The 5 Best Substitutes For Monk Fruit Sweetener
Have you ever tried Monk Fruit Sweetener? This natural sugar substitute is derived from the fruit of the monk fruit plant, and it has a delicious sweetness that can be used in a variety of recipes.
If youre looking for a way to cut back on sugar, or if youre simply curious about this unique sweetener, heres what you need to know about Monk Fruit Sweetener.
How do you cook with it? What are some good substitutes for it? Keep reading to find out all the answers to your questions.
What Is The Glycemic Index Number For Monk Fruit Zero
Monk fruit extract is rated a zero on the glycemic index and has zero calories and zero carbs so it wont spike blood sugar.
Studies done with diabetic mice showed that monk fruit extract may even reduce blood sugar levels. The mice had lower oxidative stress and blood sugar levels and increased levels of good cholesterol.
Potential Drawbacks Of Monk Fruit
Monk fruit usually has no side effects. Monk fruit is free from proteins and other sweetening substances it causes no adverse effects and is safe even for pregnant women and children. According to studies, monk fruit falls under GRAS- Generally considered safe.
Several trials were carried out on various animals to confirm their safety. One study involved giving the specimen more than the recommended medication dosage, but the sample showed no adverse effects.
In the year 2010, FDA approved and labelled monk fruit as safe. Not many studies support the administration of monk fruit to humans and all research circles around animals. But that does not denote that the monk fruit is harmful to human beings. Monk fruit has been famous as a medicine, and there are negligible reports of side effects. However, if you are allergic to the gourd family, you may experience some side effects. Though monk fruit does not have adverse effects, a product similar to monk fruit- stevia, has few side effects.
Even if there is no research supporting the adverse effects of monk fruit, be cautious before buying any monk fruit-based products, as these products may or may not contain preservatives that can trigger an allergic reaction. Otherwise, you do not need to worry about the monk fruit sweetener as it does not cause any allergies.
Don’t Miss: Does Crown Royal Have Sugar
Monk Fruit Helps Combat Swelling
Monk fruit contains mogrocides, and these compounds may have anti-inflammatory properties that protect the body from free radical damage . Inflammation has been shown to contribute to a wide variety of health issues, and thus, monk fruit may help ward off certain health concerns.
These anti-inflammatory effects may make monk fruit a healthier alternative to conventional, artificial sweeteners that have been shown to contribute to inflammation in the gut.
Are Monk Fruits And Monk Fruit Sweeteners Safe For Everyone To Eat
There are no known health effects of monk fruits and the resulting sweetener, even on pregnant women and children. It is generally thought to be safe by all and is approved by the FDA.
That being said, you should keep in mind that monk fruits are relatively new to the food market for the rest of the world, and so there is not really much research done on them yet.
Monk fruit is thought to have some health benefits though. For example, because its sweetener is calorie free, it could possibly have weight loss benefits if you replace your usual caloric sweetener choice with this.
As well as this, monk fruit is also thought to be anti-inflammatory and has been used to make soothing drinks to help the throat and phlegm build-up.
As with anything you consume, an allergy to monk fruit is possible. You should take extra care consuming anything that you have never tried before and be on the lookout for signs of an allergic reaction.
You should take even more care if you know you are allergic to anything in the gourd family such as squash, pumpkins, and others.
You May Like: What Can Cause False High Blood Sugar Readings
A Bit About Lakantos Classic Monkfruit : 1 Sugar Substitutes
The reason Lakantos Classic Monkfruit Sugar Substitutes can be substituted 1:1 in baking is because they are not straight monkfruit. Monkfruit by itself is potently sweet , even sweeter than stevia extract, but mixed with erythritol , you get an excellent, low-carb sweetener thats easy to bake with and doesnt spike your blood sugar.
How Does Monk Fruit Taste
The flavor of monk fruit is clean and sweet, but it does have a slight lingering aftertaste thats best with big flavors like ginger, citrus, dense chocolate or peanut.
Its a snap to stir crystallized monk fruit sugar into your coffee or lemonade, or to sprinkle it on top of yogurt or cereal. In sauces or salad dressings, the reduced volume of the sweetener isnt often an issue. It dissolves well and tricks the tongue well.
In addition to being sold as coffee packets and baking-size bags of ready-to-use sweetener, monk fruit is gaining prominence in packaged foods in health food stores and grocery chains nationwide. It gracefully lowers the calories of sodas and other sweet drinks. On the grocery shelf, fridge, and freezer, you can also find it in ice cream, packaged cookies, chocolate and candy and breakfast foods.
You May Like: How Does The Blood Sugar Patch Work
Can Monk Fruit And Other Lcss Cause Weight Gain
Many dieticians and weight loss experts recommend moderation in using LCSs. Studies show that using artificial sweeteners can actually increase cravings for sweets. This effect is related to how the brain processes pleasure derived from food, or “food reward.”
When the brain processes food reward, it takes into account satisfaction from calories, taste, and other factors. Because LCSs do not provide calories, scientists believe they may only partially activate the food reward response. In doing so, LCSs can actually increase appetite and cravings.
