Do you have a sweet tooth? If you do, you will relate to the problem of cutting down on sugar. Regardless of the diet followed, cutting down on sugar is the biggest challenge most people face.
Monk fruit extract is the answer to your problems. This extract is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar while having zero calories, sodium, and carbohydrates. With its antioxidant-based sweetness, monk fruit extract has nothing to do with natural sweeteners. Therefore, it is the ideal Low-Calorie Sweetener (LSC) to fright diabetes and obesity.
In a ketogenic diet, reaching the ketosis metabolic state is only possible if you remove processed snacks, starches, and sugar from your diet. Replacing heaps of sugar with a sprinkle of monk fruit extract will help you gain to reach your goal!
Let’s discover more about the composition and benefits of this wonderful alternative sweetener!
What is Monk Fruit?
Monk fruit, also called the swingle fruit or Luo Han Guo, is a green gourd-like fruit originally found in Southeast Asia, China, and Thailand.
The extract taken from the skin and seeds of the fruit is extremely sweet. It comes by crushing the seeds and the hide and collecting its juice that is later dried and concentrated into a sweet powder.
This powdered form of monk fruit extract comes with all the goodness of sugar but does not have the negatives. That is because the fruit is rich in all-natural sugars such as glucose and fructose. However, monk fruit extracts its sweetness from mogrosides antioxidants instead of natural sugars that are not even a part of the sweetener powder extract.
Owing to the 150-200 times sweetness of monk sweet extracts, manufacturers might include natural elements such as insulin to curb the sweetness.
Monk Fruit: How it Came to Be
Monk fruit was first found in the remote Chinese highlands about a thousand years ago and quickly got prized for its sweetness. It is a small green gourd first cultivated by the Luo Han monks, and that is how it gets its name, Luo Han Guo.
The fruit's thin yet hard skin is generally covered with fine hair; under it lies the extremely sweet pulp.
For centuries, monk fruit has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. In fact, Eastern medicine regards it as the highest healing herb. It is also known as The Immortal's Fruit because it can save people from deadly diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
While the Buddha fruit was originally found in China, you can also find it in other tropical Asian countries such as Thailand.
Monk Fruit Extract for Keto
For anyone on a keto diet, reducing calorie intake and curbing overall sugar intake is paramount. Therefore, since monk fruit's sweetness comes from an antioxidant and not natural sweeteners, it is ideal for the keto diet. In fact, the combination of allulose and erythritol along with the zero-carb composition is ideal for a keto-friendly diet.
Here is a list of things you can use monk fruit extract with on keto:
- Coffee or tea
- As a substitute for baking sugar
- Homemade soda
Owing to its extra high sweetness, you only have to sprinkle monk fruit extract into your food and beverages to replace a spoonful of sugar and honey.
Benefits of Monk Fruit Sweetener
As a sweetener with a 30% mogroside V composition, monk fruit extract has too many health benefits to ignore. Let us look at some of them here!
Excellent Choice for Diet-Conscious People
Have you been wondering if monk fruit extract is ideal for keto? The answer is YES!
Cutting down on calorie intake is the foremost thing most diet-conscious people focus on, which comes hand-in-hand with monk fruit extract.
Replacing low-calorie sweeteners with traditional ones is also ideal for losing weight. In fact, with curbed calorie intake, you can lose up to 1 kg weight in a week.
Natural and Safe
The best thing about monk fruit extract is that it comes from a natural and safe source.
The foremost reason for its popularity is that it has an anti-emission extraction process. Therefore, not only it helps protect your body, but it also does not cause any harm to the environment.
Replacing artificial sweeteners with natural low-calorie ones such a monk fruit extract is the best way to treat your body.
Great for Blood Sugar Levels
Studies suggest that consuming monk fruit extract not only curbs traditional sweeteners' harms but even reduces blood sugar levels. That is mostly because monk fruit derives its sweetness from the mogroside, stimulating the brain to produce more insulin in the body.
With controlled blood sugar levels, your body naturally fights against diseases quicker. Moreover, it leads to an overall healthier lifestyle by reducing the risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes.
Other Health Benefits
Did you think the benefits of monk fruit were only limited to counteracting the negatives of sweeteners? That is not true! Here are some other health benefits associated with monk fruit.
- Anti-cancer: Monk fruit extract is known to slow cancer cell growth and leukemia cell growth in particular.
