Table of contents
- What is Monk Fruit?
- Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- Blood Glucose Management
- Final Thoughts
What is Monk Fruit?
Monk fruit is a subtropical melon that was discovered centuries ago and only found in a few parts of Asia since it needs a specialized environment to flourish.
In the past, it was generally used medicinally to address coughs, sore throats, and congestion. People in the West didn’t learn about it till the 20th century.
Why Monk Fruit is a Better Sugar Substitute.
Every detail about monk fruit that’s important to know – let’s see what we have. Monk fruit is:
- An excellent sweetener
- Low GI (safe for diabetics)
- Healthy sugar alternative
- Zero calorie
- Carbohydrate free
- Health Benefits
- No side effects, including GI distress
The Secret Behind Monk Fruit
Since its discovery, monk fruit has been shown to offer numerous therapeutic benefits. These advantages are fairly minor when compared to the hidden benefit of monk fruit. That is, monk fruit is approximated to be 200 times sweeter than conventional table sugar.
That is a highly advantageous quality, especially considering that 80% of Americans are attempting to reduce their sugar intake.
Why is this strange fruit so extraordinarily sweet? Simply put, mogrosides.
Mogrosides are organic compounds with glycosides, or clusters of glucose molecules, connected to one another and monk fruit is an excellent source of mogrosides. There are many kinds of mogroside; mogroside V, which is the dominant mogroside found in monk fruit, was found to be 250 times sweeter than glucose
As mogrosides enter the body, they bypass the gastrointestinal tract and proceed straight to the colon. Everything else is eliminated via blood or urine while glucose is utilized as a source of fuel for the brain or body. This is important since mogrosides don’t contribute any dietary calories.
Although they do provide a variety of medicinal advantages, the most intriguing aspect of mogrosides are their function as an all-natural sweetener.
Monk fruit is compressed to extract juice, which is then filtered to eliminate any additional sugars it contains. The remainder is then dried down to produce an extract that is pure monk fruit that only includes its highly concentrated mogroside sugars. This extract is what’s utilized as monk fruit sweetener. What makes monk fruit sweetener so special? Let’s discuss that next.
Monk Fruit vs. Other Sweeteners
There is an ongoing hunt for prospects due to the rising demand for sugar alternatives.
Using honey and maple syrup (molasses) as natural sugar alternatives has been a trend for quite some time. Artificial sweeteners with no calories have consistently been considered the most promising alternatives to conventional table sugar. As low-calorie sweeteners, sugar alcohols have gained traction in recent years. Yet, attention has shifted to all-natural sugar alternatives such as stevia and monk fruit extract.
Each have their pros and cons. That said, there are alternatives deserve their time to shine.
Generally speaking, it’s hard to understand the biggest advantages of monk fruit sweetener until you can compare it to the other possibilities. So, we will now establish and discuss some fundamental information regarding sweeteners as a reference point for future inquires.
At a young age we were told that eating too much sugar is unhealthy. We first learned about the risks associated with dental decay, then obesity. As adults, we are constantly bombarded with information regarding the connection between excess sugar intake and the heightened risk of developing chronic health diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, liver disease, and cancer. The frequent use of genetically modified, sugar-ridden high-fructose corn syrup in processed foods doesn’t help matters.
We can’t argue the fact that real sugar is delicious regardless of where it’s being added.
But you can’t run away from the facts. That is, every teaspoon of conventional sugar has 0 beneficial nutrients but 16 calories and 4.2 grams of carbohydrates.
Sadly, the average American consumes approximately 60 pounds of sugar annually. What’s worse is that the average for kids is 65 pounds per year. That’s triple the maximum of what the AHA (American Heart Association) recommends.
Sugar alternatives, such as monk fruit, are one method that people employ to cut down on their intake of sugar. But is that a wise decision?
Natural Sugar Alternatives
It makes sense that since many individuals frequently consume naturally sweet foods in addition to sugar, they would believe those items are ideal substitutes. However, this is not true.
Compared to conventional sugar, maple syrup is healthier and more nutritious with its decent antioxidant profile. Yet, it has a higher caloric value than table sugar. Keep in mind that we are referring to genuine maple syrup – not the processed high-fructose corn syrup stuff you buy on the shelves.
Molasses is an alternative to sugar, but it has a strong flavor and thick consistency – not ideal for most situations where individuals are looking for a substitute for table sugar. It is essentially sugar syrup with roughly the same amount of calories as conventional sugar. If you’re looking for molasses with any kind of nutritional value, look for blackstrap molasses.
