All-natural monk fruit sweetener is the best low-carb sweetener! It has a clean sweet taste with zero calories and no glycemic impact.
When it comes to eating a low-carb diet, the sweetener you choose can make a big difference. You want to pick one without any aftertaste and one that adds a sweet flavor, too.
I recently put together a comprehensive guide on all of the low-carb sweeteners and substitutes that are best to consume while on the keto diet. So, I wanted to dig a little deeper into some of those sweetener options and decided to start with monk fruit.
Monk Fruit Sweetener: Here Is Everything You Need To Know!
I have to admit; Out of all of them, monk fruit extract sweetener is definitely in my top three favorite low-carb sweeteners. It's more natural, so it is easier on our bodies. Plus, it doesn't seem to have any funky aftertaste either.
Let's look even closer at this sugar-free sweetener!
What Is Monk Fruit?
Monk fruit is a small, round fruit that grows naturally in China. It's also known as Lo Han Guo.
Lo Han Guo is a fruit that goes by many names. It's often referred to as Luo Han Guo, Lo Han Kuo, or a combination of the two in English. I've also seen it as arhat fruit, Buddha fruit, monk fruit, or longevity fruit.
The extracted sweetener comes from a gourd-like fruit that is similar in size to a lemon. It grows primarily in Southern China and Northern Thailand. The fruit is green in color with light green streaks but turns brown when dried.
Monk fruit is often dried and used as an herb by the Chinese.
The fruit is rarely eaten fresh due to storage issues as well as the objectionable flavors. Drying monk fruit not only preserves the fruit but eliminates some of the undesirable flavors. However, the dried fruit tends to have a bitter flavor, so it is often combined with sweeteners when used.
How Is Monk Fruit Sweetener Made?
The sugar-free sweeteners are made from the juice of the monk fruit. To extract juice from the fruit, they have to remove the seeds and skin and crush them completely.
Best part? Monk fruit extract contains zero calories per serving!
I've seen monk fruit extract used in Quest bars and Zevia soda, to name a few low-carb products, and it's the only sweetener in low-carb ChocZero.
Monk Fruit Benefits
I started using monk fruit extract in 2015 because the taste is amazing. I've found that it's one of the best low-carb sweeteners available right now. It also enhances the sweetness of what I am eating or drinking without leaving any weird aftertaste in my mouth.
Sounds like a win to me!
Another benefit to using this sugar-free sweetener is that it tastes sweet without raising blood sugar. It's been shown to help reduce glucose levels, making this a perfect choice for people with diabetes.
The actual fruit has lots of anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Historically, people have used monk fruit to relieve issues with phlegm and sore throats!
Monk Fruit Sweetener Side Effects
As with all sweeteners, I believe they should be used in moderation as they do tend to cause weight loss stalls and continued sweet cravings. Also, consuming too much monk fruit (or any sugar substitute) can give you an upset stomach.
Is Monk Fruit Safe To Use On A Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet?
The concentrated monk fruit extract is very sweet but has zero calories and zero glycemic impact. This makes it a great natural sweetener for people with diabetes and those on a low-carb diet!
As of 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added monk fruit sweetener to the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list. For this reason, it is a safe choice to use in low-carb or sugar-free dessert recipes.
Monk Fruit Vs. Stevia
Monk fruit extract is similar to stevia in that it is about 250-300 times as sweet as sugar. However, monk fruit sweetener doesn't have the bitter aftertaste associated with many stevia sweeteners. In fact, Lo Han Guo has been used in China as a natural sweetener in soft drinks for years!
Another important thing to note is that monk fruit extract is on the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list. Some types of stevia are not on that list.
Note: To be clear, this means high-purity stevia glycoside extracts are on the GRAS list, but stevia leaf and crude extracts are not.
Finally, monk fruit sweetener isn't nearly as processed as stevia. Stevia products sold in the United States are often mixed with other sugar-like ingredients such as dextrose (corn sugar), erythritol, and molasses. Their reasoning behind it is that blending it with other sugars helps stevia easier to cook and bake with.
The Best Brands Of Monk Fruit Sweeteners
There are lots of companies that make monk fruit sweeteners, so which ones are the best?
- As a bulk sweetener, the concentrated extract is combined with erythritol in products like Lakanto monk fruit powder.
- I prefer to use the NuNaturals Pure Liquid Lo Han Supreme which is a concentrated liquid with added vegetable glycerine, alcohol, and water.
- NuNaturals also sells pure monk fruit extract powder which is sold in a small bottle with over 570 servings!
For those following a low-carb diet, you'll want to avoid any monk fruit sweetener that contains additives like dextrose or maltodextrin which can impact blood sugar. I also stay away from artificial ingredients like sucralose and any form of sugar like molasses.
Another one of my favorite monk fruit sweeteners is Purisure! It is made with only monk fruit extract - no other additives or ingredients. Even though it isn't USDA-certified organic, the monk fruit is grown without pesticides or herbicides.
Sweeteners are great for an occasional treat while following a low-carb keto diet, but they shouldn't be used regularly. However, with zero carbs and zero calories, you need to give monk fruit a try.
If you are looking for a sugar-free sweetener, this is one of the best ones you can use!
Best Recipes That Use Monk Fruit Sweetener
The best recipes that use monk fruit sweeteners are low-carb desserts. Here are some of my favorite recipes:
- Homemade Keto Chocolate Bars are rich and sweet without any funny aftertaste.
