Even with all the different fancy names for sugar, they're all more or less the same. Except HFCS, which should still be avoided like the plague.
Artificial sweetener: know the differences
With artificial sweeteners, things get a little more muddled, mostly because there are so many different FDA-approved types. Aspartame is the most common ingredient you'll find in sugar-free processed foods, like diet soda. It's also sold in little packets under the brand names Equal and NutraSweet, and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Dr. Kumar says that unlike other sweeteners, which generally just pass through your body, aspartame is metabolized into compounds found in natural food. It's considered safe in small amounts, except for people with phenylketonuria, a genetic disease.
Sucralose, also known as Splenda, passes through the body easily and does not build up in body fat. It's also 600 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way. Saccharin, or Sweet'N Low, is a little more controversial; saccharin was deemed unsafe after a study in 1978 found a connection between the sweetener and bladder cancer in rats. But subsequent studies have found no clear correlation between saccharin and cancer in humans, since we process it differently than rats do. Go figure. More recent research suggests it could even help inhibit cancer cell growth... wait, what? Even though the National Cancer Institute says it's safe for consumption, the 300-times-sweeter-than-sugar sweetener hasn't been as popular since the whole late-'70s debacle.