Both sugar and artificial sweetener are addictive. However, artificial sweeteners are more likely to make you feel hungry, eat more during the day, and develop diabetes. Sugar is fine in limited quantities and in the context of a healthy diet. Eating a cookie that you made yourself is fine.
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.
Table sugar or sucrose, which comes from sugar cane, is an example of a disaccharide, a compound composed of two monosaccharides. 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. Like artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols are created synthetically (usually from the sugars themselves). A more immediate unpleasant effect of consuming sugar alcohols, a type of low-calorie sugar substitute, are gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
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.