An improvement as far as sugar alternatives are concerned but still not ideal. Despite having more calories than conventional sugar, honey is viewed as healthier to consume. Because it’s so sweet, people generally use less of it. Additionally, honey has a better nutrient profile and a wider variety of sugars that enter the bloodstream at a steadier rate. This means it’s low on the glycemic index, which is advantageous for diabetes. It’s still not the best option for a go-to natural sweetener.
Because it includes inulin, which is a fiber known for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, many individuals use coconut sugar as an all-natural sugar alternative. That said, it still has the same amount of calories as conventional sugar.
Agave nectar is derived from the agave cactus plant. Its extract is used as an all-natural sugar alternative in the form of syrup. Agave is frequently consumed by diabetes as it is high in fructose and low on the GI rank. Unfortunately, it’s high calorie, nutrient-poor, and shown to contribute to the same negative health risks as conventional sugar.
Natural Non-Nutritive Sweeteners
More and more sweeteners are being assessed by the government or being released for market use every year. However, there are currently two sweeteners that are deemed useful as sugar substitutes.
First, we have stevia, which is an extract from the stevia plant. Second, we have monk fruit, which is an extract from the cactus plant.
These two sweeteners are quite similar. Both stevia and monk fruit extract are:
- >100x sweeter than sugar
- Recognized as safe by FDA
- 0 GI (glycemic index) ranking
Adding to this, both stevia and monk fruit are available to purchase in different forms, including liquid, powder, and granulated. They’re also on the more expensive side as far as sugar alternatives are concerned.
At the end of the day, however, both are high-quality alternatives to conventional sugar. Especially for those who are looking for support when managing a healthy weight and blood glucose and insulin levels. That said, monk fruit seems to be a superior option for the majority of individuals for several reasons. Contrary to what has been discovered with stevia, monk fruit does not result in gastrointestinal issues, and no additional side effects have been observed and noted. This is true even for children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.
Although the comparison list was extensive, it’s important to understand the advantages provided by utilizing a sugar substitute like monk fruit when compared to the others available.
Health Benefits of Monk Fruit Extract
There’s no denying that there are health advantages to stevia and other sugar substitutes. That said, the advantages of using monk fruit are more extensive and significant.
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Monk fruit contains beneficial plant compounds called mogrosides. Their inherent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities enable them to lessen the negative effects caused by free radicals in the body, including oxidative stress. Consuming monk fruit as a sweetener may support optimal health as oxidative stress is known to damage cellular integrity and destroy cells. As a result, increasing the risk of major health issues including asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Monk fruit’s antioxidant properties were the main driver behind its use to treat cough and congestion in ancient times.
Blood Glucose Management
Monk fruit supports healthy blood glucose and cholesterol levels and helps with managing the effects of diabetes in the body. Studies show that monk fruit’s mogrosides help normalize cholesterol and blood sugar levels. What’s more, one mogroside in particular, and the most common present in monk fruit and named mogroside V, has been shown to increase the rate at which insulin is produced in the body. This is important for those who are trying to manage their diabetic condition as insufficient insulin is a driver of type 2 diabetes.
People who are looking out for their best health interest are usually inclined to look for better, healthier sugar alternative options as sugar is known to cause a wide range of negative effects. Monk fruit is regarded as the ideal sugar substitute by many health experts as it is calorie-free and has a low GI rank, making it an excellent option for diabetes and insulin resistance management. Additionally, monk fruit offers a number of other noteworthy health advantages.
If you, like many others, are searching for a healthy, viable sugar alternative, then monk fruit is for you. This is especially true for those who need support in managing their blood glucose and insulin levels, such as diabetics and insulin resistance individuals. You can get all this and more with Lowsitol by Vitagenis. Lowsitol is a one-of-a-kind supplement formulated with 10 unique ingredients, designed to be the ultimate blood glucose management support. We infused Lowsitol with monk fruit as a natural sweetener, giving it a delicious and sweet berry flavor. With this, our formula is designed to support the management of cravings, as well as healthy blood glucose and insulin levels.
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Konno, S., Elyaguov, J., & Dixon, A. (2022). Anticancer and Antioxidant Effects of Bioactive Extracts from Monk Fruit (Siraitia grosvenori) with Potential Clinical Implications. Cancer Sci Res, 5(1), 1-10.