4 Healthy Foods You Don’t Expect to Contain Aspartame and Artificial Sweeteners (2023 Update)

Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Alumni: University of British Columbia

Last Updated on:

Many of us have the best of intentions when it comes to eating well. Since the WHO July 2023 announcement, we have received numerous requests on what healthy packaged foods contain aspartame and/or artificial sweeteners. Hence, we went exploring down the grocery aisle, and here’s what we found:

Surprising healthy foods with artificial sweeteners and aspartame

Four Surprises: “Healthy” Foods with Artificial Sweeteners

1. Breakfast cereal

Having breakfast certainly sets you up right for the rest of the day, but some low-sugar breakfast cereals contain artificial sweeteners. For example, FiberOne contains sucralose, while HyVee Fiber Active Bran cereals contains aspartame (We see this particular ingredient list in other products such as Publix Fiber Active as well as Best Choice Fiber Active cereals). Take away the aspartame, and the cereal looks pretty decent, high in fiber with whole grains and fortified vitamins/minerals.

Fiber Active cereal with aspartame
Fiber Active Bran cereal ingredient list

2. Yogurt

Zero sugar or low-sugar yogurts used to add sucralose in combination with acesulfame potassium for flavoring. The latest low-sugar flavored yogurt now uses stevia leaves, like Dannon’s Light and Fit line. It’s surprising to find Lucerne Light yogurt sweetened with aspartame. Certainly, your best bet when it comes to yogurt is to purchase plain unflavored yogurt, and sweeten it yourself with puree fruits.

The following yogurt contains aspartame:

  • Lucerne Light Non-Fat Yogurt, Black Cherry
  • Lucerne Light Non-Fat Yogurt, Vanilla
  • Lucerne Light Non-Fat Yogurt, Blueberry
Yogurt with aspartame Lucerne

3. Cottage Cheese

High in protein yet low in calories, cottage cheese is one of the go-to high-protein snack options for many. Half-cup serving provides a whopping 13 grams of protein while only a mere 110 calories. However, if we aren’t being diligent in checking labels and ingredients, we may choose products added with artificial sweeteners. For instance, this Axelrod Non-Fat Cottage Cheese with Pineapple contains aspartame.

Axelrod nonfat cottage cheese with aspartame
Axelrod cottage cheese ingredient list

4. Fiber Supplements

Natural fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts & seeds are certainly ideal fiber sources. For some population group, fiber supplements are needed. While Metamucil has been common household name for years, it’s a known fact that its powder products are sweetened by sweeteners. For instance, their Premium Blend Sugar-Free orange-flavored powder is sweetened with stevia. However, the 4-in-1 Metamucil (both orange-flavored and berry-flavored) are sweetened with acesulfame potassium and aspartame. If possible, choose their “No Added Sweeteners” version; it only has 3 ingredients – Psyllium husk, maltodextrin, citric acid.

Metamucil Berry-Flavored powder with aspartame
Metamucil 4-in-1 berry-flavored ingredient list

The Bottom Line

It pays to be a label reader! If you are interested in a product, spend a bit of time skimming the ingredient list, particularly if the product is of the “diet”, “light”, or “Sugar-Free” variety.


acesulfame potassium, artificial sweeteners, cereals with aspartame, cottage cheese, sucralose, sweeteners, yogurt with aspartame

Is Your Toddler at Risk for an Unhealthy Diet?

Foods That Help You Sleep Better

Leave a Comment

Like our content? Sign up and receive a free shopping guide and the first chapter of the GoUndiet Book via email!

Note: We DO NOT share your email with anyone!