Gum, soda, and candy are just a few of the numerous items sweetened synthetically. Aspartame, a common artificial sweetener, can be found in more than 6,000 consumer packaged products, including many pharmaceuticals.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers aspartame safe, some scientists are concerned. Two recent trials linked long-term aspartame consumption with increased cancer risk in rats. While human studies remain inconclusive, experts suggest it may be wise for children and pregnant women to avoid products that contain this artificial sweetener.
For a sweet treat without added sugar or a chemical aftertaste, look for fresh and dried fruits and natural applesauce—cinnamon optional.