Natural Sugar vs Artificial Sweeteners: Which are Better and Why?

Natural Sugar vs Artificial Sweeteners is always a hot debate. Natural sugars are sugars that occur naturally in foods.

Natural sugars such as glucose and fructose can be found in fruits and vegetables. Artificial sweeteners, on the other hand, are sugars that have been chemically changed in a lab and deliver sweetness without calories.

Today we talk about both of these sugars and talk about which one is better. Or are any of these better? Want to know more? Keep reading!

What is Natural Sugar?

Natural sugars, as the name implies, are sugars that occur naturally in foods. There are two types of sugars: fructose and lactose. The sugar fructose is responsible for the sweetness of fruits (and some vegetables).

Lactose is a sugar found in milk and dairy products, which is why even unsweetened milk and plain yogurt have sugar.

While fructose and lactose are the two natural sugars in food, it’s crucial to remember that all carbohydrates—even complex ones like whole grains, legumes, and low-carb veggies—are broken down to sugars in the digestive process and absorbed as glucose, the energy sugar.

Since natural sugars are bundled with other elements naturally found in food, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein, they are a vital part of a healthy diet.

Furthermore, fruits and vegetables that contain natural sugars have disease-fighting phytochemicals that have antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties in the body.

Simply put, natural sugars are an important part of a balanced diet, and these sugars are not linked to the health issues mentioned above.

What are Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners, often known as non-nutritive sweeteners, are low-calorie or non-caloric sweeteners. Sugar, corn syrup, and other natural sweeteners have more calories than these.

Aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal), sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame potassium, neotame, and saccharin (Sweet’N Low) are the most common artificial sweeteners.

For diabetics with a sweet tooth, artificial sweetener is a godsend. Artificially sweetened beverages can be a convenient alternative for people who routinely consume soft drinks but want to reduce their sugar intake.

Artificial sweeteners, which have nearly no calories, help to limit calorie consumption when used on a regular basis.

For example, a glass of juice with 5 tablespoons of sugar adds 100 calories to your diet. Using an artificial sweetener instead of sugar reduces the number of calories consumed.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) is a metric used to determine which carbohydrates should be included in one’s diet. It classifies carbs according to how quickly and how much they elevate blood sugar levels.

It calculates the glycemic reaction per gram of carbohydrate in a food, not per gram of the item itself. The GI measures the quality of carbs rather than their amount.

Here is a handy chart that shows the glycemic index for many sugar substitutes that are usually found in ‘healthy’ food and supplements.

Which is Better?

Both natural sugar and artificial sugar serve different purposes.

This means that when consumed in moderation both can be beneficial for the user. However, there still is proof showing that natural sugar is always a better alternative unless and until you don’t actually have to consume artificial sweeteners.

To help you understand these sugars better, here are the pros and cons of both:

Artificial Sweeteners

Here are the pros and cons of Artificial Sweeteners:


  • Calorie-free or low-calorie: Artificial sweeteners can help people lose weight if they desire or need to. Artificial sweeteners are just more beneficial to some people due to the obesity issue.
  • No glycemic impact: Artificial sweeteners are the only option for sugar-sensitive persons, especially those with diabetes and other blood sugar issues.
  • They are simple to find: Artificial sweeteners are widely available. They are available at any grocery or restaurant.


  • Risk of Health: Artificial sweeteners are complicated substances that have unusual effects on the human body. Artificial sweeteners are far sweeter than natural sugars, making natural sweet flavors difficult to detect.
  • No Nutrition: Natural Sugar has quite a lot of nutritional value. Artificial sweeteners have no nutritional value and are only sweetened. They provide little nutritional value.
  • Metabolic Syndrome Risk: Metabolic syndrome is a collection of disorders that include high blood pressure, excessive cholesterol, and heart disease. Artificial sweeteners have been associated with metabolic syndrome in studies.

Natural Sugar

Here are the pros and cons of Natural Sugar:


  • Easy for Metabolism: Natural sugars are more readily metabolized by the human body. Natural sweeteners, unlike artificial sweeteners and processed sugars, tend to break down and become a source of energy rather than accumulating as fats.
  • No Chemicals: Natural sugars rarely include chemical ingredients and are precisely what they appear to be. There are no chemical additives that would interfere with natural physiological functions.
  • Sweeter: Natural sugars are far sweeter than artificial sweeteners. It’s a lot sweeter than regular sugar.


There aren’t very many cons to natural sugar. Excess of everything is bad so of course, you may want to consume foods containing natural sugar in moderation too.

We’re less concerned about this type of sugar because these foods contain other ingredients that delay the rate at which sugar is absorbed. This avoids the rapid rise and fall in blood sugar levels that can contribute to weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

Final Words

Artificial sweeteners have become a popular sugar alternative among those trying to cut back on calories or sugar. However, ingesting them may have certain negative consequences. And more research is needed to fully comprehend how they affect our bodies.

Until we learn more, artificial sweeteners should be limited in the same way that real sugar should be. If you do eat them, make sure you do it as part of a well-balanced and healthy diet.

Finally, you should not rely on artificial sweeteners and should not avoid eating items that contain natural sugar in the mistaken belief that artificial sweeteners will fix all of your issues.