Sugar Solutions: The Fight Between Real and Fake Sugar

I distinctly remember when I was a kid my mother told me never to use artificial sweeteners or aspartame as its also known and my first reaction was “Why?”. Aren’t aspartame and sugar the same thing? They taste the same and they have the same sweetening effect so what makes them different? Well for one aspartame is created by humans meaning it’s chemically engineered in a Equal lab somewhere in the world versus real sugar which is harvested directly from a natural source: Sugar Canes. One of the biggest discussions of our era is whether these artificial sweeteners actually cause/lead to health problems in the future.

An article written by The Mayo Clinic says otherwise, in the article they list some pros of aspartame like for example how it is actually sweeter than real sugar and contains little to no calories and some cons such as how a study conducted on labs rats showed that saccharin(a component of aspartame) lead to bladder cancer in rats. Yet even among those cons researchers have stated that there is no legitimate scientific evidence to prove that aspartame is actually harmful to the human body. Now while this isn’t a pass on aspartame(since there could be potentially long-term consequences) we can all rest a bit easier that after evidence-based research was done with the conclusion that aspartame is no more harmful to the body than sugar.


According to an article by The American Cancer Society aspartame is synthesized using two amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The article refers to aspartame as being about 200 times sweeter than sugar meaning simply that you would get more sugar with less calories, likewise the ACS has the duty to determine if this substance is a carcinogen or a cancer-causing agent and from multiple tests and studies performed both on animals and humans they have determined that there is no sign of increased cancer in those who use aspartame over sugar. At the same time aspartame was reported to cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and digestive problems but none of these have been scientifically linked to aspartame itself. So all in all we can conclude that aspartame is not really as harmful as people make it out to be and that the people telling you it is are probably relying solely on Hypothesis-Base Testing over Evidence-Base Testing.

5 thoughts on “Sugar Solutions: The Fight Between Real and Fake Sugar

  1. Samantha Liebensohn

    This post immediately popped out to me because my poppy is constantly going on tangents about all the different types of sugars and which ones are good for you. I personally usually use a Splenda in my coffee and call it a day. However, my mom always argues that plain regular sugar is better. I am actually going to show her this post that way we can come to a solid conclusion in my household. Although the chemically engineered sugars don’t directly cause cancer I wonder if they effect our bodies in other ways. Do they effect weight gain, weight loss, or energy levels? I’m definitely going to do some more research and try to find the answers to these questions.I found this article which actually says not to use aspartame which I thought was very interesting. In the article it goes into 5 sugars you should use and 5 you should not which was interesting to read about. Overall this was a very interesting blog post, good job!

  2. Julia R Martini

    I wrote a post about sugar and I think you’d definitely be interested in reading it! Sugars already in foods such as fruits could be good for people, in moderation, but factory made sugars that go in coffee are starting to be compared to tar. If you do read my post you’ll see how sugar is made out of some of the same chemicals found in cocaine, a highly addictive drug. Addictive and bad for the body is never a good combination. This is a fun and easy article to read to see just what sugar is doing to the body.

  3. Hannah Elizabeth Welty

    As I write this comment I am dipping my strawberries into some “Sugar In the Raw” yet another type of sugar that I am unsure of its status. It concerns me that the artificial sweetners have been associated with cancer, however here
    is another article outlining that artificial sweeters dont have a negative effect

  4. Erin Nicole Kemp

    Sugar is so important i our society honestly. My mom had the same worries as well about artificial sweeteners she wouldn’t buy fruit snacks or crystal light because she was afraid of the fake sweeteners. Unfortunately at this point in my life I am addicted to sugar and apparently I’m not alone according to this article by JJ Virgin I can feel when I lack sugar and its more so emotionally rather than physically which is weird. I have to get something sweet fast or my mood continues to decline and then the physical symptoms come.

  5. Madelyn Erin Peikin

    This post was very interesting because my mom has never allowed me to have foods or drinks with aspartame in them either. Every time I would try and buy something with aspartame in it, my mom would warn me against it and tell me it was bad for me. After reading this, I guess I should have always believed her. My favorite gum that I had at a friend’s house had aspartame in it and my mom never allowed me to buy it myself. Now I am glad I never did! Here is a picture of the gum I was never allowed to have.×180/537B87FA-EA9A-0FE0-4F2A-BC950F59FDB8-4166.jpeg

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