- Keto Chocolate Donuts is another way to satisfy your cravings for chocolate; eat them for lunch or dessert.
- Keto Carrot Cake is perfect any time of year and has the most amazing cream cheese frosting.
- Coconut Key Lime Pie has a very zesty flavor that is bursting with citrus.
- Chocolate-Covered Peanut Clusters are packed with protein and healthy fats, making them a wonderful low-carb snack.
If you want to learn more about this fantastic sweet fruit extract, check out this site which has tons more information.
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First published on May 11, 2015. Updated April 1, 2021, with new images and additional sweetener information.
Hi, I’ve been searching for quite awhile now for pure sugar substitutes that can be swapped out to replace sugar for occasional baking. The problem is the only one I’ve been able to find is a particular stevia select brand that doesn’t add the other junk like you mentioned.
Erithytol (spelling?) bothers me and some are beginning to recommend against it because it bothers their stomach.
There doesn’t seem to truly be any bulk for bulk safe, healthy (okay on digestive tract) sweetener that can be swapped out to make muffins or a holiday cake. I’ve tried many times with stevia but it’s so concentrated that if a recipe calls for 1/2-1cup of sugar or powdered sweetener, for example, pure stevia has not worked since it’s only a tiny bit of powder. This would be the same with nu naturals monk fruit I believe?
It looks like from what you wrote that you prefer the nu natural brand liquid drops which is similar to the stevia.
With all the recipes you have shown below in related posts, you must be using other things like swerve etc. to bake?
Have you been able to find any good low carb recipes for chocolate cake or muffins that can use just pure Concentrated stevia for sweetener? If you do would SO appreciate if you would do a YouTube video or post on that ????
My keto sweetener guide is a good place to find alternatives. I personally like Bochasweet which is extracted from a Japanese squash. It's a one-for-one sub for sugar. Allulose is another bulk sweetener you can try, but it it is a little less sweet than sugar.
Do you have a barbecue sauce made with monk fruit? Thanks
My sugar free barbecue sauce can be made with all monk fruit.
I am using a TON of Stevia and wondered why after 2 weeks of eating less than 20 carbs (I thought) I can't get in ketosis. This is what I should be using?
It depends. Are you using pure stevia or a erythritol blend? Eating too much sweet foods and drinks can actually cause several issues including activating the hunger hormones.
Hi! Thank you for the information. I'm arriving a bit late to the party, but I have a question: Have you ever made a liquid sweetener with Monk Fruit sweetener? If so, what ratios do you recommend. I need to eliminate liquid sucralose, having learned how unhealthy it is, and need to replace with something better for me. Thank you for any help you can offer!
I just buy the liquid form of monk fruit extract. It's a great replacement for liquid sucralose and is made by several brands. I like the drops made by NuNaturals, but Lakanto also sells one in a squeeze bottle.
Can I use this cup for cup for baking?
The one with added erythritol is a one for one sub that works well for baking.
It is 200x’s sweeter than granulated sugar therefor the recommendation is half what your recipe calls for. If it calls for 1 cup of sugar use 1/2 cup of monk classic. Hope this helps.
I wanted to make a sweet muffin with this but saw 4carbs per tsp and 0 glycemic; it is very confusing to me. Is this something that's fine to bake with but not knock you out of ketosis?
First off, the concentrated monk fruit powder and liquid has zero total carbs. The bulk monk fruit sweetener adds erythritol which is a sugar alcohol that doesn't impact blood sugar levels and therefore can be subtracted. So, those 4g total carbs are typically not counted in recipes.
How many carbs does monk fruit sweetener have.
Which keto sweetener do u recommend
Pure monk fruit extract has zero carbs. If it's blended with a granular sweetener, the additional sweetener adds carbs.
Do you use it for baking, muffins, breads, etc? If so, do you just use the same amount of sweetener called for in the recipe or does it have to be adjusted? Can you use just the monkfruit sweetener by itself for baking or do you have to mix it with stevia or something else? Thanks.
You can combine the monk fruit concentrate if desired or use the granular erythritol blend by itself. The Lakanto granular is an equivalent sugar substitute. The amount of monk fruit concentrate depends on the brand.
It says it has 4g of carbs per tsp. I use it only for my morning coffee. I use 1 Tablespoon I like my coffee alittle sweeter. Is that okay for keto? I
If you're using a erythritol monk fruit blend, the carbs are from erythritol which can be subtracted. So net carbs are zero.
It's 4 g of sugar alcohol (Erythritol)
Which you subtract from the total therefore, its zero net carbs.
Hi, thanks for sharing all these info. I had recently bought two pack of lakanto monk fruit sweeterner but i am kinda concern with the carbs (i'm on keto diet) as it is 1:1, does the carbs in monk fruit sugar consider real carbs that will kick me out of ketosis?? My limit is about 25g carbs per day
You should be okay with the Lakanto monk fruit sweetener. The carbs are from erythritol which are not digested.
What are the differences in the classic and golden? And how are the differences best used?
The Classic white has a cleaner sugar-like taste. The Golden keeps more of the monk fruit flavor. I like to use the Golden when the taste won't interfere.
We use raw Monk Fruit to sweeten our tea, works great ! http://earthlychow.com/the-secret-sweetener-monk-fruit-arhat-fruit-luo-han-guo-lo-han-kuo
Thanks for the info. I've never found it raw.