6 Everyday Foods Containing Aspartame

Aspartame is low-calorie sweetener used in a variety of foods and drinks, from sweet treats to diet drinks. Even though aspartame is common in diet foods, it isn’t calorie free and has at least 3-4 calories per gram.

Sweets in a role

Artificial sweeteners only need to be used in small doses as it is nearly 200 times sweeter than natural sugar. It is easy to identify foods that contain aspartame as it is mentioned on the list of ingredients on the packaging.

Aspartame is approved for virtually all healthy adults, including patients with diabetes. Extra caution should be used by those with PKU (phenylketonuria). Any patient with PKU will find it difficult to metabolize components of aspartame, such as phenylalanine.

What foods (and drinks) contain aspartame?

1 – Beverages

Aspartame is a common ingredient in sugar-free and low-calorie drinks (juices, flavored milk, protein shakes, coffee flavorings, energy drinks, teas, and diet sodas). By replacing corn syrup and sugar with aspartame, it is possible to get the sweet taste without the extra calorie count.

This low-calorie sweetener has a taste very similar to sugar, which often means a diet soda tastes virtually the same, but has the lower calorie count. Aspartame is also identified on the ingredients list on consumer products.

2 – Condiments

Many of the reduced or light calorie choices of marinades, sauces, dressings, maple syrup, chocolate syrup, jam, jelly, fruit spreads; barbeque sauce and ketchup include a certain degree of aspartame. Sugar is usually replaced in condiments to help lower the calorie count, but still able to retain the sweet taste.

3 – Meal replacements

The advertised calorie and sugar count in meal replacements is usually low, but this is often achieved by replacing the sugar with aspartame. Virtually all of the weight loss bars and shakes that are marketed for the diet conscious person include aspartame to make it easier to reach the low calorie target. Try to avoid a high intake of aspartame or other artificial sweeteners as this has the potential to have a negative impact on the health.

4 – Snacks

Aspartame is liable to break down at a high temperature and isn’t heat stable. For this reason, aspartame is rarely used in foods cooked to a high temperature. This additive is common in reduced or low-carbohydrate foods like protein bars, granola bars, and cereals. Also, snack foods such as fruit cups, gelatin, pudding, and low-fat yogurt can include aspartame.

5 – Sweets

Candy, cakes, desserts, etc. that aren’t baked or heated often rely on aspartame as an alternative to natural sugar. Look at the ingredient list of products like chewing gum, hard candy, and frozen fruit pops. Sweet-tasting food like jellies, syrups, breath mints and other sugar-free items may also include aspartame.

Any of the desserts with sugar-free or low-sugar advertising are certain to include aspartame to help maintain the sweet taste of the item. Pies, cookies, sugar-free mousse, frozen ices, cartons of ice cream and ice cream toppings often include this low-calorie sweetener. Gelatin or pudding mixes with the sugar-free advertising often includes aspartame in them.

6 – Yogurt

Yogurt with a drinkable consistency or fat or sugar-free is in all likelihood going to include aspartame and low-fat milk. Alternatively, to avoid the aspartame content it might benefit to look at the unsweetened variety of yogurts.

Over-the-counter medication

Aspartame may feature in certain over-the-counter and prescription medications. Any relevant medication that does use this ingredient must clearly state the content includes phenylalanine.

Food products on the grocery shelves are constantly changing so it helps to access medication or food at regular intervals to determine whether or not aspartame is listed in the ingredients.


Artificial sweeteners offer consumers a variety of advantages which relate to physiological and psychological issues. Aspartame or similar sweeteners can help in the following circumstances: reduced risk of obesity, reduction of dental issues, management of diabetes, and weight management. Also, a low-calorie sweetener is certain to benefit those wishing to prioritize weight maintenance.

A variety of health concerns associated with aspartame have been reported, such as a higher risk of certain cancer, but these issues haven’t been validated. Provided the recommended intake is not exceeded, aspartame is regarded as safe to use by the American Cancer Society and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). An ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) for this artificial sweetener is 50 mg per kg.

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