Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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© 2019 by Kathy Garvey. Proudly created with Wix.com

 

KATHY GARVEY, MS, MBA, RDN

Stevia & Monkfruit vs Traditional Non-Nutrative sweeteners

There are many sugar substitutes on the market, but there are a couple of alternatives that might be superior to the traditional non-nutrative artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin.  Some researchers believe consumption of artificial sweeteners leads to weight gain and altered gut microbiota.  While the debate rages on, here are two of the newer alternatives showing up in products lately.

 

Stevia

  • Made from the leaves of a plant grown in Brazil, Paraguay, Japan, and China

  • 200-300 times sweeter taste than table sugar

  • Considered "no calorie", as it has less than 5 grams of carbohydrates 

  • Has no impact on blood sugar or insulin levels

  • Highly purified extract is recognized by the FDA as generally safe in food

  • Heat stable, so can be used in baking

  • Brand names of stevia-containing products include: Stevia in the Raw, Purevia, Truvia

Monk Fruit Sweetener

  • Made from the fruit found in Southern China

  • Sweetness from an antioxidant called mogrosides

  • Limited testing, but small studies have found no impact on blood sugar levels

  • May have other ingredients, such as detrose

  • Have limited testing but the FDA has recognized it as generally safe

  • Brand names include: Monk Fruit in the Raw, Lakanto Golden Monk Fruit Sweetner, Pure Monk, Skinnygirl Monk Fruit Extract Liquid Sweetener

Look for more research and testing on both Monk Fruit sweeteners and Stevia containing sweetners.  In the meantime, these seem like good alternatives to sugar, especially for those trying to improve their blood sugar control or lose a few pounds.

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