If it’s been awhile since you sampled some sugar-free sweets, don’t cringe—the sugar-free industry has come a long way in both ingredients and taste! Today, there are several options for sugar-free and very low-sugar ingredients including the natural Stevia plant, monk fruit and more. Gone are the days when the only options were chemical-laden additions. Today’s options are often natural and have a taste much closer to the original sweet you’re craving.

You’ll need to experiment with both the types of ingredients and treats themselves to find the sweets that strike your fancy. Some goodies are easier to make sugar-free than others. Popular “just as good as” desserts include Hershey’s brand such as mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, hard candies and caramels. Shop around to see if local bakeries and patisseries offer sugar-free selections, too. You just might find a treasure trove!

There are many benefits to going sugar-free, especially when considering your dental health. While sugar doesn’t technically cause cavities, bacteria loves sugar so over-consumption can make your mouth a breeding ground for more bacteria. It’s a slippery slope. If you suffer from a lot of cavities or your dentist has ever asked you if you have a sweet tooth, switching to sugar-free (even some of the time) can be a great benefit.

Sugar-free treats can also be lower calorie and lower in carbs. If you’re worried about type-2 diabetes or want to lose fat, sugar-free food items can be a solid addition to your lifestyle change. However, do make sure you read the nutritional content carefully—sugar-free doesn’t always mean lower calorie or carbs.

One warning: Sugar-free ingredients can have a laxative effect. While this isn’t dangerous, unless you allow yourself to get very dehydrated, it can certainly be uncomfortable so consume conservatively at first. You’ll likely end up finding some ingredients that mesh better with your body, as well as quantities.