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!
Most frequent questions and answers
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.