Aside from this effect on the brain’s circuitry, LCSs can make the desire for sweet foods more intense. As people draw more of their overall calories from processed foods, they come to expect and prefer excessively sweet flavors. As a result, they gravitate more toward processed foods. At the same time, they lose their taste for the more natural flavors of whole foods.
The effects of LCSs on overall health, thus, may not be entirely beneficial.
Monk Fruit Side Effects And Risks
Monk fruit can be a more natural sweetener option for individuals concerned with limiting their calorie intake. However, using monk fruit sweeteners can cause some side effects.
Studies of risks associated with monk fruit use, especially in humans, also remain limited. These limited investigations, again, suggest that consumers should exercise use of the sweetener cautiously.
You May Like: Why Is My Blood Sugar Always High In The Morning
Is Monk Fruit Extract Safe
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes monk fruit extract as generally safe There has been no research pointing to concern.
However, the research is in its infancy. Asians have used monk fruit for centuries, but monk fruit extract is relatively new. We dont know any long-term side effects yet.
In small amounts, this sweetener is probably fine. Nevertheless, I would be cautious of using it to replace sugar in the amount many Americans would.
I Tried Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener And This Is What I Thought Of It
Save for later!
Disclosure: Lakanto sent me their monkfruit sweeteners to try, free of charge, but all opinions are 100% my own. I may receive a small commission if you choose to choose to purchase any of their products through my link.
A couple weeks ago, I received the sweetest box ever in the mail Lakanto had sent me three of their best-selling monkfruit sweeteners to try and experiment with!
I had never tried monkfruit before, and was excited to give it a taste. I read nothing but rave reviews about it in the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook Groups, so I was curious to see what all the fuss was about.
Lakanto sent me 3 sweeteners:
If youve been making my recipes, you know xylitol has always been by sweetener of choice! My reasons for this are:
- xylitol measures almost 1:1 to regular sugar, making recipe conversion easier
- xylitol tastes the most like sugar, in my opinion
- xylitol has a bulky, granular consistency thats needed for the proper texture in most baked goods
However, xylitol has its downsides, too:
- xylitol can be fatal to dogs
- xylitol can cause digestive distress in some people
- xylitol is bulkier than regular sugar and takes longer to dissolve
- xylitol has a slight cooling effect, but no bitterness
- though low enough to work in THM recipes, xylitol still has one of the highest glycemic indexes of plan-approved low-carb sweeteners.
Also Check: Where To Buy Bulk Sugar For Bees
How To Use Monk Fruit Sweetener
Monk fruit sweeteners come in powder or liquid forms. If youre looking to swap out sugar for a more natural alternative, consider these uses:
- Add it to coffee and tea as a sweetener.
- Substitute it for sugar in baking.
- Sprinkle it on breakfast items like oatmeal or yogurt.
- Incorporate it into salad dressings.
- Whip it into frosting or a mousse.
The ultra-sweet flavor of monk fruit means a little bit goes a long way. And because each product is different, read the package instructions before adding it to your favorite recipes. It may not be a cup-for-cup equivalent to sugar.
Use monk fruit in moderation
Monk fruit extract isnt a miracle health booster, but its a good option when you really want something sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, monk fruit can help you enjoy sweet foods and drinks without sugar.
But dont go overboard, cautions Dr. Liberatore. Drink plenty of plain water or tea, and eat natural foods without an ultra-sweet taste. Over time, your taste buds adjust, and you may not need to use sweeteners as much.
Can Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women Consume Monk Fruit Sweeteners
YES. Although no published research has examined possible effects of monk fruit sweeteners on pregnant and lactating women, several studies in animals have demonstrated no adverse reproductive or developmental effects to a mother or offspring, even when animals were exposed to very high levels of monk fruit sweeteners every day over long periods of time.10 All women who are pregnant or nursing need the necessary nutrients and calories for their babys optimal growth and development, while taking care not to exceed their needs.
Also Check: How To Stop Binge Eating Sugar
The Form Of The Sweetener
Sweeteners come in many different forms. Different forms are suited for different uses. Lots of sweeteners are made to look like white sugar, seeing as they tend to be used as a white sugar replacement.
Monk fruit sweeteners are no different. You can buy granulated monk fruit sweetener that looks very similar to sugar.
Typically, to get it to look granulated manufacturers have to add in other ingredients such as maltodextrin or erythritol.
The same goes for the powdered form. Powder monk fruit sweeteners typically have other substances added to them in order to achieve this powdered look.
You can also get monk fruit sweeteners in liquid form. These tend to be totally natural without any additives, but may not be the best option if you want the sweetener for putting on dried cereal or fruit.
Some sweeteners come in tablet or capsule form too. We have not featured any of these on our list as we have found the other forms to be far better, however, these do still exist and may suit you if you are using them solely for hot beverages.
They ideally need a hot beverage rather than a cold one in order to dissolve thoroughly.
Consider what form suits you best and weigh up the pros and cons of each.
Mogroside V In Monk Fruit Has Antioxidant And Anti
The mogrosides, specically mogroside V, that is found in monk fruit, have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inammatory properties.
