like these and also probably know they're all pretty horrible: artificial sweeteners, chemical dyes, and some questionable GMO additives are just a few things that make up a typical list of ingredients.

In the name of research, I’ve come across some of the best, most natural alternatives to the sweets you love the most. See for yourself! As a side note, I'm not affiliated with any of these companies; I just like their candy!

1. The Lovely Candy Company

This company began when cofounder Jackie Nakamura, who has a sweet tooth, could never find her candy of choice (licorice) without corn syrup and artificial flavors. She and her husband decided to make it themselves!

Good thing they did, because the Lovely Candy Company's Super Fruit Chews are my new Starburst replacement. They come in three flavors and get this: they taste like real fruit. No corn syrup or funky sweeteners either. Score one for the fruity candies!

2. UNREAL

My biggest candy craving is usually chocolate and most often peanut M&Ms or Snickers. So awful, I know! Luckily, I came across UnReal at a gas station in Florida and picked up their version of a Snickers bar (called, The Loaded One) out of sheer curiosity. It was awesome and I had to find out more.

Turns out their story is pretty great, too:13-year-old Nicky Bronner wanted to find a way to prove to his dad that Halloween candy didn’t have to be SO bad for you. Can we all give this kid a collective digital high-five?! Mission accomplished! They even use grass-fed dairy, sustainable cacao and palm oil, and of course their candy is made without any preservatives and artificial junk. A plus, kid!

3. Justin’s

I knew their nut butters were ultra-wonderful, but when I saw that they also made a dark chocolate peanut butter cup, I’m not ashamed to admit that I did a happy dance down the aisle.

Justin's only uses the highest quality, organic and fair-trade chocolate around, PLUS their peanut butter is the bomb. Winner all around, folks.

4. SunSpire

As I mentioned before, a major weakness of mine is peanut M&Ms and I can’t emphasize how true this is. I blame it on the fondness of my childhood road trip memories — those darn rest stops!

Incredibly, I’ve found an alternative to the traffic-cone-colored variation in the form of SunSpire SunDrops. They make a more natural version of my beloved candies without any chemical dyes or GMO ingredients, and they’re so good you’ll forget that the other version even exists!

Obviously, this is still candy we’re talking about, so moderation is key. But at least when you have a hankering for some seriously sinful indulgence, you know where to find it!

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