Monk Fruit Sweetener: Is This Sugar Alternative Better Than Stevia?
Paleo people and strict keto-ers alike praise monk fruit for being the superior sugar alternative. But is monk fruit sweetener better than stevia? In this article, we’re talking about what monk fruit is, the health benefits of monk fruit sweeteners, and monk fruit vs. stevia.
What is Monk Fruit?
Monk fruit is native to Southeast Asia. Also known as luo han guo, monk fruit got its name from Buddhist monks who were the first to cultivate the melon-like fruit in the 13th century. Traditional Chinese Medicine has recognized the health benefits of monk fruit for centuries, and recently U.S. diet culture has caught on.
Today, this popular natural sweetener is often found next to artificial sweeteners like splenda and stevia—but does it compare? Monk fruit extract can taste up to 250 times sweeter than standard table sugar, according to the FDA.
Health Benefits of Monk Fruit
Monk fruit is a small, green gourd with zero calories, zero cars, and zero sugar. Kind of unbelievable right? Monk fruit won’t raise blood sugar which means it’s a great sugar alternative for diabetics. With zero calories, monk fruit sweeteners are also fabulous options for people watching their weight. Unlike other artificial sweeteners, monk fruit has no known negative side effects. In fact, despite it being a non-nutritive sweetener, monk fruit still may have positive effects on our health.
A 2013 study found that the low-glycemic sweetener may help reduce oxidative stress. This is believed to be an antioxidant effect of the mogrosides (the compounds that make monk fruit so sweet!).
Where to find Monk Fruit
Monk fruit sweeteners are available in liquid, granule, and powder forms. Monk fruit can be added to drinks, baked dishes, and really whatever else your heart desires!
Monk Fruit Vs. Stevia
Stevia sweeteners also don’t have any calories and are a good option for those looking to lose weight. Most stevia sweeteners also don’t raise blood sugar levels. The problem with stevia is that they are often more expensive than other artificial sweeteners. It may also cause bloating, nausea, and gas.
Unfortunately, with the popularity stevia has gained in recent years, many stevia products are highly refined or blended with higher-calorie or higher-glycemic sweeteners.
When looking to purchase monk fruit or stevia, weigh these pros and cons. Always look for trustworthy brands as both have the potential to be mixed with other sweeteners.