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Monk Fruit Extract vs Stevia: Pros and Cons
Apr 16, 2021

What is monk fruit?

Monk fruit, also known as lo han guo or Swingle fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii), is a small round fruit native to southern China. It has been used for centuries in Eastern medicine as a cold and digestive aid, and now it is also being used to sweeten foods and beverages. Monk fruit sweeteners are created by removing the seeds and skin of the fruit, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice. The fruit extract, or juice, contains zero calories per serving. Monk fruit sweeteners are permitted for use in foods and beverages by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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.

What is monk fruit

Monk fruit extract is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. The extract contains zero calories, zero carbohydrates, zero sodium, and zero fat. This makes it a popular sweetener alternative for manufacturers who make low-calorie products and for the consumers who eat them.


In the United States, sweeteners made from monk fruit are classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source as “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS.

Monk fruit pros

A monk fruit sweetener has several benefits when compared with sugar:

Zero calories. Monk fruit extract contains no calories, which is helpful for people on diets that restrict a person’s caloric intake.

Zero carbohydrates. The extract also contains no carbohydrates, which may make it ideal for people on low-carb or keto diets.

Zero sugar. There is no sugar in pure monk fruit extract, which means that consuming it will not affect blood sugar levels.

No harmful side effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source considers monk fruit sweeteners to be generally regarded as safe. There appears to be no evidence that monk fruit sweeteners cause harmful side effects.

Available in multiple forms. Monk fruit sweeteners are marketed as granules, powders, and liquids. Some products may be easy to carry and use throughout the day.

Monk fruit sweeteners may also have some health benefits:

Antioxidants. Some studies in animals suggest that mogrosides extracted from monk fruit may have potent antioxidant properties. Further research is needed to understand the effects in humans. Also, it is unclear if eating the processed sweetener has the same benefits as eating the fruit.

Diabetes. ResearchTrusted Source in animals also suggests that mogrosides play a role in controlling blood sugar levels. Results of another studyTrusted Source indicate that mogroside extracts may help prevent diabetic complications. However, researchers have yet to investigate these effects in humans.

Monk fruit cons

For the following reasons, a person may think twice before using monk fruit sweeteners to replace sugar:


Availability and cost. Monk fruit is difficult to grow and costly to export, which means that it is not as widely available as other sweeteners, and it can be expensive.

Taste. Monk fruit sweeteners taste different from regular table sugar, and some find the taste unusual or unpleasant. The sweeteners can also leave an aftertaste.

Other ingredients. Some manufacturers balance the taste of monk fruit by mixing it with other sugars, such as maltodextrin or dextrose. This can change the sweetener’s nutritional profile and make it unsafe or undesirable for some people.


What is stevia?

Stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Commercial stevia sweeteners are made from a compound of the stevia plant, which is an herb from the Asteraceae family.


The use of stevia in foods is a bit confusing. The FDATrusted Source hasn’t approved whole leaf or crude stevia extracts as a food additive. Despite being used for centuries as a natural sweetener, the FDA considers them unsafe. They claim literature indicates stevia in its most natural form may affect blood sugar. It may also affect reproductive, renal, and cardiovascular systems.

What is stevia

On the other hand, the FDA has approved specific refined stevia products as GRAS. These products are made from Rebaudioside A (Reb A), a glycoside that gives stevia its sweetness. The FDA indicates products marketed as “Stevia” are not true stevia. Instead, they contain highly purified Reb A extract that’s GRAS.Refined stevia Reb A sweeteners (called stevia in this article) have zero calories, zero fat, and zero carbs. Some contain other sweeteners such as agave or turbinado sugar.


What are the benefits of stevia?

Pros

Stevia sweeteners don’t have calories and are a good choice for people trying to lose weight.

They generally don’t raise blood sugar levels, so they’re a good sugar alternative for people with diabetes.

They’re available in liquid, granule, and powder forms.

The pros of stevia sweeteners are similar to monk fruit sweeteners.

What are the disadvantages of stevia?

Cons

Side effects. Stevia can cause gastrointestinal side effects in some people, including gas, nausea, and bloating.

Allergic reactions. Some people have allergic reactions to steviol glycosides that are not extremely pure. Stevia is part of the Asteraceae plant family, which includes daisies, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums. Anyone with allergies to these plants or others in the family should avoid stevia products.

Availability and cost. Like monk fruit, stevia is generally more expensive and less widely available than sugar and some other sweeteners.

Taste. Some people find that stevia products have an unpleasant aftertaste, which may be bitter or metallic.

Other ingredients. As with monk fruit, manufacturers sometimes mix stevia with other sweeteners to balance out the taste. This can change the nutritional profile of the product and make it unsafe or undesirable for some people.

