Eating for Health Can you spot the artificial sweeteners in your food?

Published on May 19th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe


Can you spot the artificial sweeteners in your food?

Can you spot the artificial sweeteners in your food?

Avoiding artificial sweeteners is tougher than it sounds. Chemical sugar substitutes go by many names, and they can hide in surprising places.

Artificial sweeteners can be a tempting way to cut calories, but there’s some evidence that they actually contribute to obesity rather than help us lose weight. There is also a lot of debate about whether or not these white powders harm our health in other ways. If you’re a fan of the precautionary principle you’re best off getting your sweet fix from plain old sugar or from whole fruits.

Diet soda isn’t the only product where you’ll find artificial sweeteners. They also hide in foods like:

  • gum
  • ice cream
  • cereal
  • yogurt
  • packaged granola bars

The best way to avoid these additives is to avoid packaged food or carefully read the label for artificial sweeteners. The trouble is that there are some less common names that you need to look out for. Check out our list of less common names for artificial sweeteners below.

Spot the Artificial Sweeteners

If you’re trying to avoid artificial sweeteners you know to look for names like Equal, Splenda, or aspartame. But they can also go by monikers that aren’t so well-known. Below are some other artificial sweetener names to keep a lookout for on food labels. How many of these were new to you?

  • acesulfame potassium
  • alitame
  • Aminosweet
  • cyclamate
  • Dulcin
  • Glucin
  • kaltame
  • mogrosides
  • neohesperidin dihydrochalcone
  • neotame
  • Nutrinova
  • saccharin
  • Sweetmyx
  • sucralose

Have you run across any other lesser-known names for artificial sweeteners? Share them with us in the comments!

Image Credit: Soda photo via Shutterstock

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

6 Responses to Can you spot the artificial sweeteners in your food?

  1. Excellent article Becky, I think that the headline describes perfectly the root of the problem. Spotting artificial sweetener in food is tougher that it sounds. However, for the solution, I’m afraid that we have to go even deeper. The fact is that even if consumers knew all the bad chemicals, which is not the case, it is still very difficult to spot those ingredients. For instance, in Europe, products containing Aspartame are allowed to use the E number E951 instead of the name.
    For this reason, we decided to create a project to spot all these bad apples. We are just starting with a SweetDB and we can say that is not an easy task. Just for aspartame alone, there are about 6000 products with Aspartame as ingredient!

  2. Pingback: Eat Drink Better | Healthy recipes, good food: sustainable eats for a healthy lifestyle!

  3. Mike Jones says:

    It’s better satisfy sweet cravings with fruit, and it’s a far better option than a calorie-free sweetener, its common knowledge that regular fruit eaters weigh less, even more so than veggie eaters, and wlan repeater artificial sweeteners actually increase cravings!

  4. Pfaff says:

    The topic of sugar substitutes can be confusing, your list is quite accurate, I really do prefer going not sugar at all, honey or the real sugar than sweeteners, but sometimes we are not even aware! Nähmaschinen Thanks for sharing!

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