Benefits Of Monk Fruit Sweetener For Diabetics
Diabetics need to control their blood sugar level in a normal range otherwise their complications may worsen.
For this explanation, the usage of manufactured sweeteners is their only escape from the sugarless life. Following are some ways how monk fruit sweetener benefits diabetics.
Use In Cooking And Baking
Because many sugar substitutes are much sweeter than sugar, it takes a smaller amount to achieve the desired sweetness. Therefore, when cooking or baking, your recipe may need to be adjusted if you’re swapping white table sugar for a sweeter alternative.
While the sweetener package may have specific instructions for cooking and baking, this may come down to trial and error , or you can search for specific recipes that use sugar substitutes or natural sweeteners in place of white sugar.
A few other things to be aware of when cooking and baking with alternative sweeteners:
- Your baked goods may be lighter in color as natural sugar browns more deeply when baked and artificial sweeteners don’t brown as nicely.
- Cooking time may need to be adjusted.
- There may be a texture or aftertaste you’re not used to.
- The volume of cakes or cookies may be slightly decreased as you’re using much less sweetener.
Tolerate Better Than Sugar Alcohols
Monk fruit extract may be better tolerated than sugar alcohols, which are often used as a non-nutritive sweetener. Sugar alcohols, such as erythritol, xylitol, and sorbitol, are absorbed in about 50% of the rate of sugar. The unabsorbed sugar alcohols tend to cause diarrhea and other stomach upset if consumed in high amounts.
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Soft Drinks Are High In Sugar
Sweetened drinks are heavily advertised, cheap and commonly available. In Australia, the consumption of soft drinks, which are sweetened with sugar, has increased by 30 per cent in 10 years.The standard serving size for soft drink has also increased. Ten years ago, soft drink was available in 375 ml cans. Soft drinks are now commonly sold in 600 ml bottles, which provide up to 16 teaspoons of sugar.For an average 14 year old girl, a 600 ml bottle of soft drink alone will provide more than 12 per cent of her daily energy needs. This means she would exceed the recommended energy intake from refined sugar with just one drink.Studies of children in the United States found that drinking more sweetened soft drink was linked to increasing overweight and obesity. Its best to keep these drinks to a minimum.
Monk Fruit For Oxidative Stress
Monk fruit seems to reduce oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals wreak havoc on molecules in the body, damaging DNA and increasing the risk for chronic disease.
Free radicals are oxygen reactive species that naturally want one more electron. Sometimes, free radicals take electrons from vulnerable molecules and cause a chain reaction called oxidation. This may be harmful to your health, in which case we call it oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is one thing that causes the body to age. Some oxidative stress is normal in every human body, but excessive oxidative stress is problematic.
Antioxidants are molecules that naturally have an electron to donate to the free radicals without any adverse effect. This neutralizes free radicals and prevents oxidative stress.
According to recent research, monk fruit is an antioxidant, capable of preventing oxidative stress.
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What About Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols are naturally found in plants and berries. The types most often used in the food industry are synthetically created. You can find them in food products that are labeled as sugar-free or no sugar added.
Labels such as this are misleading because sugar alcohols are still carbohydrates. They can still raise your blood sugar, but not as much as regular sugar.
Common FDA-approved sugar alcohols are:
Can Monk Fruit Sweeteners Make Me Hungrier
Highly palatable foods activate brain regions of reward and pleasure. This positive association has been hypothesized to enhance appetite, and if left unchecked, the resulting increase in food intake may contribute to overweight and obesity.57 Low-calorie sweeteners can also lead to a stimulation of reward pathways by activating sweet taste receptors, but they are not a source of calories.
Some have expressed concern that activating reward pathways without delivering calories to the body may have unintended consequences but more research is needed to support this hypothesis. Some animal studies have demonstrated changes in food intake and appetite-related hormones after consuming low-calorie sweeteners.35,54 However, other animal studies show that pathways involved in sugar digestion and preference for sugar are not activated by low-calorie sweeteners.58,59
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Monk Fruit Sweeteners And Type 2 Diabetes
Monk Fruit, also known as lo han guo, is one of the most popular and most used sweeteners recently. Sweeteners, as we have mentioned before, are chemicals that add a sweet taste to food and beverages. They are classified as nutritious and nonnutritious, the latters nutritional content has little or no effect on blood glucose levels for people living with diabetes.
Monk fruit is currently used more frequently for the preparation of desserts for people who follow a keto diet or people living with diabetes who seek foods and preparations that are low in carbohydrates.
Monk fruit originated in China and Indonesia. It is one of the seven species belonging to the Siraitia genus. Out of these seven species, the Siraitia grosvenorii fruit, is what we know as Monk fruit.
The Initial Causes Monk Fruit Recipes For Diabetics
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition in many people. This type is caused by a lack of insulin and is a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. The bodys inability to process glucose from the blood can damage many parts of the body, including the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid diabetes. Here are five tips to help you lower your risk: Eat more vegetables and fruits, get regular exercise, and avoid smoking.
