What are in sugar free popsicles?

What are popsicles?

Popsicles are frozen treats made by freezing flavored liquid around a stick. They are also sometimes called ice pops. Traditional popsicles contain fruit juices, water, and sugar. Sugar free popsicles omit the sugar and use artificial sweeteners instead.

Why make sugar free popsicles?

There are a few reasons to make sugar free popsicle versions:

  • To reduce sugar and calorie intake for health reasons
  • For people with diabetes who need to limit sugar
  • For those following low-carb or keto diets
  • For those who simply want a no added sugar frozen treat

Eliminating the sugar allows people on restricted diets to still enjoy a refreshing frozen pop.

What sweeteners are used?

Since sugar free popsicles contain no actual sugar, they need to use artificial sweeteners to provide flavor. Some popular choices include:

  • Aspartame – commonly sold as Equal or Nutrasweet, about 200 times sweeter than sugar
  • Sucralose – sold as Splenda, about 600 times sweeter than sugar
  • Saccharin – one of the first artificial sweeteners, 300-400 times sweeter than sugar
  • Acesulfame potassium – also called Ace-K, about 200 times sweeter than sugar
  • Stevia – extracted from the Stevia plant, up to 400 times sweeter than sugar
  • Monk fruit extract – made from an Asian fruit, up to 300 times sweeter than sugar

These provide the sweet taste people expect in popsicles without adding calories or affecting blood sugar. Products will often blend a few different sweeteners both for flavor and cost reasons.

Popular brand sweetener blends

Brand Sweeteners Used
Jolly Rancher Popsicles Acesulfame potassium, sucralose
Outshine Fruit Bars Sucralose, stevia
Sugar Free Bomb Pops Sucralose, acesulfame potassium, lactitol
No Sugar Added Fudgsicles Acesulfame potassium, sucralose, lactitol

As you can see, many products combine multiple sweeteners like sucralose and acesulfame potassium to achieve the desired flavor profile.

What ingredients provide texture?

In addition to sweeteners for flavor, sugar free popsicles need to include ingredients to replicate the texture and mouthfeel of full sugar products. Some options include:

  • Sugar alcohols – these like sorbitol, lactitol, and erythritol provide bulk and a smooth, icy texture
  • Vegetable glycerin – helps produce a thick, creamy melt
  • Guar gum or xanthan gum – used as thickeners and stabilizers
  • Corn syrup – although sugar free, corn syrup is useful for creating a frozen popsicle texture
  • Coconut cream – for fuller mouthfeel in dairy free recipes

Carefully formulated proportions of sugar alcohols, gums, and vegetable glycerin allow the pops to be handled and eaten like regular frozen fruit pops.

What about flavors and colors?

Sugar free popsicles come in all the popular fruit flavors like orange, lemon, cherry, grape, and fruit punch. Without sugar, more intense fruit concentrates are often used to provide authentic flavor. Natural and artificial flavorings help replicate tastes.

Colors are also added to create the expected appearance. Red, yellow, green, blue, and purple dyes are commonly added. This includes colors like Red 40, Blue 1, and Yellow 5. Without coloring, the pops would appear colorless or off-white after freezing.

Do they contain milk and cream?

Some sugar free popsicle recipes do include milk or cream. These provide a creamy texture and help prevent iciness. However, there are also many dairy free options made with water and fruit juices instead. Vegan recipes use coconut cream or cashew cream to provide richness without milk.

Be sure to check ingredients carefully if avoiding dairy. Some dairy derivatives like casein are also added to popsicles as stabilizers.

Dairy free sugar free popsicle brands

  • Outshine Fruit Bars
  • Jolly Llama Superfruit Pops
  • Quinn Organic Pops
  • NadaMoo Fruit Bars

These all make tasty plant-based pops sweetened with fruit juices and sugar alternatives like stevia and monk fruit.

What about preservatives?

To ensure safe quality and prevent premature melting, most store-bought sugar free popsicles contain some type of preservative. Common options include:

  • Potassium sorbate
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Calcium ascorbate
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Citric acid

Amounts used are very small and help prevent mold, yeast, and bacterial growth during storage. Citric acid provides some preservative effects while also adding tart flavor.

Can you make homemade versions?

Absolutely! Making sugar free popsicles at home lets you control the ingredients. You can choose natural sweeteners like stevia and products free of artificial preservatives.

