Have you heard of Monk Fruit, the Low-Carb Healthy Sugar Substitute?

If you're like most people, chances are you're probably eating and drinking way more sugar than you should – maybe even without realizing it. This is mainly because of all the extra sugar that food manufacturers add to their products to increase flavor and extend shelf life. [1]

This means that aside from getting your sugar fix from the usual suspects -- fruit juice, ice cream, iced tea, breakfast cereals, cookies, cakes and other pastries -- sugar is also present in items that you may not think of as sweetened, such as canned soups, cured meats and even condiments like soy sauce, ketchup and mayonnaise.

According to nutrition experts at the American Heart Association, this rampant addition of sugar to our food has resulted in the average American consuming roughly 77 g of added sugar per day, or around 60 lbs of added sugar annually. [2]

While nutritionists agree that naturally occurring sugars, or the kind you would get from whole foods such as fruit, whole grains and vegetables, can be part of a healthy diet, refined and added sugar can be dangerous -- especially since excess consumption has been linked to a slew of health problems, most of which are related to the body’s cardiovascular and digestive systems. [3]

This is why, when you want to indulge your sweet tooth, it’s beneficial to turn to healthy alternatives to sugar instead, such as monk fruit.

What is monk fruit?

Endemic to the Guangxi and Guangdong mountains in Southern China, as well as the forests of Northern Thailand, the monk fruit, or Siraitia grosvenorii, is a member of the Cucurbitaceae (gourd) family. This makes it a distant relative of the cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon.

Known in its native habitat as the lou han guo, the monk fruit is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a natural remedy for both minor cough and discomfort, for which it is usually prepared as tea.  [4]

Fueled by talk about its perceived health benefits, the monk fruit’s popularity rose exponentially in 13th century China, with its consumption even gaining traction in countries such as Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand, where it was used as an ingredient in “cooling drinks” which are believed to ward off the effects of excess internal heat, or “yang” energy, in the body. [5]

Nowadays, the monk fruit has taken its place as a healthier -- not to mention sweeter -- alternative to sugar.

The sweet taste of healthy living

Monk fruit is considered to be among the sweetest fruits in existence -- a property that is attributed by experts to the presence of natural compounds known as mogrosides. [6]

Just how sweet is monk fruit exactly?

When quantified, the mogrosides -- which are classified as a type of saponin -- in monk fruit are estimated to be about 300 times as sweet as sugar. This means that the fruit’s sweetness is at such a high level that it only takes one-fourth of a teaspoon to sufficiently sweeten food such as oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies and even naturally bitter drinks such as coffee and tea. What’s even better is that since these mogrosides are not carbohydrates, they have no caloric value whatsoever. Impressive, right?

And it doesn’t stop there.

According to several studies, mogrosides are also potent antioxidants in their own right, which means they can potentially support the body’s systems, unlike processed sugar. Talk about a sweet deal.

What can you get from monk fruit?

Aside from it being an antioxidant-rich, nearly zero-calorie natural sugar substitute, monk fruit extract also contains several nutrients, such as vitamin C, as well as phytochemicals such as glycosides, polysaccharides, flavonoids, cucurbitacins and kaempferol. [7]

This means that aside from sweetening one’s favorite food and drink, they also have a slew of healthful properties that can support the body’s systems -- nature’s little sweet packets of wellness, so to speak.

Furthermore, monk fruit extract is certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “generally recognized as safe (GRAS),” unlike some artificial and nonnutritive sweeteners like Equal and Splenda which can cause side effects like gas, bloating and other adverse reactions.

Due to its rich antioxidant stores, monk fruit extract has been linked to several health benefits,** some of which are listed below:

Monk fruit extract can aid in sensible weight management goals*

Due to it being a low-calorie sweetener, it is safe to say that monk fruit extract can aid in reasonable weight management plans -- especially when it is used in conjunction with proper exercise and a healthy diet. [8]

A word of caution though: Make sure you only consume monk fruit products that don’t include added sugars such as fructose and sucrose since these can effectively cancel out any weight management benefits monk fruit extract may provide.

Monk fruit extract helps protect the body against oxidative stress and damage*

Packed with antioxidants in the form of mogrosides, monk fruit extract can help protect the body from oxidative stress and damage from free radicals, as well as other external threats. [9]

FAQs on monk fruit extract

Given its status as a relative newcomer in the field of low-calorie and organic sweeteners, it’s not surprising that many still have questions regarding the effects that monk fruit extract has on the body.

Here are some of them:

Can those watching their sugar intake use monk fruit extract?

Yes. Despite its incredibly sweet taste, monk fruit extracts contain no carbohydrates whatsoever, meaning it does not raise blood sugar levels. It also has a low glycemic index. This makes it a good choice for people who monitor their carbohydrate or sugar intake. [10]

In addition, the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Medical Care noted that alternative sweeteners such as monk fruit extract are generally safe provided they are used within the defined acceptable daily intake levels. [11]

How to enrich your diet with monk fruit extract

Due to its exceptionally sweet taste, in comparison to sugar and other sweeteners, and its near-zero calorie content, it’s no wonder the monk fruit has found itself planted quite firmly in the spotlight.