High levels of triglycerides in the blood are another factor that can cause diabetes. These triglycerides are caused by a buildup of cholesterol in the blood. A high triglyceride level causes the body to misrepresent insulin as a molecule, which causes glucose to build up in the blood. A simple blood glucose test can confirm your diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. By following these tips, you can begin living a healthy life and avoid the complications of diabetes.
A person with type 2 diabetes must consume less sugar. Glucose causes thirst and dehydration because the body releases energy stores into the bloodstream instead of using insulin. If untreated, diabetes can lead to weight loss and diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition whereby the cells are deprived of energy. To prevent the condition, you must make sure that your diet is low in glycemic load and that you exercise regularly.
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Sweet Without Sugar: Monk Fruit And Stevia
When you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar levels within a safe range is important. And it fluctuates throughout the day. Its one reason many people with diabetes check glucose levels several times a day.
If theres a problem, the right food or additional insulin can help return glucose levels closer to normal. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar typically ranges between 70-130 throughout the day, and slightly higher after eating.
And for that to happen, most people with diabetes should avoid eating sweet treats and sugary foods high in calories and carbohydrates. Candy bars, soda, desserts, might sound good. But they can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels that can damage organs, nerves, vision, and cause other problems.
Do you have to find a way to give up your sweet tooth to manage diabetes? No. Youll want to avoid sugary foods and drinks. But there are alternative sweeteners that wont negatively impact blood sugar levels. Learn more about sugar alternatives, like stevia and monk fruit sweetener, that are good for diabetics.
Can You Use Monk Fruit Sweetener In The Kitchen
You can, but you might not be happy with the results.
Monk fruit extract is so much sweeter than sugar that its difficult to figure out the right amount to use. It also doesnt add any of the bulk or texture that sugar provides, a particularly thorny problem when baking. You can add the extract to sauces, dressings or marinades, but you may have trouble if you want to go any further.
If you plan to use monk fruit sweetener in recipes, be prepared for a lot of failed attempts before you figure it out or better yet, use recipes specifically created for monk fruit use.
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Health Benefits Of Monk Fruit
Monk fruit hasnt been widely researched, but what we do know seems promising.
For one, if youre looking for sweetness without the glycemic overload , monk fruit really is your best bet. As Dr. Best notes, Monk fruit can benefit anyone wanting a low calorie sweetener with added benefits especially those who would otherwise use table sugar to get the sweetness they desire.
Beyond scoring a diabetic-friendly zero on the GI scale, it offers an antioxidant boostand thats a good thing. Antioxidants help our bodies fight against free radicals, which are found in environmental toxins, smoke, and sun rays, and can harm our cells through a process called oxidation. For this reason, Dr. Best says, adding monk fruit sweetener can help prevent cancer from damaged cell replication, bring balance to blood glucose, and is naturally anti-inflammatory. This is important to note because other sweeteners, such as aspartame, which also happens to rate zero on the GI scale, may actually trigger an inflammatory reaction within the body.
Because monk fruit is an antioxidant, many people call it a longevity fruit, according to Lisa Richards, RD. Being both a calorie-free sweetener and an antioxidant makes monk fruit something of a superfood!
When it comes to weight management an important focus especially for diabetics, who tend to also have obesity or weight management issues bringing monk fruit into the kitchen is a great place to start.
Is Natural Sugar Better Than Processed Sugar
Natural sources of sugar are digested slower and help you feel full for longer. Refined sugar, or sucrose, comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, which are processed to extract the sugar. Food manufacturers then add the chemically produced sugar, typically high-fructose corn syrup, to many packaged foods.
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What Are Some Other Sweet Options
Monk fruit extract is another alternative that is gaining popularity. But no processed sweetener can beat using fresh whole fruit to sweeten foods.
Another excellent option is date sugar, made of whole dates that are dried and ground. It doesnt provide fewer calories, but date sugar is made of the whole fruit with the fiber still intact.
You can also subtract fiber from total grams of carbohydrates, if you count carbs for meal planning. This will give you net carbs consumed. The more fibrous a food, the lower impact it will have on your blood sugar.
Monk Fruit For Dietary Needs
Monk fruit sugar has been given the stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration , and given the title of Generally Recognized as Safe .
âBecause monk fruit sugar doesnât change your blood sugar levels, that makes it a safe option for people with diabetes. Itâs also often used as a sugar substitute in keto diets.
Monk fruit sugar has been approved for general use in the U.S., so children and pregnant people can enjoy it as well. However, thereâs a lack of research in these specific areas. Use it sparingly, as you would with other sweeteners. Make sure to talk to your doctor before using this sugar substitute or any others if you have a medical condition.
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Pay Attention To Portion Sizes
If youre counting carbs to manage your diabetes, or youre trying to follow a lower carb diet, its important to keep your portion sizes of all fruits on the small side and try to choose the best types of dried fruits for diabetics. According to the American Diabetes Association, a serving or portion of fruit has about 15 grams of carbohydrate. A typical serving is one small piece or about one-half cup of whole, fresh fruit. The portion sizes of dried fruits, however, are much smaller because of their more concentrated fruit sugar.
