Ever since all the hype about sugar being bad for you and caused you to gain weight—a slew of artificial sweeteners have popped up like wild fire. Unfortunately—some may harbor worse effects than sugar.

Is sugar so bad anyway?

The sin of sugar is only the fact that it is bleached. Pure cane or brown sugar is actually safer than the artificial sweeteners out there and some have gotten some really negative press lately as more studies are done.

Aspartame: This is not a sweetener that comes straight that you can sprinkle on something. This is what they put in a lot of colas and drinks you buy and it has already been linked to serious stomach erosion and seizures as well as certain types of cancers.

Sweet and low: This is one of the oldest yet still used of the sugar free sweeteners—but it is on the lower end of the totem pole. This has caused cancer in lab rats and some symptoms similar to aspartame. The chemical composition is not that different.

Splenda: As far as taste is concerned—Splenda is one of the more popular baking and coffee sugar free sweeteners. It has also been cited for causing muscle spasms and cramps as well as being a migraine trigger. This happens when more than a moderate amount is used. Use this in moderation and not in excess and note any reactions.

Equal: This one came out not so long after Sweet and Low did. It had a less objectionable taste but it is as strong as Splenda so you need not use a lot. This can be used in coffee with one packet which gets you off the sugar craving easier. There are still chemicals in this one of course but there have not been any real reported reactions in people using it. Probably because you don’t use it for baking and it only takes one packet to do the trick so you use it in a limited scope.

Most of the popular sugar free sweeteners are very laden with chemicals and people report different results using them. However a tablespoon of sugar has maybe no more than 35 calories with no side effects. If you are diabetic—that is one thing and honey could be a substitute for sugar in this case if used wisely. And contrary to popular belief, you won’t become diabetic from using a moderate amount of sugar. So sugar seems to be the safer choice in its pure cane form.