So, how can you add monk fruit to your diet?

As with all other whole foods, fresh is always best. However, unless you live in the mountains of Guangxi and Guangdong in southern China, it’s not possible to purchase fresh monk fruits, since they spoil rather easily. Don’t worry though -- you can always get your monk fruit fix in other ways, such as Health Ranger Select Monk Fruit Extract Powder Low Carb Sugar Substitute.

As a sugar substitute, monk fruit is incredibly easy to add to food items such as homemade yogurt, frozen desserts, oatmeal and porridges, as well as smoothies and drinks, not to mention baked goods and pastries.

Want to add monk fruit extract into your diet? Here are some recipes you can try:

RECIPE: Frozen Pineapple-Mango Smoothie

A breakfast smoothie that tastes like liquid dessert, this is a refreshing and filling tropical concoction that’s guaranteed to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Note: Add more coconut milk if you don’t like your smoothies thick.

Ingredients:

For the smoothie:

For the toppings:

  • Organic Black Chia Seeds
  • Organic Hulled Hemp Seed
  • Sliced fresh mangoes, pineapples and bananas
  • Organic coconut flakes

Directions:

  1. Put the frozen pineapple, mango and banana into a blender.
  2. Pulse until the fruits are well-combined.
  3. Add prepared coconut milk, monk fruit extract and pea protein powder. Blend until smooth.
  4. Taste and adjust flavors, if needed.
  5. Pour into individual bowls and cups and then top with desired toppings.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

RECIPE: Raw Cashew-Almond Brownies

If you’re in the mood to bite into something sweet, why not give these chewy, gooey, chocolate-y raw, vegan keto brownies a try? Made from organic nut flours and cacao powder, these brownies are so rich and delicious, you’ll forget these were made from healthy ingredients.

Ingredients:

Brownies:

Chocolate topping

Directions:

Brownies:

  1. Put the raw cashews and monk fruit extract into a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth.
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, cacao powder, and salt.
  1. Add the cashew mixture, and mix until it becomes thick and reaches a dough-like consistency.
  1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, making sure to let excess paper hang out of the edges. Using your hands, press the brownie mixture evenly into the pan. Put in the freezer and allow to set for 20 minutes.
  1. While the brownie mixture is setting, make the chocolate topping.

Chocolate topping:

  1. Whisk the melted coconut oil, cacao powder, monk fruit extract, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth and well combined.

Assembly:

  1. Remove the brownies from the freezer.
  1. Pour chocolate topping on the set brownies.
  1. Carefully transfer the pan back to the freezer and wait for the topping to set, at least 20 minutes.
  1. Using the excess parchment paper, lift the brownies from the pan. To cut the brownies, run a sharp knife under hot water for 20 seconds or so. Wipe off excess water before slicing the brownies into squares.
  1. Put sliced brownies onto a plate and serve.

Note: You can store leftover brownies in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, covered. For longer term storage, freeze the brownies in an airtight container for 1-2 months.

Use our Health Ranger Select Monk Fruit Extract Powder Low Carb Sugar Substitute to sweeten your favorite coffee, yogurt, tea, or cereals. Check our collection here.

Do you know of any other ways monk fruit can support your health? Do you know of any other healthy sugar alternatives? Do you know other recipes that use monk fruit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Share this article with your friends and tell us how healthy sugar alternatives like monk fruit have positively impacted your overall health and wellness!

**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.

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Comments

KatherineNonyaBeeswax - June 23, 2020

I love Monkfruit sweetener! I was using it for a number of years…until all the stores in my area decided to stop selling it! I checked out Amazon and the prices on there were beyond ridiculous. For now, I use Stevia but it is definitely not a 1st choice sweetener. I will have to check out the Health Ranger Store to see IF they sell it – and if so, for how much.

DAwna - June 16, 2020

I have been using Stevia as a sugar substitute for some time. I’ve considered it fairly healthy and it enabled me to cut sugar out COMPLETELY! I have been grateful for it. My question: Is monk fruit healthier/better?

Thanks,
Dawna Maloy

Jeff U Keller - June 16, 2020

Does any one make milk chocolate using monk fruit? Thank you!!

Sherri - June 16, 2020

I use only unadulterated,organic, sweeteners; Xylitol, honey, and maple syrup.
All have their own applications.
What is the TASTE on MONK FRIUT sweetener?Appreciated!
Santa Fe
Sherri

Jessieann Riggs - June 16, 2020

I use the granulated monk fruit which is mixed with Erythritol in my “sugar” bowl/jar, for adding to beverages. I use the kind you are offering when making smoothies and Chia Pudding. And, there is now a new form for baking. They have simply added fiber to the mix so that it is hydrophilic like sugar. My monk fruit powder jar says that 1/4 teaspoon is equal to 3/4 cup of sugar. So, I would suggest using less in the smoothies. I would love to see The Health Ranger Web store carry all 3 types because then I would know I was getting the best quality product. Thanks for all that you do for the community of health-minded people.

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