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Difference Between Sugar and Sweetener

sugarSugar vs. Sweetener

Sugar is the term by which easily metabolized carbohydrates are known. The various kinds of sugar are known as sucrose or sachharose (household sugar), lactose (milk sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), maltose (malt sugar) and glucose (dextrose). Sugar is an edible crystalline substance that is derived from sugarcane or sugar beet. Sweeteners are additives that are incorporated in foods for adding sweetness. In fact, sweeteners may be natural or artificial and are used as substitutes for sugar. Sugar forms the main ingredient in candies and when consumed in excessive quantities, it may lead to obesity, tooth decay and diabetes. Sweeteners are ingredients that are generally not approved by accreditation boards and states.

The European Union approves sweeteners like acesulfame K, cyclamate, aspartame, thaumatin, saccharin and neohesperidine. These are used as table top sweeteners and are generally free of calories. Sugar or its substitutes are not free of side effects, though. Sugar substitutes are also known as polyols. In intense sweeteners, there is practically no calorie content present. Sweeteners are free of calories and sugars have about 2.4 kilo calories of content present. Sweeteners are also often sweeter than sugar or sugar substitutes. Generally, polyols are not as sweet as ordinary sugar; sweeteners are intensely sweetening, sometimes going up to 450 times than that of sugar.

Sweeteners are not good for your teeth as they counter the acid forming bacteria inside the mouth which rejects them as nutrients. There are certain classes of ‘friendly’ sweeteners that sweeten your food, at the same time taking care of your dental well being. Sugar also has its potential disadvantages, one of them being its laxative effect which means that it should not be consumed excessively. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you need to cut down on your sugar intake, although sugar itself does not lead to diabetes. While your doctor may ask you to cut down on sugar, artificial sweeteners may help as they are low in calories.


1. Sugar refers to easily metabolized carbohydrate; sweetener is an additive that is added to foods for the sweetening effect
2. Sugar in all its forms does not require authentication; sweeteners need to be approved by an accreditation body or the EU
3. Sugar is caloric, while sweeteners can be caloric or non caloric in nature
4. Intensive sweeteners are prepared by synthetic procedure and provide little or no energy whatsoever; sugar substances eliminate the crucial minerals from your diet

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  1. In your first paragraph you state that “sugar…may lead to…diabetes.” In the last you state that “sugar itself does not lead to diabetes.” Can you clarify that for me?

    Thank you

    • It’s not the cause of diabetes but, if you have diabetes it’s not good for you

    • Sugar is not the cause of diabetes. Diabetes comes into play when the body lost the ability to process or metabolize sugar. The beta cell of Langerhans of the liver converts sugar I.e glucose to Glycogen but immediately this activity is impaired i.e the liver losing the ability to produce insulin, sugar that ought to be converted to glucose becomes stored up in the blood leading to hyperglycemia. Mind you, diabetes is not caused by the sugar but diabetes caused the excess storage of sugar in the blood.

  2. You said sugar does not lead diabetes, please can you let me know what causes diabetes. Thank you


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