SHOP BY PERFORMANCE
Oh how sweet it is….
I’ll admit, I have a sweet tooth. Once I get a taste of something sweet, it’s like a Lay’s Potato Chip, you can bet, I can’t eat just one. Excess sugar can be destructive to our health, filled with empty calories that expand our waistline. Enter, a possible solution…sugar “substitutes”. These are ingredients or extracts that provide the sweetness, without the calories. They can be found in all sorts of foods, drinks, and desserts!
Monk Fruit is the new “sugar substitute du jour”…let’s take a taste!
You’ll also see it listed as Lo Han Guo on food labels, Monk Fruit is a fruit native to China. It’s been used for centuries not just as a sweetner, but medicinally in Chinese Traditional Medicine. To produce the sweetner, they crush the fruit and then extract out the sweet compounds and dry them into a powder.
About 100-250 times sweeter than table sugar. It contains zero calories, no matter how much you use, however it’s so powerful you only need to use a tiny amount. In fact, the amount is so small, it’s hard to use, therefore it’s often combined with other sweetners, like Erythritol, to add bulk and weight.
What makes Monk Fruit sweet are specific compounds called Mogrosides, the main one being Mogroside V. These compounds are not absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, therefore they are not converted into units of energy, or calories. Monk Fruit extracts are only made from Mogrosides and what makes them different is the concentration of Mogroside V, the higher the amount the sweeter the extract will be.
YES, the FDA has reviewed Monk Fruit and has designated it as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe). Research has shown that Monk Fruit is removed by the digestive system and 80-90% is excreted in the urine within 2hrs.
There isn’t anything in Monk Fruit that causes weight loss, however, using it as a substitute for high calorie sugar or sweetners, can help you to lose weight by managing your calories. Calorie management has shown to be the most powerful took for weight loss, Monk Fruit is a great solution for sugar.
Anyone who has an issue with managing their calorie due to their love of sugar (me!), Diabetics, Children, and also seems to be safe for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women. Sweetners that are naturally extracted from plants are great options for all these groups.
If you currently use NutraSweet or Equal (Aspartame) or Sweet N Low (Saccharin), then Monk Fruit will be an equal replacement, but if you like Stevia or Sucralose, you’ll need to use more of Monk Fruit to provide the same level of sweetness. Monk Fruit is great for those who want a natural sweetner choice.
|Sweetener||Calories per gram||Sweetness compared to sugar||Glycemic Index||Natural or Artificial|
|Monk Fruit||0||150-200 times sweeter||0||Natural|
|Stevia||0||200-300 times sweeter||0||Natural|
|Erythritol||0.2||60-70% as sweet as sugar||0||Natural|
|Xylitol||2.4||1:1 with sugar||13||Natural|
|Aspartame||0||200 times sweeter than sugar||0||Artificial|
|Sucralose||0||600 times sweeter than sugar||0||Artificial|
|Saccharin||0||200-700 times sweeter||0||Artificial|
Because Monk Fruit is very sweet, you only need a small amount. Consequently, when you buy it as an extract (by itself to mix with your food/beverage), products will combine it with other low-calorie sweetners to add bulk. Make sure you check the ingredients to see what else is in the product and that Monk Fruit is listed as the first one.