1. What is monk fruit?
Monk fruit is a fruit like any other but with a unique antioxidant. It contains a lot of water, some sugar, fiber and antioxidants
2. What is monk fruit sweetner?
Monk fruit sweetener is simply sweetener that is derived from the fruit. Although it contain sugar as does all fruit, much of the ‘sweetness’ come from an antioxidant exclusive to it. Of course, antioxidants don’t deliver any calories but this one has a particularly sweet taste to the human tongue.
3. Is it safe for children?
Just as safe as any other fruit. No one would ask if strawberries were safe for kids and asking about safety surrounding this one is of course no different.
4. Is it safe for pregnant and breastfeeding?
Just as safe as any other fruit.
5. What are the benefits?
Like all other fruits, it provides some carbohydrates, fiber, water and antioxidants. Thus, it can protect against almost any disease including cancer and diabetes. But what makes it unique, and the reason it is a ‘big deal,’ is that, unlike other fruits, it contains an antioxidant that happens to taste really sweet. Antioxidants don’t provide calories, but this one can make things taste great.
6. What are the side effects?
Just better health! Consuming too much of anything is a bad idea, so don’t binge on monk fruit.
7. Where to buy monk fruit or at least sweeteners?
It’s tough to find the actual fruit. Most places that sell it do so as a powder or liquid sweetener. You can find it at many on and off-line retailers.
8. Effect on weight management
It can be great for weight loss/management because it can make things taste better without adding calories. For instance, everyone loves chocolate cake but eating it is a bad idea if weight is a problem for you. However, you could add monk fruit sweetener to something like oatmeal, which is really healthy for you but normally tastes not-so-great.
There is a caution here, however. Studies have shown that overweight people are the mostly likely to drink diet soda, which at first sounds a little backwards.1 The reason this is true is that many overweight folks, in an attempt to do something “healthy,” drink diet soda while still following a crappy overall diet. Monk fruit could lead someone on the same path. They use monk fruit so they think somehow the rest isn’t important.
9. Monk Fruit vs. Stevia.
Both are 100% natural, plant-derived substances with incredible sweetness but no calories. In a sense, they ‘trick’ your taste buds into tasting sweet like you would with pure sugar but of course it isn’t actually sugar.
- .Fowler SP, Williams K, Resendez RG, Hunt KJ, Hazuda HP, Stern MP. Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain. Obesity. 2008;16(8):1894-1900.
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