You may be familiar with Stevia. It is the sweetener used in many diet sodas, iced coffees, and desserts. It is a sweet plant containing sucrose with a very low glycemic index of 15.
You may know that Stevia does not taste great when used as a single sweetener in baking and cooking. It is not an option to make your ice cream, cake, or any other food where you need to create a balanced mixture. Stevia is also pretty expensive, especially if you buy the powder form.
In contrast, monk fruit is relatively inexpensive. It is also highly versatile. It can be used in baked goods and as a sugar replacement. You can even use it in tea and coffee. It is a solid sweetener and the only sweetener that is certified as 'organic.'
It is important to remember that monk fruit is still a stevia extract! So when you buy monk fruit, you are getting stevia sweetener. When you buy Stevia, you are purchasing pure, unprocessed stevia leaves. This is a subtle difference that can make a significant impact on the quality of your products. But there is more to the story than it seems.
A lot of folks might have an issue with this, however. They may think that monk fruit is a lesser solution and don't want to give up on the idea that it is better.
Some may think monk fruit is less potent than Stevia. There are a few reasons why this might not be true:-
- First of all, monk fruit has a lower glycemic index than Stevia (negligible difference, though).
- Second, most of the Stevia available is refined (often to a very high degree), meaning that a ton of the fiber and nutrients have been stripped away. Monk fruit has a lower GI but is still within the acceptable range.
- Third, most stevia extracts are derived from stevioside, a glucosylated flavonoid with a wide range of health benefits and is generally regarded as a healthy supplement.
Monk fruit, on the other hand, is a natural source of monoglucosylated flavones (MFGs). These MFGs are essentially the same as stevioside but without known adverse health effects.
This does not mean Stevia is not suitable for you. It is to point out that it comes at a cost. Monk fruit has a more natural, healthier profile than refined Stevia. If you do not want to use refined Stevia, look for our EkoSweet Monkfruit Sweetener extracts instead. It is made from a plant that is naturally low in glycemic index. It has been used for centuries as a sweetener. Although it is usually extracted from the dried berries of Stevia rebaudiana, it has also been found that it can be removed from the leaves. It has a very mild sweetness and is slightly more bitter than the ordinary refined Stevia; due to a compound called steviol glycosides which are the main sweet-tasting components of Stevia.
What is Healthier Monk Fruit or Stevia?
Monk fruit is an exotic fruit that has been growing for over 8,000 years. Its botanical name is Syzygium malaccense, but it is more commonly referred to as "monk fruit." The name comes from the fruit's religious significance in Thailand, where it is believed that a monk who meditated in a tree saw the fruit first and decided to save it for his personal use.
Monk fruit was first introduced to Europe in the 1800s when a German trading firm imported it. Since then, it has slowly grown in popularity, especially in the health food and diet supplement markets.
While many other fruits in the family Syzygieae have been cultivated for thousands of years for their sweet flavors, the most well-known of these is the stevia plant, a member of the mint family.
Health benefits of monk fruit include:
- Fights inflammation.
- Protects and strengthens the immune system.
- Prevents allergies.
- It improves digestion and helps prevent intestinal problems.
The main health benefits attributed to Stevia are:
- A natural, low-calorie sweetener
- An herbal remedy that can help reduce pain and fever
- Effective treatment for diarrhea and nausea
- Reduces the risk of heart disease.
In a 2017 study published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Technology, researchers found that monk fruit extract had a higher antioxidant capacity than either Stevia or sugar. They concluded that the antioxidant activity of monk fruit extract was almost twice as potent as the antioxidant activity of Stevia.
Another study found that the extract may have anti-cancer properties. The extract can reduce the risks of heart diseases. A 2016 study published in Nutrition and Disease found that fruit extract can lower LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. It is also believed to boost the metabolism of fat.
Both stevia and monk fruit contain zero calories, no carbs, and no protein. Stevia has an intense, slightly bitter aftertaste, whereas monk fruit has a sweet fruity flavor. Both are generally considered safe to consume by those who prefer natural options.
Stevia is used mainly for its ability to replace sugar in baking recipes. Monk fruit is more commonly used in beverage recipes or to flavor foods such as ice cream.
Stevia is available in two forms: powder and liquid extract. Monk fruit can only be bought as a powder.
There is no real difference between the two except for their TASTE, and you will probably be able to find a combination that works best for you. If you need to use a lot of stevias, try mixing it with less sweet liquids after getting them from our certified EkoSweet Stevia Sweetener manufacturing product page. If you are trying to keep your calorie count low, try mixing monk fruit with water.