Warning on "Sugar-Free" Candies at Halloween Time

Amy Tenderich
By Amy Tenderich Latest Reply 2011-05-14 14:49:56 -0500
Started 2009-10-15 14:28:03 -0500

Hi All,

I noticed some chatter about Halloween coming up, and how it might be good to swear off candy, or to stick to the sugar free stuff.

Just a warning here that many "sugar free" candies have two problems:

1) they are engineered to be malabsorbed by your body. So your stomach gets upset by chemicals it can’t break down

2) they often contain as many, or nearly as many, grams of carbohydrate as other sweets. This means they still make your blood sugar spike.

Actually, my doctor says it's better to eat a small amount of real chocolate than to indulge in the stuff with the big "sugar-free, diabetic-friendly" marketing labels.

33 replies

lmb2749 2010-11-20 19:17:11 -0600 Report

I'm a little late to this discussion but so glad I found it. Concerning the artificial sweeteners making some sick to their stomach I thought it was just me! I can't tolerate any of the artificial sweeteners due to nausea. It only takes one taste for me, usually, to know that something has artificial sweeteners in it. I'm really glad to be vindicated, somewhat. Others have told me it was all in my head but I know what I feel. Knowing that it is actually some ingredient in the sweeteners makes me feel a little better. I knew I avoided them for a reason. The body knows…

Hereamisendme 2010-11-05 23:18:49 -0500 Report

I discovered I don't do well digestively with some "sugar free" things - like sugar free syrups at Starbucks (decided not to do any sugary syrupy things at Starbucks before being diagnosed with diabetes - glad now that I did).

I was glad when Stevia was approved and I add that as my sweetener of choice (gotta restock what I carry with me). Unfortunately, the only soda I've found w/ stevia in it also has erythritol and that doesn't agree with me.

I can avoid candy pretty well if it's not in the house. I love white chocolate kit-kits but if I have any in the house I eat them all - no will-power. Some things I just can't have here.

mdn3 2010-10-23 12:15:05 -0500 Report

The imformation Amy give is always helpful. Thanx alot Amy dont know where we would be without you.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-08 11:21:57 -0600 Report

Wow, I wish that I had discovered this discussion sooner!! With the Christmas candies, I THOUGHT that the sugar-free- were OK, so ate more than I should have, and my BS did rise too. I WONDERED! BUT, IT IS SUGAR-FREE! It is supposed to be OK, but NOT! Ok, maybe this is one reason my tummy gets so upset at times, even my 2 Prilosec a day don't always help, so if I am accidentally putting POISON like substances in my stomach, no wonder!! Thanks again, Amy!! Pat R

tabby9146 2009-10-27 11:50:31 -0500 Report

Thank you for this information. I was not told all of his in diabetes class, but I was told not to eat 'too much' of it so this just may have saved me from some problems.

DBlakesMom 2009-10-27 09:59:32 -0500 Report

My son is a type 1 diabetic. When he was diagnosed, his doctor told us to stay away from any sugar-free products that listed sugar alcohols in the ingredients. He said some people can handle them just fine, but they cause stomach and digestive problems in others. We, too, were told it's better to eat the regular stuff in moderation rather than the sugar-free.

Grannymomma 2009-10-23 18:44:04 -0500 Report

In addition to the comments you have made, I have discovered many of the so-calles "sugar alcohols" in sugar free candies, cookies, etc. are also the same chemicals used in a goodly number of commercial laxatives. So if your constipated, by all means eat "sugar free." Otherwise, stay away!

jtausch 2009-10-18 14:31:10 -0500 Report

If you look a chocolate that above 70% cocoa you will probably see its pretty low carb for candy I have found a lindt bar that's 13 carbs for the whole bar, I eat half and give my wife the other half. That way I get my sugar fix out of the way.

ladydragon 2009-10-18 13:53:01 -0500 Report

My diabetes educator told me about Plum Sweets. They are small bits of prunes covered in dark chocolate. They are high in anti-oxidants. She said she has 4 or 5 after a meal sometimes. They help with my chocolate cravings.

tabby9146 2010-10-25 10:43:41 -0500 Report

where do you get these Plum Sweets? I hve never seen them. I shop at Walmart, and a local place unique to my town, and Winn Dixie at times, sometimes Target. Thanks!

GordyK 2011-02-01 23:33:45 -0600 Report

Hi. I looked for Plum Sweets on the internet and found them for sale on Sunsweet's web site at $3.95 for 12 oz. The nutritional information I found show them as having 4 calories (1 carb) per bit with 30 bits per ounce.

Szyq537 2009-10-17 11:24:19 -0500 Report

My husband was also wondering about the candies but when I found Bios Life Complete (for my husbands diabetes) and Bios Life Slim (for my weight) we were amazed. It has helped his sugar and his insulin has went from 45cc's to 11cc's. He can have a few pieces now as long as he doesn't go overboard and it won't spike his blood sugar. I am soooo glad we found this wonderful product. Made a world of difference in our lives.