Refined. The FDA only permits the use of highly purified stevia products in the US. People looking for a truly natural alternative to sugar may find this unsatisfactory.

Monk Fruit Sweetener vs Stevia Taste

Monk Fruit Sweetener vs Stevia Taste

Both monk fruit and stevia are both no-calorie sweeteners that have zero impact on blood sugar levels. They also both have similar health benefits, but the FDA has only approved monk fruit.

Research shows that monk fruit might be sweeter than stevia, but both are at least 200 to 300 times sweeter than regular sugar.

Stevia is made from the stevia plant, which is an herb that belongs to the Asteraceae family. While both are good options on the keto diet, you’ll want to keep in mind that most stevia products sold in the United States are highly processed and mixed with dextrose (corn sugar), erythritol, molasses, inulin fiber, or even cane sugar to make them easier to cook with. Because of this, more people seem to experience digestive upset on stevia than they do when they take monk fruit.


Monk Fruit vs Stevia aftertaste

Interestingly, Cure pairs it with stevia rather than avoiding it because “stevia has a sweeter taste but a stronger aftertaste than monk fruit. We use a blend to balance the sweetness and flavor,” Picasso says.


Monk Fruit Sweetener vs Stevia for diabetics

Monk fruit and stevia are both no calorie sweeteners. They have zero impact on your blood sugar levels, and they possess similar health benefits.When choosing between monk fruit and stevia, you should also think about whether you’re allergic to any members of the gourd family of fruits. If so, monk fruit might not be for you.


Make sure you’re choosing pure stevia or pure monk fruit (but, pure monk fruit is harder to come by). It’s easy to buy products at grocery stores that have added chemicals or sugars in them that could cause allergies or other side effects. At 22 Days Nutrition, we only source pure, organic stevia to sweeten our plant-based protein powders. With only eight ingredients (max), everything we put into our products is intentionally clean and beneficial to your body.


In addition, look for products you enjoy that are sweetened with stevia and monk fruit and try them out! Both sweeteners are growing in popularity, meaning new products are created frequently.

Which is better monk fruit vs stevia

Which is better monk fruit vs stevia


Monk fruit and stevia are both no calorie sweeteners. They have zero impact on your blood sugar levels, and they possess similar health benefits.When choosing between monk fruit and stevia, you should also think about whether you’re allergic to any members of the gourd family of fruits. If so, monk fruit might not be for you.


Make sure you’re choosing pure stevia or pure monk fruit (but, pure monk fruit is harder to come by). It’s easy to buy products at grocery stores that have added chemicals or sugars in them that could cause allergies or other side effects. At 22 Days Nutrition, we only source pure, organic stevia to sweeten our plant-based protein powders. With only eight ingredients (max), everything we put into our products is intentionally clean and beneficial to your body.


In addition, look for products you enjoy that are sweetened with stevia and monk fruit and try them out! Both sweeteners are growing in popularity, meaning new products are created frequently.


You can find plenty of alternatives to your favorite products (such as our stevia-sweetened protein powder, sodas, energy drinks, protein bars, ice cream, etc.)


Fortunately, cooking or baking with stevia or monk fruit is easy. Both are heat-stable, which means that you can use them in recipes with heat up to 400˚. That said, some recipes might taste strange with stevia or monk fruit, so try substituting just a quarter amount of the sugar called for in the recipe, then go from here. Enjoy experimenting!


Which is safer monk fruit or stevia


Monk fruit and stevia are non-nutritive sweeteners. This means that the products contain very few calories, if any. They both come from plants, and they have very similar properties.

Monk fruit and stevia sweeteners are generally safe for people with diabetes, but always check the labeling to ensure that the manufacturers have not added sugars or carbohydrates.

For many people, choosing between these two sweeteners will come down to cost, availability, and taste.However, stevia can cause gastrointestinal side effects. Also, anyone with an allergy to plants from the Asteraceae family should avoid stevia.


Can I substitute stevia for monk fruit

If you don't have monk fruit sweetener, you can substitute another low-calorie sweetener, such as Stevia or Splenda. Substituting sweeteners can be a little tricky and involves some trial and error. For best results, use recipes that written to use that specific sweetener.

For bulk stevia extract or monk fruit extract, contact us at email:[email protected]

References:https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/monk-fruit-vs-stevia#disadvantages-of-stevia

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322769

https://www.ketovale.com/monk-fruit-sweetener/

https://www.wellandgood.com/monk-fruit-sweetener-trend/

https://www.wholesomeyum.com/natural-low-carb-sweeteners-guide-conversion-chart/

https://22daysnutrition.com/blogs/blog/monk-fruit-vs-stevia

https://www.gourmetsleuth.com/ingredients/detail/monk-fruit

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