My last doctor visit for a checkup included the usual banter between doctor and patient and somehow we came upon the discussion of Monk fruit sweetener. Both Mary Kay and I have what might be considered to be borderline high glucose readings. They are not high enough to warrant doing anything in particular, other than to keep an eye on.
We both watch what we eat and I have always had a tendency to have a sweet tooth. I have, over the years, cut out carbonated beverages with and without sugar, except for mineral water, watch my intake of sweets, and keep an eye on the carbohydrates.
My doctor mentioned Monk fruit sweetener as something we might use to sweeten drinks or even bake with as this is a sweetener you can buy that is used in the same amounts as sugar. You can also purchase it in drop, liquid form.
The Monk fruit contains mainly fructose and glucose but gets its sweetness from some very unique antioxidants called mogrosides. In order to make the sweetener, they remove the seeds and skin of the Monk fruit and crush the juice out of it. They separate the mogrosides from the liquid, thereby producing a product with no fructose or glucose. This liquid is between 100 and 250 times sweeter than regular granulated sugar, so many manufacturers add other natural products to reduce the sweetness.
Monk fruit has been around for centuries and has been used in Chinese medicine. It is found in southeast Asia. There are no known side effects.
There are no calories whatsoever and it does not affect a person’s glycemic index. There are even those who say that it may actually even have good qualities, for example, being anti-inflammatory. I believe more studies are perhaps needed.
When we tasted it, we felt as if there were a mild taste of brown sugar. Overall, we now use it in tea and wherever we might have used granulated sugar, like on very sour grapefruit.
The product is available on Amazon and is not cheap, but for those of us on the edge with our glucose tests, this is a good option.