Many Russell Stover sugar-free candies can be eaten on a keto diet. However, some contain maltitol and other sugar alcohols that may raise blood sugar and insulin levels or cause digestive issues for some people. It’s best to check the nutrition labels and ingredient lists carefully. The carb counts can also add up quickly with multiple servings. Overall, sugar-free chocolates and candies should be eaten in moderation on keto.
Ingredients in Russell Stover Sugar-Free Candies
Russell Stover offers a range of sugar-free candies, including chocolates, hard candies, gummies, and chocolate-covered nuts and fruits. Here are some of the main ingredients used:
- Sugar alcohols like maltitol, sorbitol, and xylitol – These replace sugar and provide sweetness with fewer carbs and calories. However, they may cause digestive issues in large amounts.
- Cocoa butter and chocolate liquor – Used to provide chocolate flavor and texture.
- Natural and artificial flavors – Used to mimic the taste of sugar.
- Vegetable oils like palm kernel and palm oil – Used as an ingredient in chocolate coatings.
- Soy lecithin – An emulsifier to help blend ingredients.
- Salt and citric acid – Used to enhance flavors.
- Stevia leaf extract – A natural, no-calorie sweetener.
The main sugar alcohols to look for are maltitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. Maltitol has the largest impact on blood sugar, while xylitol has the least.
Net Carbs in Russell Stover Sugar-Free Candy
The net carbs in Russell Stover sugar-free candies can vary greatly depending on the specific product.
Here are the net carbs per serving for some popular options:
|Net Carbs per Serving
|Sugar Free Milk Chocolate Bar
|Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Bar
|Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups (2 pieces)
|Sugar Free Candy Combo
|Sugar Free Creams
|Sugar Free Smooth Caramel Hard Candy
As you can see, net carbs can range from 1-20 grams depending on the type of candy and portion size. It adds up quickly if you eat multiple pieces.
Are Russell Stover Sugar-Free Candies Keto-Friendly?
Many Russell Stover sugar-free products can fit into a keto diet plan, but there are some important caveats:
- Check ingredients for maltitol – Maltitol may cause an insulin response or digestive issues, so check labels and calculate net carbs accordingly.
- Watch portions – Even though they are sugar-free, the carbs can add up fast. Stick to small portions, like 1-2 pieces.
- Account for carbs – Be sure to count the net carbs from sugar-free candies into your daily carb limit.
- Consider your tolerance – Sugar alcohols like maltitol can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Gauge your own tolerance.
- Don’t over-indulge – Too much can trigger cravings and appetite. Enjoy occasionally as a treat.
The chocolate and nut-based candies tend to be lowest in net carbs, while the gummies and hard candies are higher. Going for a 90% cacao dark chocolate bar can allow you to fit in a bigger portion.
Best and Worst Russell Stover Sugar-Free Candies for Keto
- Sugar Free Dark Chocolate
- Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups
- Pecan Delights
- Cashew Delights
- Coconut Almond Treasures
Not as ideal:
- Sugar Free Chocolate Covered Cherries
- Sugar Free Creams
- Sugar Free Gummies
- Sugar Free Hard Candies
The chocolate bars and nut-based candies tend to be lowest in carbs and maltitol. The gummies and other fruit or cream-based options are higher in sugar alcohols and total carbs.
Tips for Incorporating Russell Stover Sugar-Free Candy into a Keto Diet
Here are some tips to help you integrate Russell Stover sugar-free treats into a keto eating plan:
- Choose lower carb options like the chocolate bars or peanut butter cups.
- Watch portions and serving sizes closely.
- Save candy for an occasional treat, not an everyday snack.
- Balance with low carb foods like non-starchy veggies, eggs, meats, etc.
- Avoid sugar-free candy if you have IBS or are sensitive to sugar alcohols.
- Track net carbs accurately by reading nutrition labels.
- Drink extra water to help digest sugar alcohols.
- Buy smaller snack size packs rather than large bags.
Moderation and paying attention to serving sizes is key. Sugar-free candy should enhance a keto diet as an occasional treat, but not become a daily habit. Focus on real, whole foods for nutrition, and save the processed candy bars for when you want to satisfy an occasional sweet craving.
Health Concerns with Russell Stover Sugar-Free Candy
While sugar-free Russell Stover candies are lower in sugar and carbs, there are some potential health concerns to keep in mind:
- Blood Sugar Impact – Sugar alcohols like maltitol still raise blood sugar and cause an insulin release, though less than regular sugar. This may disrupt ketosis.
- Digestive Upset – Large amounts of sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect, causing gas, bloating and diarrhea in sensitive people.
- Habit Formation – Having candy too frequently can maintain cravings for sweets and unhealthy foods.
- Lack of Nutrition – Candy provides little to no nutritional value. It should not replace healthy whole foods.
- Processed Ingredients – Many candies contain processed oils, artificial colors and preservatives.
While an occasional sugar-free candy may be fine for most healthy adults, those with diabetes or gut issues may want to avoid them. Moderation is key, and making candy a regular habit can backfire.
Recipes Using Russell Stover Sugar-Free Candy
Here are some recipe ideas to use up opened bags of Russell Stover sugar-free candy:
Sugar-Free Chocolate Bark
- 4 ounces 90% dark sugar-free chocolate, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup almonds, chopped
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter or sugar-free peanut butter chips
- 1-2 tablespoons Russell Stover sugar-free peanut butter cups, chopped
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave on half power, stirring frequently.
- Stir in almonds, peanut butter and peanut butter cups.
- Spread mixture evenly onto prepared baking sheet.
- Refrigerate 30 minutes until set.
- Break into pieces and enjoy!
No-Bake Sugar-Free Cheesecake Bites
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered erythritol or Swerve
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips
- 15 Russell Stover sugar-free peanut butter cups, chopped
- In a bowl, beat cream cheese, erythritol and vanilla until smooth.
- Mix in heavy cream until fully incorporated.
- Fold in chocolate chips and chopped peanut butter cups.
- Scoop mixture into silicone muffin cups or mini cupcake tins.
- Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.
You can get creative mixing Russell Stover sugar-free candy into low carb desserts, fat bombs, chocolate barks, etc. Just watch your portions and account for net carbs.
Comparison of Russell Stover to Other Sugar-Free Candy Brands
How does Russell Stover compare to other popular sugar-free and keto-friendly candy brands? Here’s a quick overview:
|Varies, 4-20g net per serving
|Maltitol, sorbitol, stevia
|Has maltitol, but some bars are low carb
|Around 5g net per serving
|No sugar alcohols, uses stevia
|1-5g net per serving
|Monk fruit sweetener, no sugar alcohols
|1-3g net per serving
|Emphasizes minimal ingredients
|15-25g net per serving
|Higher net carbs but high fat and protein
Russell Stover is budget-friendly but contains maltitol. Brands like Lily’s, ChocZero and HighKey use stevia and erythritol for fewer digestive issues. Carb Killa is higher in carbs but very high in fat and protein.
The Bottom Line
Most Russell Stover sugar-free products can fit into a keto diet in moderation. However, the sugar alcohols like maltitol may affect ketosis and cause digestive upset for some people. It’s best to consume these processed candies occasionally as a treat. Focus on hitting your macros through whole, nutritious low carb foods instead. When buying sugar-free candies, look for ones without maltitol and with mainly stevia, erythritol or monk fruit as the sweetener for less impact on blood sugar. Russell Stover sugar-free candies can satisfy an occasional sweet tooth as part of a well-formulated keto diet. Just practice portion control and don’t overdo it.