How many calories are in 20 Jelly Belly jelly beans?

Jelly Belly jelly beans are a popular candy known for their intense and accurate fruit flavors. But like many sweets, they are also high in calories and sugar. So how many calories are actually in 20 Jelly Belly jelly beans?

Calories in Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

According to the Jelly Belly website, a single Jelly Belly jelly bean contains 4 calories. This means that 20 jelly beans would contain 80 calories (4 calories x 20 jelly beans = 80 calories).

So in total, 20 standard-sized Jelly Belly jelly beans contain about 80 calories. This calorie count is for the original assorted flavors. Some specialty flavors may have slightly more or less calories per bean.

Nutrition Facts for Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

Here is the nutrition information for 20 standard Jelly Belly jelly beans (4 calories per bean):

Nutrition Facts 20 jelly beans (80g)
Calories 80
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 20mg
Total Carbohydrate 19g
Sugars 14g
Protein 1g

As you can see, the main nutrients in Jelly Belly beans are carbohydrates and sugar. The calories come mainly from carbohydrates. There is minimal fat or protein.

20 jelly beans contain 19 grams of total carbohydrates, which includes 14 grams of sugars. So the majority of carbs come from added sugars.

Calories and Macronutrients Explained

To better understand the calorie and nutrition content in Jelly Belly jelly beans, let’s take a closer look at calories, carbohydrates, sugar, and other macronutrients.

What is a Calorie?

A calorie is a unit of energy. Specifically, one calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.

Calories are a measure of the energy content in foods and beverages. Your body uses calories from food and beverages to fuel everything from basic metabolic functions to exercise.

The number of calories you need each day varies based on your age, sex, activity level, and health goals. Most adults need around 2000-2500 calories per day for weight maintenance.


Carbohydrates are one of the main macronutrients found in food, along with protein and fat.

Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fiber:

  • Sugars – Found naturally in foods like fruits or added to foods. Common sugars include sucrose, glucose, and fructose.
  • Starches – Long chains of glucose molecules found in foods like grains, starchy veggies, and legumes.
  • Fiber – Indigestible carbohydrates from plant foods. Provide few calories but have health benefits.

In Jelly Belly jelly beans, the majority of carbohydrates come from added sugars.

When you eat carbs, your body breaks them down into glucose and uses this for energy. Excess glucose can be stored as glycogen or converted to and stored as fat.

Each gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories. So the 19g of carbs in 20 jelly beans accounts for 76 of the 80 calories (19 x 4 = 76).


Sugar refers to simple carbohydrates like sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Table sugar is sucrose. These simple sugars are rapidly digested and absorbed by the body.

The 14g of sugar in 20 jelly beans includes sucrose, corn syrup, and other sugars used to sweeten the beans. Consuming excess added sugar can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of chronic diseases.


Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest. It passes through the body undigested, promoting fullness and regular bowel movements. Fiber also helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut microbiome.

Jelly Belly jelly beans do not contain any fiber, since they are made from refined sugars and other processed ingredients. Lack of fiber means they digest quickly, with a high glycemic impact.


Protein is another essential macronutrient. It is required to build, maintain, and repair tissues and cells throughout the body. Proteins are made up of amino acids.

Jelly Belly jelly beans contain 1 gram of protein per serving. So they are not a significant source of this important nutrient.


Fat is the third macronutrient and is a major source of energy for the body. Dietary fats also help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Jelly beans contain minimal fat (0g per serving). They are considered a low-fat food.

So in summary, the calories in Jelly Belly jelly beans come mainly from refined carbohydrates and sugar, with minimal protein or fat. The beans lack fiber, which means they digest quickly and can spike blood sugar.

Calorie and Carb Comparison to Other Candies

How do Jelly Belly jelly beans compare to other popular candies in terms of calories and nutritional value? Let’s take a look:

Comparison Table

Candy (20 pieces) Calories Total Carbs Sugar
Jelly Belly Jelly Beans 80 19g 14g
M&Ms 100 21g 14g
Skittles 80 18g 14g
Reese’s Pieces 100 15g 11g
Sour Patch Kids 80 20g 16g

As you can see, most popular candies contain about 80-100 calories and 15-20 grams of carbohydrates per serving. The amount of sugar ranges from 11-16 grams.

So Jelly Belly jelly beans are on the lower end for calories and carbs compared to similar candies. However, all these sugary candies provide minimal nutritional value. They should be enjoyed in moderation as an occasional treat.

Nutrient Poor Calories

While Jelly Belly beans are low in calories per piece, keep in mind they provide mainly “empty calories” with minimal nutrition.

