If you’ve been using the keto diet, you know that processed sugar is to be avoided like the plague. As such, you have probably looked at the various substitutes. Our brain is hard-wired to crave sweet tastes, as are the brains of many creatures. Doing without some kind of sweetener seems like a damn depressing prospect.
If you have done your research, you have almost certainly heard of the two sweeteners that we are going to compare. Both Stevia and Monk Fruit are natural sweeteners that contain no calories. Both of them have a glycemic index rating of 0, making them safe for those with blood sugar issues. Though it might seem hard to believe, these sweeteners will cause no significant rise in your blood sugar level. This is the case because they are absorbed by the body slowly, unlike sucrose (table sugar) which tends to be absorbed into the blood quickly. Let’s take a look and see which contender will emerge victorious.
What is monk fruit?
Monk fruit is a small, round, green fruit that comes from China. Traditionally known as Luo Han Guo, this little round fruit has been overlooked for centuries for several reasons. One reason is that it only grows in certain parts of China and just hasn’t been widely cultivated until somewhat recently. The fruit is unpleasant to eat in its raw form, but it can be dried, powdered, and used as a sweetener. Monk fruit gets its name from the Buddhist monks of southern China, who first cultivated the fruit after finding it in the wild, where it is considered rare.
What are the benefits of Monk Fruit?
The main benefit of this sweetener is its antioxidant properties. While many alternative sweeteners, such as molasses, contain antioxidants, Monk Fruit is positively loaded with them. The particular kind of antioxidants found in this fruit are called mogrosides, and these have been shown by thorough research to contain very high levels of antioxidant and to be effective in the elimination of free radicals. Researchers say that mogrosides “exhibited a remarkable inhibitory effect on •OH-induced DNA damage.” In addition to this, Monk fruit also helps with obesity, insulin production, diabetes management, inflammation issues, fatigue, and allergies. As if that wasn’t enough, it even has anti-microbial properties.
What are the disadvantages of Monk Fruit?
At present, no harmful effects have been found to result from consumption of Monk Fruit. It is fair to point out that there hasn’t been a huge amount of research done on this fruit, but there has been enough to show that it is safe for general use. The FDA has confirmed it to be safe, so that is reassuring.
What is Stevia?
Stevia is a sweetener derived from the leaves of a plant called Stevia Rebaudiana. This plant was first discovered by natives in Brazil and Paraguay, the only countries in which the plant is naturally found. The sweetness comes from special glycoside molecules known as steviols. The thing that makes this plant useful as a sweetener, is the fact that its active ingredients are not metabolized by the human body, which is why they are classified as a no-calorie sweetener. Stevia has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, and was used by the natives to treat stomach complaints.
What are the benefits of Stevia?
Although Stevia has been used as a medicinal plant, is has always primarily been a sweetener. Natives would often chew it as a treat, basically using it as candy. As already stated, there is reason to believe that it will have a beneficial effect upon the mucous lining of your stomach. However, Stevia’s main benefit is the fact that it is 30 to 150 times sweeter than table sugar, with none of the calories.
What are the disadvantages of Stevia?
One of the main disadvantages of this sweetener is the fact that in its processed form it technically can be a refined sugar. It has also been shown to cause fertility issues. Why is that? Well, I didn’t mention earlier that Stevia was used by Brazilian natives as a contraceptive. – Since our product Boast using Stevia (Egg Protein EG) I would avoid calling out negatives here.
How to choose the right sweetener for you
Choosing the right sweetener for you may be a complex process, so don’t take the words of this article as gospel. This article is written with the average person in mind, so further research will be required if you have any particular health problems. The best thing you can do is to consult your doctor before using either of these sweeteners.
Alternatives to monk fruit and Stevia
Monk Fruit and Stevia are not your only alternatives. Maple syrup is sometimes used as an alternative sweetener, and it does have a moderately high antioxidant level. Molasses is a common choice, and Erythritol is another popular choice. Everyone is different so consider all your options.
Is Monk Fruit A Good Sugar Substitute on Keto Diet?
Monk Fruit is most certainly a good choice for someone on a Keto diet. The Keto diet is essentially a form of the low-carb diet, and Monk Fruit has no carbs at all. Also, it is a zero calorie sweetener, which means that it has no effect whatsoever on your metabolism. A calorie, for those who don’t know, is a measure of heat. To be more specific, it measures the heat that your body produces in digesting a given amount of food. No calories means no heat, and thus no effect on your metabolic processes.
Unlike some of the comparisons we have done in the past, this one has a very clear winner, and that winner is the Monk Fruit. Why? Well, there are several reasons, so let’s break it down:
- Monk Fruit has no known side effects
- Stevia can be a processed sugar
- Monk Fruit has more secondary health benefits
- Stevia may cause issues with Fertility