June Butterfly
June Butterfly 2009-10-21 10:13:36 -0500 Report

Where do I find the Bios Life Complete. When I went to my Dr. my A1C was 11.2. I have tried different sweets that are sugar-free as well as the Splenda and Aspertame. I love the Aspertame drinks but I read that they are dangerous. what do we do as diabetics about our foods,candies, and drinks.I have also tried several different medications and they have made me so sick at my stomach at this time I am not taking anything,just trying to watch what I eat. Don't want to go insulin.Some of the medicine is so expensive that I can not afford them because I am on a fixed income.

patty00 2010-10-23 13:00:14 -0500 Report

With an A1C that high you definitely need to be very proactive about diet and exercise. The meds such as Metformin are pretty cheap if you buy them through Walmart (with a prescription from your doctor). A 30 day supply of Metformin from Walmart (no insurance necessary) is only $4.00. I'm on Metformin and with what I call a "modified Atkins type diet" I've gone from an A1C of 7.0 down to 5.9. My morning glucose reading is consistently between 92 and 115. Doc is really pleased. You have to watch carbs as much as you have to watch sugar intake.

Szyq537 2009-10-22 16:14:12 -0500 Report

I know what you mean..we are on fixed income also and this is why we started this..i'm hoping this will end his insulin dependency.

lipsie 2009-10-17 09:11:21 -0500 Report

I thought this was the case but was not sure. But is this the same for ALL sugar free candies? Or just the chocolate types? I wondered about the sucker type ones. i really don't indulge myself in ANY of it too often anyhow though, just an occasional craving though yeah I am on a challenge for Halloween right now as you noted so I am certainly not slipping up now, and it would be easy seeing all that darn candy right now they have out, lol. I think that's when it gets me the most, I dunno. But thanks for the information…was not positive on this, now I know..Thanks a bunch!! Hugs! This is why I absolutely LOVE this site Amy, you all rock…everyone of you…members too! Hugs! Sheila

Vicrgreen 2009-10-16 01:25:11 -0500 Report

Another thing to keep in mind is that many of the artificial sweetners, asparatame particularly, are excitotoxins, which can mess with your nervous system, particularly your brain neurons. They are called excitotoxins because they make the neurons in the brain fire until the cell dies. They also increase hunger, thus causing you to eat more. There are several books about Excitotoxins, that is the name of one of them, and it is pretty scarry stuff. MSG is another excitotoxin.

God bless.

GabbyPA 2009-10-16 06:54:52 -0500 Report

yep. I have a book called "Sweet Deception" that explains it very well. It is worth the read. I know it made me clear my home of all Nutra Sweet and Splenda products. We don't use that anymore. So far, I have not found a candy made with stevia, but now that the FDA has approved it, I am sure another marketing ploy will come along.

tabby9146 2009-10-27 11:54:42 -0500 Report

That is what I am wondering too Gabby, when will they come out with some snacks and water flavored with Stevia. I too have gotten rid of Splenda which was my favorite. Thanks for the info. on the book.

GabbyPA 2009-10-15 22:31:00 -0500 Report

Thanks Amy. This is so very true...my problem is the control part. I do enjoy my chocolate. But I don't touch the sugarfree stuff at all. So I do my best to just stay away from it, but I might have to have a snickers mini

Hinboyz3 2009-10-15 20:26:26 -0500 Report

I'm so glad to know this, because I thought that the sugar-free candies were OK. I'm trying to get use to reading the labels of all the things I purchase now for me to eat. Including all the good things. Thanks again for the info.

BLC 2009-10-15 17:24:45 -0500 Report

Thanks so much for sharing this. I always get so sick after eating "sugar-free" ice cream, candy and other food items.

Miss Anita
Miss Anita 2009-10-15 17:03:18 -0500 Report


redwingluver9398 2009-10-15 14:56:00 -0500 Report

my hubby just doesn't get it. he is constantly bringing me (God love his thoughtfulness) sugar free candies, thinking it is safe since it's sugar free. I will have to sit him down and show him the carb info on the real stuff and sugar free stuff so maybe he'll get the comparison. Thanks for the info Amy!!

ptsparkle 2009-10-15 14:47:12 -0500 Report

There is always a catch, isn't there? Some (many) will give you the runs etc. I have gone to sugar free dark chocolate. I feel I can control it better as it is bite size portions. With the real stuff, I'm tempted to eat the whole thing.
It's really hard when you have had a sweet tooth for so many years, and now you are trying to reduce your old habits. Thanks for the info, it will help.

tabby9146 2009-10-27 11:52:11 -0500 Report

yes it is hard. I've been doing a good job of it for nearly a year now, but chocolate is my main weakness. Every now and then, I eat a small amount of chocolate. I've been hearing how dark chocolate is good for us and that all is takes is a tiny amount so I am thinking of trying that. I know it has antioxidants.

anniewind 2010-10-23 18:07:52 -0500 Report

Actually, if you want the best antioxidant effects of dark chocolate you need to look for chocolate that is at leaast 85% cocao. Its a bitter chocolate. I like bitter chocolate so it doesn't bother me..You also tend to eat very little at a time Lindeman's makes the large bars. I get them at the drug store. If you find you just cant stand chocolate that bitter, you can always try 70% cocao instead. It s a bit sweeter .

tabby9146 2010-10-25 10:46:58 -0500 Report

Thanks! I have read recently and seen on t.v. where Splenda and other artificial sweeteners can also be bad, because they are SO sweet and can make you want things that are sweet, like it can make you crave that kind of thing. I don't know. Supposedly some people get to where the natural sweetness in say, fruit, is not enough for them and they want sweeter things.

2011-05-14 14:49:56 -0500 Report

Hey All You Folks~~ I know I'm jumping into this conversation a little late (I just recently joined) but PLEASE beware of overdosing on sugar free candy. It's high caloric and it has a laxative effect on ones stomach. Stomach aches, and you wish that you had taking "War and Peace" with you into the bathroom!!