In terms of nutritional value, sugar and corn syrup are roughly equal in that they have basically no nutritional value. High fructose corn syrup, however, has been found to be contaminated with mercury and should probably be avoided. Two sweeteners, black strap molasses and date sugar (just powdered whole dates), do actually have significant nutritional value. Most artificial sweeteners have been linked to health problems, at least in rare cases. Stevia appears to be harmless as long as you don’t consume too much.

Topic summary contributed by Denise.
To help out on the site, email

Watch videos about sweeteners

  • Are Fatty Foods Addictive?
    Are Fatty Foods Addictive?
    Those eating calorie-dense diets may have a reduced capacity to enjoy all of life’s pleasures by deadening dopamine pathways in the brain.
  • Are Sugary Foods Addictive?
    Are Sugary Foods Addictive?
    Evidence from PET scans suggests brain activity changes from the overconsumption of sugar may parallel that of drug addiction. Diminished “pleasure center” dopamine pathway sensitivity in obese...
  • Apple Juice May Be Worse Than Sugar Water
    Apple Juice May Be Worse Than Sugar Water
    Why the spike in antioxidant levels in our bloodstream after drinking apple juice might not be a good thing.
  • Flesh and Fructose
    Flesh and Fructose
    Meat and sugar increase uric acid levels, which are associated with increased risk of gout, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, prediabetes, diabetes, kidney disease and cardiovascular...
  • Unsweetening the Diet
    Unsweetening the Diet
    All sweeteners--natural and artificial, caloric and non-caloric—help maintain cravings for intensely sweet foods.
  • Neurobiology of Artificial Sweeteners
    Neurobiology of Artificial Sweeteners
    The disconnect between sweetness sensations coming from our tongue and the lack of a caloric feedback loop in the gut may result in overeating.
  • How Diet Soda Could Make Us Gain Weight
    How Diet Soda Could Make Us Gain Weight
    People consuming low calorie sweeteners may overcompensate by eating more than they otherwise would.
  • Erythritol May Be a Sweet Antioxidant
    Erythritol May Be a Sweet Antioxidant
    The natural sweetener erythritol does not appear to carry the adverse effects associated with other low and non-caloric natural and artificial sweeteners and may actually have antioxidant potential.
Page 1 of 212