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Monk Fruit Sweetener Side Effectsmonk Fruit Extract Side Effects
Monk fruit side effects, While monk fruit sweetener or monk fruit sugar allergies are uncommon, there is a chance of an allergic reaction to any food you eat. Monk fruit is a member of the Curcurbitaceae family , which includes pumpkin, squash, cucumbers, and melons. Monk fruit allergy can be more severe if you have allergies to other gourds. You may experience an allergic reaction if you are allergic to:
But, Monk fruit sweeteners are generally considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Monk fruit sweeteners are not known to cause any side effects.
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Sweeteners Diabetics Should Avoid
Not all natural sweeteners are safe alternatives for people with diabetes. For example, while agave has a low glycemic index , it has more calories than granulated sugar and higher fructose content. Fructose can cause the body to produce less insulin and put more strain on the liver as it breaks down the sugars.
In short, the side effects or effects of an alternative sweetener on insulin resistance may outweigh the benefits. Be careful when consuming artificial sweeteners and even more natural ones such as maple syrup, corn syrup and xylitol.
Higher Blood Sugar And Overeating
Pure monk fruit extract has zero calories and does not raise blood sugar.
This graph from Lakanto, a major Japanese supplier of the sweetener, shows how their extract has a glycemic index and glycemic load of zero.
Then how can it cause your blood sugar to go up?
Not directly, but indirectly.
In 2017, the National University of Singapore published a study titled:
Effects of aspartame, monk fruit, stevia and sucrose-sweetened beverages on postprandial glucose, insulin and energy intake.
In the study, 30 healthy men used these sweeteners on different days.
They ate a consistent and controlled breakfast in the morning, followed by a beverage sweetened with one of the aforementioned sweeteners mid-morning.
Then at lunch, they were free to eat whatever they wanted.
Surprisingly, regardless of whether participants used regular table sugar or non-glycemic sweeteners , their average blood sugar levels over a 24 hour period were nearly identical.
Did drinking a stevia or monk fruit sweetened beverage cause a spike?
The lower lines represent beverages sweetened with monk fruit, stevia, and aspartame . You can see how their blood sugar stayed the same or lower.
The high line plots what happened when the same people drank the sucrose sweetened beverage. The level spiked big time during the 60 minutes or so afterward.
Now look what happened after they ate lunch
Those who drank the non-caloric and zero-glycemic sweeteners in the morning experienced higher blood sugar after lunch.
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How Is Monk Fruit Able To Provide Zero
Monk fruit contains natural sugar. Both fructose and glucose are found in this small Asian fruit.
However, monk fruit doesnt owe its sweet taste to fructose and glucose. Most of its sweetness comes from compounds called mogrosides. A mogroside is an antioxidant. Its made up of a structure called a mogrol thats attached to glucose units or glycosides.
During processing, the mogrosides are separated from the rest of the monk fruit juice, and they ultimately serve as the basis for the sweetener. Since monk fruit sweetener is made with isolated mogrosides, its free of the fructose and glucose that are found in pure monk fruit juice.
So, what is monk fruit able to deliver when it comes to sweetness? A monk fruit sweetener can be anywhere from 100-250 times sweeter than table sugar or granulated sugar. Its sweetness will depend on the concentration of mogrosides found in the extract.
As weve mentioned, monk fruit sweeteners are calorie-free. How is monk fruit extract able to provide this sweetness with zero calories? The zero-calorie property of this natural sweetener has everything to do with the mogrosides it contains. Mogrosides arent absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract as a result, they dont deliver any calories to the body. Therefore, monk fruit benefits those seeking a low-calorie sugar alternative.
Can Monk Fruit Help You Lose Weight
Eating less sugar could help you shed pounds if you combine it with other weight loss measures. Sugar is a source of empty calories, which are calories without nutritional benefit, says Dr. Liberatore. Replacing sugar with monk fruit is a good way to cut those empty calories.
But sugar alternatives are not the fast track to weight loss. In fact, some studies have found that artificial sweeteners can contribute to weight gain by building sugar craving and dependence.
Focus on your overall diet if you want to cut calories or lose weight, says Dr. Liberatore. Dont rely on a sweetener alone to improve your health or help with weight loss.
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Its important to maintain a healthy body weight. You should also make sure that you drink plenty of water, and limit your intake of sugary drinks. In addition, make sure that you get regular exercise. You should also avoid alcoholic beverages. Lastly, you should avoid alcohol. These beverages contain high amounts of sugar. If you dont drink enough, youre not doing anything to prevent diabetes. Besides, drinking alcohol can be harmful to your health.
The most important thing to do is to follow the recommended diet. Eat more healthy foods that have low amounts of fat and high amounts of fiber. The best way to lose weight is to lose 7 percent of your body weight. If youre overweight, you should try to lose 14 pounds to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, you should not attempt to lose weight while pregnant. Talk to your doctor about what kind of weight is safe for you.
Besides high blood glucose, diabetes can also affect the nerves and skin. It may affect your sexual response and your nervous system. It can also affect your fertility. Women with diabetes are more likely to miscarry or have a baby with a birth defect. It can cause a person to have difficulty hearing and sleep. If the condition is left untreated, it can lead to type 1 diabetes and can even lead to amputation.