Are you concerned about using artificial sweeteners, but don’t want to get too much sugar? Discover a new natural sweetener made from a fruit grown in China.
Trying to decrease your sugar intake? Many people want to reduce how much sugar they eat, but are wary of using artificial sweeteners. Now, they have an alternative – in addition to Stevia, the most recent addition to the natural sweetener market. There’s a new sweetener made from monk fruit – a fruit that’s native to China and Thailand. This natural sweetener is made by removing the seeds and pureeing the very sweet insides of the fruit that’s called luo hand guo in China. Because the fruit contains aromas that interfere with its palatability, solvents are used to remove them.
A New Natural Sweetener Made From Fruit?
The Chinese have been using a natural sweetener made from the monk fruit for many years. The extract from this fruit is 300 times sweeter than sugar and is calorie-free. It has a low glycemic index, meaning it won’t raise blood sugar levels rapidly like sugar does. The FDA classifies extracts from the monk fruit as being “generally recognized as safe” and there are no reports of adverse reactions to this sweetener.
This Natural Sweetener from Fruit May Have Health Benefits
Not only is this natural sweetener made from fruit recognized by the FDA as being generally safe, it’s a source of a natural antioxidant called mogroside. Some small studies show the fruit may have anti-cancer benefits and could help to fight the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis.
Is This Natural Sweetener Currently Available?
This new sweetener is available as Sweet Sensation Luo Han Guo Powder made by Neway Natural and can be found at some natural food markets, health food stores, and online. A quarter teaspoon of this sweetener is the equivalent of two teaspoons of sugar, but it has no calories – and no aftertaste like some artificial sweeteners.
Is This Sweetener a Good Alternative?
It’s encouraging that this natural sweetener made from fruit has been used for many years. In fact, Buddhist monks used monk fruit extract as far back as the thirteenth century – without ill effects. On the other hand, it hasn’t been extensively tested in humans. Although the sweetener is made naturally from the monk fruit, solvents are used to remove some of the aromas, which means it’s not completely natural.
The bottom line? This sweetener is probably a good alternative, but don’t use it in large amounts until more is known about its long-term effects on humans. Another natural sweetener alternative is Stevia which has been around for many years and has been the subject of more studies – and has the approval of the FDA.
Food Navigator.com. “Monk fruit sweetener is ‘emerging’, say analysts”
Pure Applied Chemistry 2002; 74(7): 1309-1316.