We compared 10 popular Valentine's Day treats to see which ones were the worst offenders.

Lauren Wicks
February 07, 2020
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and chances are you'll be enjoying some heart-shaped candy on February 14. While we think Valentine's Day is a great occasion to enjoy a special meal, a fancy bottle of wine and a festive treat, some goodies stack up better than others.

Below, you'll find the best and worst popular Valentine's Day candies, ranked by sugar content. Some of these options were surprisingly low in added sugar, while a few nearly meet our daily recommended added sugar limit of six teaspoons in a few bites!

Here are the worst offenders (and best bets) if you're watching your sugar intake:

Related: This Heart-Shaped Succulent Garden Is the Cutest Valentine's Day Gift

Peeps Lovebirds

27 grams sugar (5.5 teaspoons)

Apparently Peeps are a Valentine's Day candy too, and they are our worst offender. A serving of four chicks on a stick contains almost your entire daily added sugar limit. They also contain some controversial additives, like Red 3 and 40, which are linked to hyperactivity, allergies, aggressiveness and other behavioral problems in children. You're better off enjoying a different treat on this list, or sticking to just one Peep.

Russell Stover Assorted Chocolates

26 grams sugar (5 teaspoons)

"Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get," Tom Hanks said as Forrest Gump, the award-winning movie of his character's namesake. We actually now know what we are getting here—a whopping five teaspoons of sugar in just three truffles (one serving is unfortunately not a whole box). Do yourself a favor and enjoy a chocolate treat you can actually get excited for this Valentine's Day, like our Chocolate Decadence.

Hershey Kisses

18 grams of sugar; 16 grams added (3 ½ teaspoons)

"But they're so small," you say. We were pretty surprised by this, too. Seven little kisses pack over half your daily added sugar limit, so keep that in mind next time you swipe a handful from the office candy bowl.

Reese's Hearts

16 grams of sugar (3 teaspoons)

This Valentine's Day classic is always worth the extra sugar, but there's a whole lot of it in a single peanut butter-filled heart. One Reese's Heart knocks out half your day's added sugar limit in just two bites, but at least it tastes good going down.

Related: Aldi Is Selling Heart-Shaped Cheeses for Valentine's Day—and One of Them Tastes Like Gin

Godiva Assorted Legendary Chocolates

14 grams of sugar (3 teaspoons)

Both of these popular chocolate treats pack just under 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving. One serving of Godiva Legendary Chocolates equates to four pieces (dibs on the chocolate oysters). This is pretty generous for chocolate, and you could easily just eat half of a serving if you are being vigilant about your sugar intake.

Dove Milk Chocolate & Dark Chocolate Swirl Hearts

14 grams of sugar (2 1/2 teaspoons)

These dreamy swirled chocolates contain the same amount of sugar as the Godiva chocolates—and also allow for four chocolates per serving. Once again, you could likely get your chocolate fix from just two of these if you are curbing sugar.

Brach's Conversation Hearts

13 grams of sugar (2 ½ teaspoons)

Conversation hearts nearly went extinct in 2019 when Necco, the original producer of conversation hearts went out of business. I was content to never eat another chalk-like conversation heart again, and figured everyone else would be too, but apparently we always want what we can't have.

Conversation hearts are back by popular demand, all thanks to Brach's, packing 2 ½ teaspoons of sugar in 11 sad little candies. They also contain Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, which are all on the Center for Science in the Public Interest's list of nonfood additives to avoid for health concerns.

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Squares (60% Cacao)

12 grams of sugar (2 ½ teaspoons)

It's important to know where dark chocolate lands on the list, as many of us turn to it for a healthy treat. Dark chocolate is packed with good-for-you nutrients, like fiber, magnesium and iron. While you can find plenty of dark chocolate options with less or no sugar at all at specialty grocers, we chose Ghirardelli because it is widely available. Three squares pack 2 ½ teaspoons, which isn't bad for an occasional treat.

Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles

10 grams of sugar; 8 grams of added sugar (1 ½ teaspoons)

These mouthwatering chocolate truffles land in the top spot for best Valentine's Day candy. Don't you love that the best option is something that actually tastes good? If you're looking for a festive way to get your special someone in the kitchen with you this V-Day, try making our Dark Chocolate Truffles or Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles together instead.

Related: Why You May Want to Think Twice About Buying Chocolate From Trader Joe's or Costco

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