Healthy Gummy Bears: Best and Worst Picks
If you’ve got a sweet tooth for gummy bears but don’t want all the added sugar and artificial food dyes, you’re in luck; there are a few better-for-you options available. Keto candy? It’s a thing! We break down our top (and worst) picks for healthier gummy bear alternatives.
Keto gummy bears we love
Our top picks have zero sugar and zero artificial sweeteners, but plenty of flavor.
- Per 2-ounce serving: 90 calories, 0 grams fat, 33 grams carbs, 28 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar (5 net carbs)
- Ingredients include: Prebiotic fiber, gelatin, chicory root fiber, fruit and vegetable juice for color, sweetened with stevia
- Per 17 gummies: 30 calories, 0 grams fat, 20 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar (0 added sugar), 6 grams protein
- Ingredients include: Tea, sweetened with Swerve and Stevia extract, gelatin, lemon extract, vegetable glycerin
- Easy and fun to make with the kids. Get the recipe here.
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The following products didn’t quite compare to our top picks nutritionally speaking, but also aren’t the worst on this list.
Gummy bears labeled “Natural” and/or “Organic”
- Generally contain about 100 calories and 15 grams of added sugar per ounce
- Sweetened with added sugar, typically in the form of tapioca syrup and/or organic cane sugar
- Naturally colored with fruit and veggie juices
- While they don’t contain artificial food dyes, they’re still dense in sugary calories, with a day’s worth of added sugar in every handful
Sugar, artificial food dyes and laxative effects… oh my!
Jelly Belly Sugar Free Gummi Bears
- Per 2.8-ounce pack: 125 calories, 0 grams fat, 35 grams carbs, 35 grams sugar alcohol
- Made with red 40, yellow 5 & 6, blue 1
- Maltitol syrup is the first listed ingredient and maltitol is the third ingredient. Splenda is further down the list.
- Consuming a snack-size pack of these gummies can have a significant laxative effect. The warning label suggests starting with a quarter of one serving, which translates to about only four gummy bears!
Brach’s Sugar Free Gummi Bears
- Per 3-ounce pack: 160 calories, 0 grams fat, 60 grams carbs, 60 grams sugar alcohol
- Made with red 40, yellow 5, blue 1 Maltitol syrup is first ingredient, followed by apple juice
- Consuming a snack-size pack of these gummies can have a significant laxative effect. The warning label suggests starting with a quarter of one serving, which translates to about only four gummy bears.
Traditional gummy bears
- Per 1-ounce serving: 100 calories, 14 grams added sugar
- Made with red 40, yellow 5, blue 1
- Glucose syrup is typically the first listed ingredient, followed by sugar
Editor’s note: Registered dietitian Molly Kimball offers brand-name products as a consumer guide; she does not solicit product samples nor is she paid to recommend items. A version of this article originally appeared on WGNO’s “Get FUELED with Molly” segment.