Sweeteners that are healthier than sugar include artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharine, as well as dietary supplements such as stevia. However, as WebMD indicates, sugar is not necessarily harmful, as long as it consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
According to WebMD, artificial sweeteners have been the subject of controversy with regard to possible health problems, but that the health effects of artificial sweeteners, while not definitively known, are not a likely cause for concern.
Stevia, which is not approved by the FDA as of 2015, is sold as a dietary supplement but used to sweeten food and drinks. WebMD indicates that its health effects are not fully known.
While sweeteners can be used to reduce calorie consumption, WebMD recommends avoiding over-consumption of artificial sweeteners, as too much intake may result in increased cravings for sugar. Also, while raw sugar is popularly considered to be healthier than refined sugar, Mother Jones points out that raw sugar actually contains the same number of calories per serving as refined sugar and provides no significant nutritional value.