Skip to main content
Get Care MyChart Find a Provider Find a Location

Aspartame, acesulfame k, saccharin, stevia, honey, sucralose, sugar alcohols, molasses, xylitol, erythritol, yacon syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup. What do all these have in common?

Each item listed is a sweetener used in place of sugar!

Some are calorie-free. Others are not. Some are made with chemicals. Others come from natural sources.

For the most health benefits, it's important to consider where an ingredient comes from. Is it made in a lab or is it naturally occurring? Sweeteners like honey, molasses and maple syrup may not be calorie-free, but they provide various health perks that sweeteners made with chemicals lack. On the other hand, artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, may be calorie-free, but some people believe they can cause gut inflammation and weight gain.

How do you know what sweetener is best?

The bottom line is that you must evaluate your health goals and practice moderation. Are you working toward eating a cleaner diet with less processed foods? If so, chemical sweeteners may not be a great choice. You also can pay attention to how you feel after eating certain sweeteners. Are you energetic after consuming high-fructose corn syrup and sugar alcohols, or do you feel bloated and uncomfortable?

Fuel your body with the energy it needs and to enjoy the food you're consuming. Some days that might mean having your favorite dessert. On other days it may be cooking a homemade meal with fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market.  

Related articles

Woman in exercise clothing eating healthy bowl.

Protein takeover: How much is really needed per day?

Protein's superpower is its ability to satiety. Gundersen's dietitian shares protein options and how much protein you should aim to eat daily.
woman doing dumbbell curl

What exercise burns the most calories?

Discover the benefits of anaerobic and high-intensity workouts, which help burn calories and improve overall fitness. Start your calorie-burning journey today.
Nutrition and your mental health

The link between nutrition and your mental health

The foods you eat can positively impact your brain function, mood and mental health. Apply this “back to the basics” approach of focusing on simple, healthy food for the brain
Is my child getting enough fiber

How much fiber does my child need?

Learn about the importance of fiber in a child’s diet and how to incorporate high-fiber foods for kids.

1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

Language Support:
Jump back to top