Low-Calorie and No-Calorie Sweeteners Currently on the Market
Brand names: Equal, NutraSweet
160 to 220 times sweeter than sugar (sucrose)
Several animal studies have suggested that aspartame, a combination of two amino acids and methanol, might cause cancer, but human research conducted by the National Cancer Institute and reported in 2006 showed no such harm; the Food and Drug Administration considers it safe, though some people (like me) may get headaches if they consume too much. NutraSweet Co. also makes the hyper-sweet neotame (it's 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar), which can be used in baked goods and other products. Some people are born with a condition that makes them sensitive to aspartame.
Brand name: Sweet 'N Low
200-700 times sweeter than sugar
Lots of back-and-forth research as to whether saccharin causes cancer; the FDA actually proposed removing it from the market in 1977, but it soon returned, with a warning notice. That notice was axed in 2000; the Center for Science in the Public Interest still recommends against its use.