Most frequent questions and answers

Monk fruit, known as Luo Han Guo or Swingle fruit, is is a type of gourd that grows in the sub-tropical areas. It has long been and is currently cultivated in the mountains of Southern China. Monk fruit has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as cold and digestive aid. Over the past decade, monk fruit has been transformed from a medicinal fruit into a healthy keto-friendly sweetener! 

Monk fruit extract is derived from the pulp of the fruit. The seeds and skin of the fruit are removed, then the juice is collected by crushing the fruit. The sweet substances are known are mogrosides. The fruit extract or juice of monk fruit contains no calories. 

Monk fruit contains a powerful antioxidant called Mogroside. It is the same substance that provides monk fruit sweetener its sweet flavour. With this property, monk fruit has been linked to reduced oxidative stress, lower risk of obesity and diabetes, reduced inflammation, treatment for fatigue, and act as a natural antihistamine. 

The sweet taste of monk fruit comes from the compounds called mogrosides. Mogrosides are metabolized differently by the body than natural sugars. It is not absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract. This is why is has zero calories. When it reaches the colon, gut microbes cleave off the glucose molecules and use them as an energy source. The extract appears to help lower both blood sugar and blood lipids in experimental models of animal diabetes. Some research has shown its potential to limit oxidative damage caused by high levels of blood glucose. 

About 150-200 times sweeter than sucrose or table sugar. 

They are stable at high temperatures which makes them great for baking purposes. 

According to the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFICF), monk fruit sweetener has no calories so they won’t cause weight gain and may help you lose weight.  The IFICF considers monk fruit extract to be safe for adults, pregnant women and children. Monk fruit extract can be used in beverages, cooking and baking.

Monk fruit sweeteners are permitted for use in foods and beverages by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2010. In Canada, it approved for tabletop uses. Governments in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Canada have considered monk fruit sweeteners to be safe for everyone. This includes children, people with diabetes, women who are pregnant or nursing. 

Monk fruit sweeteners can add sweetness to a child’s diet without contributing to increased calorie intake, sugar intake or risk of cavities! According to the fat cell theory, the number of fat cells is set during childhood and adolescence. Obese children can add new fat cells at twice the rate as lean children, which is why they end up with a larger number of fat cells.  Having built up a large supply of fat cells that is constantly re-added throughout adult life, they are at a disadvantage to lose weight and have more risks of having diabetes. 

Yes. While there are no adverse side effects shown on pregnant or breastfeeding women, many animal studies have shown no reproductive or development effects on mother or offspring. Even when they were exposed high levels of mogrosides over a long duration.

Yes, in fact it is generally encouraged over table sugar. This is because monk fruit contains 0 calories and 0 glycemic index. It doesn’t cause blood sugar spike. It can be used as part of a diet program to help improve blood sugar control.

According to 2018 American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes: [monk fruit] “may have the potential to reduce overall calorie and carbohydrate intake if substituted for caloric (sugar) sweeteners and without compensation by intake of additional calories from other food sources”

In some randomized trials, low calorie sweetener in beverages have demonstrated a decrease in hunger and reduced dessert intake compared to those who drank water.


Most frequent questions and answers

Erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol. It is naturally occurring in fruits and fermented foods. It also exists in small quantities in the human body as a natural byproduct of the fermentation of bacteria in our digestive system. Erythritol occurs naturally in wine, beer, mushrooms, pears, grapes, and soy sauce – to name a few. 

Erythritol is produced from glucose or sugar. The first step is mixing glucose or sugar with yeast. This yeast ferments glucose to form erythritol. The fermented mixture is then heated and then dried by boiling off water. The erythritol crystals are then formed. These crystals are washed and purified to remove impurities, to make it safe for human consumption. 

Although the name ‘sugar alcohol’ can be a bit misleading, it is NOT a sugar nor alcohol! Sugar alcohols don’t contain ethanol, so no they will not get you drunk. They also don’t spike your blood sugar like regular sugar. The molecules are like hybrids of a carbohydrate and an alcohol. The molecules are structured in the way that stimulates the sweet taste receptors on our tongues.

Erythritol is around 60-80% as sweet as sugar.

Erythritol gets absorbed in the small intestine and most of it comes right out in your urine. Erythritol is non-fermentable by human microbiota (bacteria, archaea, protists, fungi and viruses). This is why it does not cause the same gassy, cramping or bloating effects that other sugar alcohols do.

They are stable at high temperatures which makes them great for baking purposes. 

Erythritol has only 0.24 calories per gram. The lowest among all sugar alcohols. The carbohydrates in erythritol will NOT impact your overall carb intake. This is because erythritol does not get metabolized in the body. It is excreted unchanged in the urine. Its net carb count is zero.

Most sugar alcohols produce unwanted gassy or bloating effects. However when it comes to erythritol, you have to be eating of a lot of it to experience these effects. More than 30 grams a day. You can stick to the recommended amount of roughly 10 to 15 grams per day as suggested by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.