Aspartame is a common substitute for sugar that is low in calories. By offering the sweet taste without calories, artificial sweeteners appear to be an answer for effective weight loss. An average 12-ounce can of sugar-sweetened soda provides about 150 calories, mostly from sugar. Same amount of diet soda, zero calories.
The choice seems obvious. Sucralose is made from a process that starts with common table sugar (sucrose); however, sucralose is not sugar. Three selected hydroxyl groups in the sucrose molecule are replaced by three chlorine atoms. The structure of sucralose prevents enzymes in the digestive tract from breaking it down, which is an inherent part of its safety.
There are many sugar substitutes to choose from, but not all of them are calorie-free and vary in their impact on blood sugar. Like artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols are created synthetically (usually from the sugars themselves). Also, keep in mind that sugar alcohols contain some carbohydrates and are nutritional sweeteners, so they can affect blood sugar levels. Erythritol is also a sweetened alcohol sweetener, but unlike the others just mentioned, it has less than 1 calorie per gram, notes the International Food Information Council Foundation, and has no major effect on blood sugar levels, according to the American Diabetes Association.