Lankato Monkfruit is grown in the pristine mountains of remote Guilin region of southern Chinaaway from the city.
Each fruit is pollinated, grown and harvested by hand, without pesticides, using the same traditional methods they have been using for centuries. Farmers use natural pest control, including bottle traps and netting, instead of pesticides. We support the local economy without interference, allowing family villages to exist as they have for centuriessome as long as 400 years.
- Farming is done the same way it has been for centuries
- Monk fruit is grown away from city pollution
- The fruit is planted, pollinated, and picked by hand
For a sustainable tradition of eld cycling, the farmers rotate crops every ve years. This has been proven to be the amount of time the soil yields the best fruit. After three years, trees are planted and grow alongside the monk fruit for the remaining two years. Then, the netting and poles for the monk fruit are removed and the trees continue to grow in to reforest the area.
You May Like: What Is The Danger Zone For High Blood Sugar
So How Does Monk Fruit Sweetener Compare To Sugar
Consuming too much added sugar can ruin your teeth, cause kidney stones, increase your risk of heart disease, harm your liver, and make you gain weight. Monk fruit sweetener has not been proven to do any of these things.
Monk fruits sweetness comes from chemicals called mogrosides, which the body processes differently from common sugars like sucrose and fructose.
Like Stevia, monk fruit is a calorie-free sweetener with a glycemic index of zero, says Glassman. That means it wont cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar compared to high GI foods, like white bread and soda.
Plus, monk fruit contains no carbs, while a tablespoon of sugar will serve you nearly 13 grams. Thats why people following low-carb eating plans like the ketogenic diet tend to opt for something like monk fruit.
What Can I Use If I Dont Have Brown Sugar
The easiest brown sugar substitute is, in fact, white sugar. Yes, simply swap in white sugar where a recipe calls for brown sugar. If you need one cup of brown sugar, use one cup of white sugar. According to the folks at Better Homes & Gardens, your recipe will still workthough it might not taste the same.
Read Also: How Much Sugar In Protein Bars
Are There Any Drawbacks To This Fruit
Along with the many benefits, there are some drawbacks too, which include:
Raw monk fruit is hard to find
Its almost impossible to find unless you live in a region in which its grown.
Some monk fruit sweeteners are processed
Monk fruit is often combined with other sweeteners, such as sugar and molasses, making them no longer calorie-free, Amaral said. It can also be combined with another popular sugar alcohol known as erythritol, which has been known to cause some people GI distress.
Sweetening food and drinks can encourage sugar cravings
There is some research that suggests that sweetened food and drinks can intensify sugar cravings.
Avoid if you have a gourd allergy
As mentioned earlier, monk fruit is closely related to cucumbers, which are a part of the gourd family. Your risk of a monk fruit allergy is higher if you are already allergic to other gourds like pumpkin, squash or melon.
Fresh Fruit Custard Tarts
Custard tarts are delicious. When you add a layer of fresh fruit right on top, it takes this pastry dish to a whole new level!
For me, its the ultimate comfort food!
In this dessert recipe, I used a mixture of powdered erythritol and monk fruit to sweeten the sugary crust and the creamy vanilla custard.
Also Check: Does Halo Ice Cream Have Sugar
No Effect On Blood Sugar
If you’re monitoring your blood sugar levels, consider choosing monk fruit as an alternative sweetener. Since monk fruit sweetener contains no calories or carbs, it will not raise blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that monk fruit extract may even reduce blood sugar levels in those with diabetes, but more research is needed.
Monk Fruit Sweetener: Good Or Bad
As people increasingly avoid sugar, alternative sweeteners have become more popular.
One popular sweetener is monk fruit sweetener, also called monk fruit extract.
Monk fruit sweetener has been around for decades but has recently grown in popularity since its become more readily available.
Its natural, contains zero calories and is 100250 times sweeter than sugar. It is also thought to have antioxidant properties.
This article tells you everything you need to know about monk fruit sweetener.
Also Check: What Is Lower Sugar Levels
What Is Monk Fruit Extract
Monk fruit extract is up to two hundred times sweeter than traditional sugar, and it is made by crushing and drying the seeds and skin into a fine, concentrated powder. Monk fruit extract has a sweet taste that far surpasses the taste of table sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Monk fruit extract obtains its sweet flavor from antioxidants in the fruit, called mogrosides. Monk fruit does not contain glucose or fructose, making it a popular sweetener for dieters and people with blood sugar regulation issues.
Nutritional Properties Of Monk Fruit
According to the USDA, 100g of monk fruit contains the following nutritional properties:
- Carbohydrate: 0 g
Monk fruit is a unique and natural sweetener substitute, and this is because the fruit primarily consists of few carbs if it blends with stevia. But dont be concerned! Your blood sugar levels will not be affected by the contents of one packet. In addition, mogroside, a sweetening ingredient in monk fruit, is an antioxidant that helps in blood glucose regulation.
Monk fruit sweetener contains almost zero calories. In addition, monk fruit sweetener has insufficient quantities of fructose, glucose, and other components, making it a non-nutritive sugar alternative. Although monk fruit includes vitamin C, products made from fruit extract have no minerals or vitamins.