Aside from carbohydrates and sugar, jelly beans offer little in terms of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, healthy fats, or other beneficial nutrients. They consist mostly of refined sugars.

This means that jelly beans, and candies in general, supply mostly nutrient-poor calories. Eating them frequently may displace more nutritious foods from your diet. It’s best to keep candy consumption occasional and account for the discretionary calories in your diet.

Health Impacts of Jelly Beans

Now that we know the calorie and nutrition facts, what are some of the health impacts of eating Jelly Belly jelly beans and other sweets?

Weight Gain

The refined carbs and added sugars in jelly beans promote weight gain in a few ways:

  • High glycemic index – Jelly beans cause rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin due to lack of fiber. This promotes fat storage.
  • Low satiety – The refined carbs do not satisfy hunger long. This leads to overeating.
  • Extra calories – Frequent candy intake adds excess calories that accumulate.
  • Sugar addiction – The more sugar you eat, the more you crave, making weight control difficult.

To prevent weight gain, limit jelly bean portions and frequency. Focus on getting calories from whole, nutritious foods.

Blood Sugar Spikes

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels. High GI foods cause rapid spikes, while low GI foods produce a gradual rise.

Jelly beans have a very high GI of 80. This means they are digested and absorbed quickly, leading to a spike in blood sugar.

Frequent blood sugar spikes can be problematic for people with diabetes or prediabetes. They may contribute to insulin resistance over time.

Tooth Decay

The sugars in jelly beans are readily fermented by the bacteria in dental plaque. This produces acids that demineralize and damage tooth enamel.

Frequent, long-term exposure to sugary foods like jelly beans increases the risk for cavities. Proper dental hygiene can help counteract some of this risk.

Lack of Nutrition

As discussed earlier, jelly beans provide minimal complete nutrition. Occasional jelly beans are fine for most healthy people.

However, getting a substantial amount of daily calories from nutrient-poor sweets may displace more nutritious foods from the diet. This could lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies over the long term.

To reduce the risks of excessive jelly bean consumption, enjoy them in moderation as part of an overall healthy eating pattern focused on whole foods.

Portion Control Tips

While the occasional jelly bean treat is fine, having good portion control is important for limiting excess calorie intake. Here are some tips:

Measure Portions

Read nutrition labels and measure out proper serving sizes instead of eating straight from the bag. For jelly beans, 22 beans make up a 150 calorie serving.

Use Small Bowls

Don’t bring the whole bag to the couch. Pour a snack-size portion into a small bowl to help curb mindless overeating.

Watch Frequency

Limit high-sugar treat foods to a few times per week max as recommended by health guidelines.

Mindful Eating

Savor each jelly bean, focusing on the flavors and textures rather than mindless snacking. Slowing down makes portions seem larger.

Drink Water

Stay hydrated by enjoying a glass of water with your jelly beans. It will help you feel full with less.

Get Your Crunch On

Choose lower-calorie crunchy snacks like air-popped popcorn or veggie sticks when you want to mindlessly munch.

Healthier Candy Alternatives

For those looking to indulge their sweet tooth while making slightly healthier choices, here are some better-for-you candy options:

Dark Chocolate

Snack on a square or two of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or higher. The bitter taste helps curb cravings.

High-Fiber Gummies

Look for gummy candies made with real fruit, fruit juices, and added fiber to help fill you up.

Yogurt-Covered Treats

Try yogurt-covered raisins or nuts for a protein and calcium boost.

Dried Fruit

Satisfy your sweet tooth with fiber-filled dried fruits like mango, pineapple, or apple rings. No added sugar!

Frozen Grapes

Grab a handy frozen grape snack to pop for a sweet bite. Freeze grapes overnight for a ready-to-eat chilled treat.

Fruit and Nut Bars

Go for bars with all-natural ingredients like nuts, seeds, oats, and dried fruit with minimal added sugars.

While these options are somewhat better alternatives, portion size and frequency is still key. Overall, a healthy diet should emphasize whole foods over sweets.

The Bottom Line

So how many calories are in 20 Jelly Belly jelly beans? Approximately 80 calories, which primarily come from refined carbohydrates and added sugars.

Jelly Belly beans provide minimal complete nutrition. Though they are lower in calories than some other candies, their refined sugars can promote unhealthy blood sugar spikes.

For good health, it’s best to enjoy jelly beans and other sweets in moderation as occasional treats, not daily snacks. Focus on getting most of your calories from wholesome nutritious foods instead.

With some mindful portion control and by making healthier substitutions when possible, you can still satisfy the occasional sweet craving as part of an overall balanced diet.

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