Monk Fruit vs. Stevia: Which Sweetener Should You Use?

Monk Fruit vs. Stevia

People who are diabetic yet love splurging on sugar often look for options that can satisfy their sweet tooth without hampering their health. It is when natural products such as monk fruit and stevia came to the rescue. 

Both monk fruit and stevia are used as a substitute for sugar in preparing dishes and beverages. However, both come with their own set of pros and cons.

If you are not able to decide which is suitable for you, getting a detailed information on each of them and comparing monk fruit sweetener vs. stevia will help. 

Let’s learn about them and know their potential advantages and side effects. 

Difference Between Monk Fruit Sweetener and Stevia

Monk Fruit Sweetener

Difference between monk fruit sweetener and stevia
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Monk fruit sweetener is made with monk fruit, a small green gourd that appears like a melon. Since it was first used by Buddhist monks, it was thus named so. 

To use monk fruit as a sweetener, it is first dried. Later, the sweeteners are extracted from the fruit and mixed with dextrose to bring sweet flavour into it. 

The typical characteristics of monk fruit sweeteners are the following-

  • 200 times sweeter than sugar
  • zero calories
  • zero carbohydrates
  • zero sodium
  • zero fat

Benefits of Monk Fruit Sweetener 

Coming in different forms such as liquid, granule, and powder, monk fruit sweetener is an FDA-approved product. Also, being safe for children and pregnant women it is suitable for everyone’s use. 

  • Do not interfere with blood sugar levels as it is a low-glycemic natural sweetener
  • Being zero calories, it helps in weight management 
  • There are no adverse effects of consuming monk fruit sweetener 

Disadvantages of Monk Fruit Sweetener

  • Expensive than sugar
  • Difficult to grow 
  • Some people do not like its unpleasant aftertaste 

Stevia 

stevia
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Stevia is extracted from stevia plant that belongs to Asteraceae family. It is over 200 times sweeter than sugar, making it a potential substitute for it. In spite being used as a natural sweetener for centuries, FDA considers it unsafe.

This conclusion came after many literatures suggested that stevia can affect the blood sugar level of the body. At the same time, it can affect heart health, reproductive health as well as renal system. 

Benefits of Stevia 

Stevia shares the same advantages as Monk Fruit Sweetener. Below are its major benefits-

  • Calorie-free, making it suitable for people trying to manage weight 
  • Good alternative for people with diabetes 
  • Available in different forms- liquid, granule, and powder 

Disadvantages of Stevia 

  • Expensive than sugar 
  • Some people experience side effects such as nausea and bloating 
  • It may have a bitter aftertaste 
  • May cause allergic reactions 
  • Highly refined 

Below is the table differentiating between monk fruit sweetener and stevia under different heads-

FeatureMonk Fruit SweetenerStevia
SourceExtracted from monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii)Extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant
SweetnessTypically 100-250 times sweeter than sugarGenerally 200-400 times sweeter than sugar
Caloric ContentVirtually calorie-freeVirtually calorie-free
Glycemic Index (GI)Minimum, meaning it may affect blood sugar levels slightlyMinimum, meaning it may affect blood sugar levels slightly
Taste ProfileSweet taste with slight bitter aftertasteSweet taste with a slight bitter aftertaste
Processing MethodUsually processed using water extraction methodsOften processed using water or alcohol extraction methods
Chemical CompositionContains mogrosides, natural compounds responsible for sweetnessContains steviol glycosides, such as stevioside and rebaudioside
Use in Cooking/BakingSuitable for cooking and baking, but may require adjustment due to high sweetnessSuitable for cooking and baking, but may have a slight aftertaste
AvailabilityBecoming increasingly available in various forms (liquid, powder, granules)Widely available in various forms (liquid, powder, granules)

Monk Fruit Sweetener Vs Stevia- What Is Right for Me? 

When it comes to choosing between monk fruit sweetener and stevia, the choice goes down to individual preferences. While some people like the aftertaste of stevia, others prefer it for monk fruit sweetener. 

Besides taste, other factors that can determine your choice between these two include the following-

  • Side effects 
  • Purity 
  • Overall taste 
  • Affordability 
  • Uses 

While stevia and monk fruit are natural sweeteners, they may contain traces of artificial sweeteners as well, which can hamper the health of people dealing with diabetes and weight issues. 

Therefore, start slow and see how the body reacts to their consumption. When it comes to sweeteners other than sugar, less is more. As the body adjusts you can increase their intake gradually to add more to taste.

One more benefit of these sweeteners is both are heat stable. It means whether you are using them for blending coffee or baking cakes, both will work fine.  

Conclusion 

Monk fruit and stevia sweeteners are alternatives to sugar. They are zero-calorie and zero-nutritive products that can add sweetness to your food and beverages. Even though they are considered natural, a small amount of additives may be available that may impact blood sugar levels in the body. 

Feature Image Source – Canva

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