Healthier Sweets and Chocolates to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
When it comes to making decisions about your sugar intake there are mixed messages everywhere: National Candy Month runs throughout June in the USA! Fortunately, consumer-driven trends have resulted in confections that deliver some benefit to your health. Check out these allergen-free, ethical, naturally sweetened options and ranges boosted with superfoods.
SOMETHING SWEET FOR THE RETAILERS
In America, the whole month of June is dedicated to celebrating candy. Promoted (or sponsored) by the National Confectioners Association, as a way to ‘celebrate the authentic, fun treats that candy companies have been producing for more than 100 years’, National Candy Month is touting chocolate, sweets, mints and gum as fun treats for the summer months. I’m pretty certain that makers and retailers are excited to jump on board National Candy Month. For starters it addresses an obvious sales gap. Did you know that sales for Valentine’s Day add up to $3 billion, Easter weekend drives $2.5 billion, Halloween rakes in a further $4.4 billion and Christmas generates $4.5 million? But what happens from May to September? There are no celebration days at all. No wonder an excuse was created to justify eating something sweet.
Fortunately in the UK there’s no such month. But sales of sweets are still pretty significant. The annual revenue generated by the confectionery market is £3.9 billion – this is from 415 companies which manufacture cocoa, sugar and confectionery. Another 750 companies wholesale sugar, chocolate and sugar confectionery accounting for a further £2 billion (statista.com).
It might seem at odds with current trends in health that you’re been given permission to have yet another treat, especially while the incidence of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease continually rises in the population at large. But there’s always a bottom line, and although sugary, sweetened foods (and beverages) may be significant contributors to the nation’s current poor state of health, the confectionery business is no different to any other. You’ve got to generate those sales!
HEALTHIER SWEETS, CHOCS & BARS FOR YOU
Is there a better choice if you have a sweet tooth? Which sweets and chocolates are the best for your health?
Well there is a growing trend for sweets and confectionery which offer more than just a hit of sugar. Products which are more upmarket and have a greater appeal to adults. They might highlight their provenance or artisan credentials; cocoa content and source of origin; innovative flavours; addition of super health promoting foods; or absence of animal products. In a poll by Mintel, more than half of the participants were interested in more sophisticated sweets, 45% felt sweets from other countries were appealing, and almost a third wanted more allergen-free sweets (brand marketing.com)
Perhaps these are the types of sweets and confectionery you also want to eat?
In fact, these are all trends that you can explore right now: sweets with less sugar and no artificial colours and flavours; sweets and chocolates that vegans can eat; bars and chocolates boosted with therapeutic ingredients which are beneficial for your health. When you remove sugar from your confectionery there’s so much more that you can put in.
Here are some of the healthier options which may satisfy a sweet tooth.
Free From Fellows – Allergen free
Sweets made without sugar, gelatin, gluten, dairy, artificial colours, preservatives or sugar. All the sweets from when you were a kid including gummy bears, cola bottles, wine gums and lollipops, but without the sugar overload
HiP chocolate – Allergen free and Ethical
Vegan bars using oat mylk and chocolate from a slave-free supply chain. Includes flavours of Salty Pretzel, Creamy Original, Salted Caramel and Cookies No Cream.
Nooro CBD snack bars – Free- from and Boosted
Vegan and gluten free snack bars with natural sugars, chicory root fibre for a healthier gut, 25mg of CBD and maca and l-theanine (nootropics for mental performance and calm). Range includes classic flavour combos of Sour Cherry & Dark Chocolate, Banana & Cinnamon, and Lemon & Ginger.
VEGO chocolate – Allergen free and Ethical
Fair-trade certified, organic, vegan chocolates. Range includes Vego Hazelnut Bar (an alternative to a toblerone), Vego White Almond bar, Vego Dark Nuts and Berries bar, Vegolino pralines and Vego spread (a must-try if you’re a nutella fan).
Mr Moxeys Mints – Artisan and Boosted
Artisan organic mints, handcrafted in small batches, enriched with broad spectrum CBD and botanicals. Range includes ginger mints and peppermint mints for Relief, Sleep and Calm.
Willy’s Chocolate bars – Innovative flavours and Provenance
Made from 100% cacao and naturally sweetened, this range of milk and vegan bars offers an extensive choice of flavours. Check out Single Estate Dark bars with up to 71% cacao, no added sugar bars sweetened with dates and raisins, and milk chocolate blended with matcha green tea.
2 IDEAS TO AVOID SUGAR OVERLOAD
Mindfully choosing and enjoying a sweet snack is very different to how sugar typically shows up in your meals. In previous articles I’ve explored the role of sugar in the modern diet touching on the fact that as many as 3 out of 4 foods in the supermarket now contain added sugar. If you’re trying to overcome sugar cravings and change an everyday habit of reaching for something sweet – to help you relax; to beat a mid-afternoon slump; to finish off a meal – you’ll probably know that going cold turkey is hard to do.
Here are two ideas to help you take the first steps to eat less sugar.
IDEA 1 – Understand how sugar affects your brain
Did you realise that sugar affects your brain patterns and appetite in specific ways. A quick video shares the details here… Can You Say ‘No’ to a Sugar High?
IDEA 2 – Learn how to spot added sugar and cut it down
In a different article I shared some practical ideas for you to make some easy swaps to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet.
While the WHO recommends eating only 21 tsps of total sugars each day, the average healthy diet packs in 40 tsps (about 195g). Much of this comes from sugars that are added to food (added sugar) rather than naturally occurring sugar. Reading labels can help you identify whether sugars are added but only if you can decode what you see. There are over 50 different names for added sugar, so take a look here… Safely Quit That Sugar Hit
If you have a sweet tooth, the desire to eat something sweet will always arise. You might find that despite changing your dietary habits that chocolates, mints, snack bars and sweets will always be appealing to you. I know of a militant anti-sugar naturopath who strictly instructs all her clients “If you want to eat something sweet, eat a slice of lemon instead”. Each to their own, and you’re very welcome to try this, but you may prefer to adopt a less drastic approach. As manufacturers respond to customer demands, there is so much more on offer. If you’re going to grab a sweeter treat, forget about the confectionery you ate in your youth and opt for a bar that offers some health benefit to you.
Images at Unsplash.com
Liliana Olivares, Viktor Talashuk, Tetania Bykovets, Mae Mu