Monk fruit and stevia are the latest buzz-worthy candidates for your morning cup of coffee or tea. Both have pros and cons, but is one better for you?
What is a monk fruit?
Monk fruit is a small, green gourd that resembles a melon. It’s grown in Southeast Asia. The fruit was first used by Buddhist monks in the 13th century, hence the fruit’s unusual name.
Fresh monk fruit doesn’t store well and isn’t appealing. Monk fruit is usually dried and used to make medicinal teas. Monk fruit sweeteners are made from the fruit’s extract. They may be blended with dextrose or other ingredients to balance sweetness.
In the United States, sweeteners made from monk fruit are classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS.
What are the benefits of monk fruit?
- Sweeteners made with monk fruit don’t impact blood sugar levels.
- With zero calories, monk fruit sweeteners are a good option for people watching their weight.
- Unlike some artificial sweeteners, there’s no evidence to date showing that monk fruit has negative side effects.
There are several other pros to monk fruit sweeteners:
- They’re available in liquid, granule, and powder forms.
- They’re safe for children, pregnant women, and breast-feeding women.
- According to a 2009 study, monk fruit gets its sweetness from antioxidant mogrosides. The study found monk fruit extract has the potential to be a low-glycemic natural sweetener.
- A 2013 study concluded mogrosides may help reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress may lead to disease. Although it’s unclear how specific monk fruit sweeteners come into play, the study shows monk fruit’s potential…
Finish reading: Monk Fruit vs. Stevia: Pros and Cons