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Updated February 15, 2014

Definition: Aspartame is a man-made sweetener that contains almost no calories and can be used in place of sugar. The number of calories in a food or beverage can be reduced by the use of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.

Aspartame is a compound of two amino acids -- aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Those who have a disease called phenylketonuria cannot metabolize phenylalanine normally and should avoid it.

A variety of beverages and other products containing aspartame in the place of sugar are available. It is best known as the brand name NutraSweet.

Common Misspellings: aspertame

Examples: Switching from a regular soda to iced tea sweetened with aspartame helped April cut 150 calories from her daily diet.

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