Although diet soda has no calories, sugar or fat, it has been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease in several studies. Research has found that just one serving of an artificially sweetened beverage a day is associated with an 8 to 13% higher risk of type 2 diabetes (22, 2). While white sugar is definitely not good for your health or for losing weight, artificial sweeteners seem to cause just as much havoc. Try natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup to sweeten tea, coffee, or baked goods.
Organic or coconut sugar in small amounts works from time to time if you must consume sugar, and some people think that monk fruit extract has a less annoying aftertaste than stevia. Breaking the cycle of craving for sweets isn't easy, but continuing to replace sugar with fake sugar isn't the solution. Healthy people may experience mild gas or bloating after eating foods sweetened with sugar alcohols, but if you have a gastrointestinal condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome, or eat a large amount of something sweetened with sugar alcohols, you could experience more extreme symptoms. A more immediate unpleasant effect of consuming sugar alcohols, a type of low-calorie sugar substitute, are gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Zero-sugar or low-calorie alternatives are usually hundreds or thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar, but they don't raise blood sugar levels.