Some easy homemade recipes include:

Simple fruit juice pops


  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Liquid stevia to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Pour into popsicle molds
  3. Freeze 4-6 hours until solid

Coconut milk fruit pop


  • 1 (14oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup mango puree
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • Pinch salt


  1. Whisk all ingredients together
  2. Pour into popsicle molds
  3. Freeze 5-6 hours until completely firm

Get creative with your own fresh fruit and flavor ideas!

What is the nutrition info for sugar free popsicles?

Despite having no sugar, sugar free popsicles do contain calories, carbs, and limited vitamins and minerals. A typical nutrition label may look like:

Serving size – 1 pop (45g)
Calories – 35
Total fat – 0g
Sodium – 15mg
Total carbs – 9g
Sugar alcohols – 8g
Protein – 0g

The carbs come from sugar alcohols and a small amount of starch or fiber. Each pop may have around 10-20% DV for vitamins like Vitamin C. Sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than regular sugar while delivering sweetness.

Macronutrient comparison per serving

Frozen pop type Calories Carbs Sugar
Regular fruit pop 60-80 15-20g 12-16g
Sugar free pop 15-40 5-10g 0g

As shown, sugar free popsicles contain far fewer calories and carbs compared to regular frozen fruit bars.

Are sugar free popsicles healthier?

Sugar free popsicles can be a better option for health if you limit sugar for medical reasons or weight loss. Benefits include:

  • Help control blood glucose levels if diabetic
  • Lower calorie option for weight loss diets
  • Avoid harmful effects of excess sugar like cavities
  • Don’t spike blood sugar like regular popsicles
  • Provide hydration from the frozen water

However, some downsides exist too:

  • Sugar alcohols may cause bloating or diarrhea if consumed excessively
  • Artificial sweeteners are controversial and may cause effects like headaches
  • Often contain artificial colors and sodium benzoate preservative
  • Not a natural, whole food option for best health

For most people, sugar free pops should only be an occasional treat. But they can be a good alternative to sugary pops if trying to manage weight or diabetes. Moderating portion sizes is important.

What are the best sugar free popsicle brands?

Some top brands for quality sugar free pops include:

  • Jolly Llama – Made with fruit juice and plant-based sweeteners. Unique superfood flavors like acai and dragonfruit.
  • Outshine – Great light fruity flavors sweetened with stevia. Around 35 calories per bar.
  • No Sugar Added Fudgsicles – Delicious chocolate fudge taste without all the sugar. Uses sugar alcohol sweeteners.
  • SmartyPants – Contains added vitamins and made with natural colors. Kid approved flavors like cherry and grape.
  • Calypso Light – Low calorie lemonade and other thirst quenching citrus flavors. Uses sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

Check your grocery store freezer section for these and other tasty options!

Can kids eat sugar free popsicles?

In moderation, sugar free popsicles can be a smart choice for kids who you want to limit sugar intake. However, some considerations include:

  • May not be suitable for toddlers under age 2 due to potential choking hazard on the stick or small pieces
  • Check labels for artificial sweeteners – some parents prefer to avoid giving children these
  • Look for products without artificial colors, sodium benzoate, and other additives if desired
  • Fruit juice varieties provide more nutrients than artificially flavored options
  • Serving size is still important – limit to 1 pop per day max

As an occasional treat, sugar free pops can give kids sweet cold satisfaction without excess sugar or artificial additives. Balance with plenty of whole foods too.

Are there keto friendly sugar free pops?

Yes, there are many great low carb sugar free pops perfect for keto diets. Keto dieters have to restrict carbs to 20-50g per day.

Some keto friendly pops to try:

  • Keto Pint ice cream bars – Only 2g net carbs from ultra low carb ice cream
  • Chilly Cow Low Carb Bars – Around 5g net carbs from milk protein and soluble fiber
  • Enlightened Keto Collection – Bars under 10g total carbs with sugar alcohols
  • Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars – Around 5-6g net carbs from high protein yogurt

Always check nutrition labels for total carb and sugar alcohol content. Avoid maltitol syrup as its glycemic impact is higher.


Sugar free popsicles provide a no added sugar dessert option using artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and natural flavors. They come in an array of fruit and creamy flavors with fewer calories and carbs than regular pops. While they shouldn’t be daily treats, they can be enjoyed occasionally guilt-free by kids, adults, and those on carb limited diets like keto. Check ingredients and brands to find quality pops without too many additives. Homemade versions are easy too using stevia and juices. Stay cool and satisfied all summer long with refreshing sugar free frozen pops!

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