- Antioxidants: Since monk fruit is 30% made of mogroside V, the effects are obvious. It prevents DNA damage and slows the growth of harmful molecules.
- Fights infections and allergies: Monk fruit extract is known for fighting infections and allergies healthily. In fact, owing to its pure composition, it is hardly going to affect people suffering from major allergies.
Potential Side Effects of Monk Fruit Extract
While monk fruit is associated with some exemplary benefits, it links with some side effects such as:
- Allergies: Even though monk fruit allergies are rare, they can happen. As a member of the Curcurbitaceae family, monk fruit allergy can cause hives, rash, wheezing, dizziness, and stomach pain.
- Ferments quickly: Fresh monk fruit outside of home-countries might be difficult to find because they get rancid and ferment quickly after harvest. However, you can use dried monk fruit if you can find some in Asian stores.
- Peculiar aftertaste: Many people complain about the peculiar aftertaste that monk fruit extract leaves.
Monk Fruit Vs. Other Sweeteners
Monk fruit is one of the best low-calorie sweeteners out there. However, it is 'one of the best,' and not 'the best.' Let us look at some of the other top LCSs in this section.
Derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Stevia is a natural sweetener that contains negligible carbs and calories. Much like monk fruit, Stevia is also known for reducing blood sugar levels, leading to a holistic health approach.
Stevia is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, leading to very careful administration of food.
Regardless of the multiple benefits and widespread use of the sweetener, FDA has not yet approved Stevia as GRAS. It mentions that products marketed as Stevia are not it; it is the purified Reb-A extract safe to consume.
- Low calories - an ideal or weight loss
- Reduces blood sugar levels
- Available in several forms such as granule, powder, and liquid
- It might cause side effects such as nausea, bloating, and gas.
Instead of being a sweetener, erythritol is a sugar alcohol that stimulates the sweet receptors on your tongue to mimic the taste of sugar. Therefore, even after consisting of only 0.2 calories per gram, it can achieve an about 80% of the taste.
Erythritol is known for controlling blood sugar levels and is beneficial in losing weight.
- Only mimics the taste of sugar
- Low calories
- Helps control blood sugar
- Does not lead to digestive issues
- Food can get a gritty texture
Just like the aforementioned, Xylitol is also sugar alcohol. However, instead of mimicking sweetness, it does have some sugar extracts in it. However, considering how sweet it is, four grams of carbs per teaspoon and three calories per gram is too little.
Xylitol is generally found in candies, mints, and sugar-free gum. Moreover, you can easily add it to shakes, tea, and coffee.
- Ideal for a sweet yet low-carb beverage
- Exchangeable with sugar on a 1:1 ratio
- Blends into beverages and food very easily
- High dosage can lead to digestive problems
Originating in South America, the Yacon syrup is extracted from the Yacon plant's roots. This syrup is rich in fructose, glucose, sucrose, and fructooligosaccharides.
With only one-third of the sugar and 20 calories per tablespoon, this is not an extreme LCS like monk fruit but cuts down on calories nonetheless.
Yacon syrup is the ideal LCS for salad dressings, coffee, and tea.
- Consists of natural sweeteners that do not get absorbed by the body
- Balances blood sugar levels
- Low calories but not extremely low for a drastic physical change
- Equal sweetness as cane juice, corn syrup, and other liquid sweeteners
- Not found easily
Is Monk Fruit an Excellent Sweetener? Yes, It Is!
If we learned one thing from this article, that is how excellent monk fruit extract is for keto and other diets. This natural and safe sweetener has zero calories and aids in weight loss and obesity control like a miracle.
Monk fruit extract is very difficult and expensive to find.
Therefore, we suggest that you not miss the chance to buy and consume it if you can find it. After all, the FDA has not approved any other LCS as drastic as monk fruit.
Yes, monk fruit is low on carbs and has zero calories. Therefore, it will help you maintain the ketonic state without missing out on your craving for sweets.
Monk fruit extract will not cause any troubles or interruptions in your keto diet. Therefore, even if you consume a keto-friendly sweet smoothie with monk fruit extract in it, your diet will stay intact.
Yes, monk fruit sweeteners are available in keto powder forms. Many companies specializing in keto diet supplements produce powders with monk fruit that you can add to your food.
Yes, both Stevia and monk fruit are keto-friendly. Therefore, you can use them with water on a keto diet and not worry about breaking your ketosis state. Moreover, consuming them with water will help you fight bloat and will make you feel fuller.