Health Benefits of Monk Fruit
1. Safe for diabetes
Monk fruit gets its sweetness from natural compounds called mogrosides. It’s generally safe for those with diabetes because it doesn’t increase blood sugars. Even so, foods and drinks sweetened with monk fruit (as well as some monk fruit sweetener blends) may include added sugars and other ingredients that increase carb and calorie counts or affect insulin sensitivity. Don’t assume all monk fruit products are carb- and sugar-free.
2. Promotes weight loss
Monk fruit has no calories, carbs, or fat, so it may be a great option for anyone watching their waistline. You can save substantial calories and carbs by simply substituting monk fruit sweetener for table sugar throughout your day. Again, make sure you consume monk fruit products that don’t include added sugars. And save treats made with monk fruit for special occasions because many still include diet-busting ingredients like chocolate or butter.
3. Anti-inflammatory properties
According to a 2011 study, monk fruit has been used in TCM for centuries to make hot drinks that relieve sore throats and reduce phlegm. The fruit’s mogrosides are said to be anti-inflammatory, and may help prevent cancer and keep blood sugar levels stable.
The Downsides of Monk Fruit
Along with its many benefits, monk fruit has a few drawbacks.
Monk fruit is challenging to grow, harvest, and dry. It’s also expensive to import and process. This makes monk fruit sweetener more pricey than other nonnutritive sweeteners. It’s also why there are fewer monk fruit sweetener options on your local supermarket shelves.
In addition, some people are turned off by the aftertaste of monk fruit. Still, taste is relative. Many find the taste pleasant and less bitter than other sweeteners, especially artificial ones such as saccharin and aspartame.