For the 34.2 million Americans dealing with diabetes, alternative sweeteners are a priority. Monkfruit is emerging as a leading all-natural choice.
The monkfruit difference
“Monkfruit is 100 percent plant-derived and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals or additives such as aspartame,” notes Dani Breiner, a holistic nutritionist and healthy eating blogger.
Monkfruit is one of the few low-to-no calorie sweeteners permitted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the food supply. “Monkfruit does not spike blood sugar and is rated a zero on the glycemic index,” Breiner says.
The right choice
Monkfruit has benefits over natural sweeteners like Stevia, which can cause bloating and nausea, but its sweetness can be a challenge. Leading sugar substitute company Lakanto adds erythritol, which is only 70 percent as sweet as sugar, for the perfect balance.
Breiner warns it’s important to do your research. “Monkfruit farms are often located in polluted areas,” warns Breiner. “The crops are treated with pesticides, or the products are cut with fillers and additives like maltodextrin and dextrose that can cause other health issues, including digestive stress.”
Lakanto grows its monkfruit in rural areas far away from the cities in Southern China, avoiding pollution and resulting in high-quality crops. The monkfruit is then processed in a zero-emissions factory where it’s inspected multiple times and tested by a third party for pesticides.
In the end, what matters is how it tastes. Breiner uses Lakanto’s monkfruit products in her own recipes. “Their baking mixes taste and bake like the real deal,” she enthuses. “It can be quite hard to tell the difference between Lakanto monkfruit and regular sugar!”