Healthy Benefits of Natural Sweetener Monk Fruit Extract
What Is Monk Fruit?
Monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo, Siraitia grosvenorii, is a small round fruit native to southern China. For centuries, the East and South China have used it to treat coughs and sore throats. It is considered a booster of longevity. These fruits are usually sold in dried form and are often used to make herbal tea or cold soup. Now it is also used to increase the sweetness of food and beverages. Monk fruit sweetener is manufactured by removing the seeds and peel of the fruit, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice. Each serving of fruit extract or juice contains no calories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the use of monk fruit sweeteners in food and beverages.
Monk fruit sweetener is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar, adding sweetness to food and beverages without increasing calories. Monk fruit sweeteners are used in beverages and foods, such as soft drinks, juices, dairy products, desserts, candies and condiments. Because they are stable at high temperatures, they can be used in baked goods. However, foods containing monk fruit sweeteners may be slightly different in appearance, texture and taste from foods made with sugar because sugar contributes to the structure and texture of the food.
Like all sweeteners with no or low calories, only a very small amount of monk fruit sweetener is needed to achieve the sweetness of sugar.
Healthy Benefits of Monk Fruit Extract
Safe for diabetes
The sweetness of monk fruits comes from a natural compound called mogrosides. Generally speaking, it is safe for diabetics because it does not increase blood sugar. Even so, foods and beverages sweetened with monk fruits (and some monk fruit sweetener blends) may add sugar and other ingredients, increase carbohydrate and calorie content, or affect insulin sensitivity. Don’t think that all monk fruit is sugar-free and carbohydrate-free.
This fruit has been used by the Chinese as an anti-diabetic medicine for centuries. In addition to being proven to have an anti-hyperglycemic effect (helping to reduce blood sugar levels in the body), animal studies have also shown that the pancreatic cells have antioxidant capacity to make the body better secrete insulin.
Monk fruit’s anti-diabetic ability is related to its high level of mogrosides. Better insulin secretion is an important part of improving the health of diabetic patients. In animal experiments, studies have shown that monk fruit can potentially reduce kidney damage and other diabetes-related issues.
As a sweetener with low glycemic index, it is also a way for diabetics to enjoy sweetness without worrying about affecting or worsening their diabetes. For the same reason, monk fruit is a good choice for those who follow a ketogenic diet (keto diet) or other low-carbohydrate (low-carb) diets.
May Help Lower Risk of Obesity and Diabetes
It is estimated that Americans consume 130 pounds of sugar each year, while in the early 19th century, our ancestors consumed an average of 10 pounds a year. The surge in sugar intake has caused a surge in obesity and diabetes cases.
Studies have shown that monk fruit extract can improve insulin response and does not affect blood sugar levels like natural sugar. This means that it can provide the sweetness we strongly desire without harmful side effects.
Research indicates that using monk fruit sweetener can help those who are already suffering from obesity and diabetes avoid the deterioration of their condition. Compared with other sweeteners, another advantage is that this sweetener is extracted from non-GMO fruits, unlike sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.
Promotes weight loss
Monk fruit extract contains no calories, carbohydrates or fats, so it may be a good choice for those who are concerned about waistline. You can save a lot of calories and carbohydrates by replacing sucrose with monk fruit sweetener during your day. Also, make sure you are eating monk fruits without added sugar. You can also make your own snacks with monk fruit, because many snacks still contain dietary-destroying ingredients, such as chocolate or butter.
The use of this fruit in ancient China included drinking tea made from boiled fruit to cool the body, including fever and heat stroke. It is also used to relieve sore throats.
This method is effective because the glycosides of monk fruits have natural anti-inflammatory effects.
Ways to use
You can sweeten almost anything with monk fruit sweetener, including:
- Hot tea, ice tea or lemonade
- Salad dressing
- Oatmeal or other hot cereal
If you are interested in using monk fruit instead of sugar in some of your favorite recipes or in your morning coffee, try it! But be sure to discuss the health issues of sugar substitutes with your doctor first.
Where to buy the monk fruit sweetener?
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