Difference Between Sugar and Sweetener

When we have some special occasion or special event one thing that comes first in our mind is sweets. People are very fond of sweets and sweet things, but there are many negative aspects of sweets as well.


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We suffer from numerous diseases if we take a large number of sweets in our daily diet. To combat these negative effects of sweet artificial sweetener has been introduced.

Let’s know more about Sugar and Sweetener in this article.

Sugar vs Sweetener

The difference between Sweet and Sweetener is that Sweet contains 2.4 kilos of calories whereas, Sweetener is free of calories.  Sugar is a crystal-like material that is edible made from sugarcane or sugar beet. On the other hand, Sweeteners are supplements that are added to foods to make them sweeter, as it does not contain calories it is considered beneficial for our health.

Sugar vs Sweetener

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Sugar refers to a group of carbohydrates that have a short chain, cyclical structure, and have a sweet taste. Sugar is a name used to describe carbohydrates that are easily digested.

Sugar is the primary element in chocolates, sweets, candies, etc and if we take too much sugar it can lead to obesity, dental disease, and diabetes.

 Sweeteners are the replacement of sugar and are highly sweetening; sometimes the sweetness can rise to 450 times sweeter than sugar.

Sweeteners are bad for your teeth because they work against the acid-producing bacteria in our mouth that oppose them as nutrition.

Erythritol, xylitol, stevia leaf extracts, neotame, and monk fruit extract are the finest and safe to consume artificial sweeteners, which comes with a few exceptions.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSugarSweetener
Calorie contentHigh CaloriesNo calorie
SourceSugarcaneHerbs or sugar itself
Side EffectsObesity, diabetes, Cardiovascular diseaseTooth decay, headache, depression
Discovered byWestern EuropeansConstantin Fahlberg

What is Sugar?

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate consisting of a glucose and fructose molecule. Sugar is also known as sucrose, which is derived from sugarcane and sugar beets and it is also found naturally in some food such as fruits and honey. 

When we eat sugar it gets digested in the small intestine, where the enzyme called sucrose comes in and splits the bond between the fructose and the glucose molecules, and these molecules are then sent to the liver.

In the liver, fructose can be transformed into three parts – glucose glycogen, and fat.

Sugar, when taken in the right amount, is beneficial for our health but if we do not control the use of added sugars in our diets it can be dangerous for our health. 

Added sugars can be found in many food items such as bread, cereals, chocolate, soft drinks, and all kinds of desserts.

According to a study, the maximum amount of added sugar intake for men should be 37.5 grams whereas, for women 25 grams.

Various health issues are caused due to excessive sugar consumption. The two main issues are insulin production and obesity.

As the added sugar gets digested easily, that means it does not make us full which leads to the craving for more food. Rapid digestion lead to overconsumption, weight gain, and automatically we are venerable to many kinds of diseases.

What is Sweetener?

Sweetener is low in calories that can satisfy our taste buds while reducing the calories we eat from sugar.

Randomized controlled trials have shown that replacing full-calorie foods and beverages with low calories sweetened versions can lead to weight loss as long as we keep a check on additional calories from other sources.

Low-calorie sweeteners don’t raise blood glucose or insulin levels, so they can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar and reduce the total sugar people consume each day.

Some low and low no-calorie sweeteners like stevia and monk fruits extract come from plants and others like sugar-free, sugar lite, saccharine, and stevia are man-made.

These entire sweeteners are sweeter than natural and added sugars, which means only a small amount of sweetener is needed to equal the sweetness of sugar.

Low-calorie sweetener is often blended with a carbohydrate like dextrose and maltodextrin or the sugar alcohol erythritol when they are found in tabletop packets. 

Aspartame an artificial sweetener is 200 times sweeter than sugar. When we consume aspartame it is rapidly broken down into aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and a molecule of methanol in the small intestine.

Like sugar, aspartame contains 4 calories per gram, but due to its sweetness, only a very tiny amount is needed to replace the sugar. As a result, it does not contribute a substantial number of calories to our diet.

Main Differences Between Sugar and Sweetener

  1. Sugar is a carbohydrate that is quickly digested; sweetener is a sweetening agent that is added to foods.
  2. Sugar does not require accreditation in any way; sweeteners must be certified by an accrediting authority.
  3. Sugar is full of calories, whereas sweeteners are calorie-free.
  4. Sugar is natural whereas Sweeteners are mainly artificial.
  5. Sugar gives more energy than Sweeteners.
Difference Between Sugar and Sweetener
  1. https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/outlooks/39363/36040_sssm295.pdf?v=1881.2
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814621027345
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