Sucralose vs. aspartame: What is the difference?

Sucralose and aspartame are different low- and no-calorie sugar substitutes. Each has its own unique taste. Both are several hundred times sweeter than sugar. So compared to sugar, only a little is needed for the same sweet taste. Here are some differences between the two:




Brand Names

Nutrasweet®, Equal®



1 teaspoon = 16 calories*

0 calories


200x sweeter than sugar

600x sweeter than sugar

Can be used for baking or cooking

No (loses its sweetness when heated)



Both are used in many foods and drinks to give you great-tasting options with fewer or no calories. This means they can help you manage your calorie intake. The key to managing your weight, however, is a balanced lifestyle. This includes eating a variety of food and beverages in moderation.

If you have questions about your diet, please speak to your doctor.

*While sugar also has 16 calories per teaspoon, you don't need as much aspartame to get the same sweet taste you love.


Is there a difference between aspartame and sucralose safety?

Both have been thoroughly tested in scientific studies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed they are safe. The FDA has also set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) level for each. This is how much you can safely have each day, according to the FDA's guidelines. See below:

  • Aspartame: The FDA has set the ADI for Aspartame at 50 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight
  • Sucralose: The FDA has set the ADI for Sucralose at 5 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight 

If you have the rare hereditary disorder phenylketonuria (PKU), you should strictly limit your intake of phenylalanine. This is a common amino acid found in aspartame. If we use aspartame, we say on our bottles and cans that there is phenylalanine so please check closely.

Have questions about PKU or your diet? Please talk to your doctor.

There is phenylalanine in Diet Coke. There is also phenylalanine in Coke Zero Sugar. If you have the rare hereditary disorder PKU, you should strictly limit your intake of phenylalanine.

How are sucralose and aspartame made?

Sucralose is made from sugar, but the final ingredient is different. It has a sweet taste but without the calories.

Aspartame is made from two amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine. These are found naturally in many foods. They are building blocks of protein.


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