Hey gang! As a health coach, one of the most frequent Keto related questions I receive is: “If not sugar, what can I use as a sweetener?” Great question! While there are a few options I utilize in my own kitchen, my strongest recommendation is Monkfruit sugar. If this sounds exotic, well, that’s because it sorta is unless you live in China. Monkfruit is a small, round, sub-tropical melon that the Chinese have cultivated for centuries, and used medicinally. It only actually became available in the Unites States in the last century. And thank heavens this sweet little gem arrived. Because with no calories, zero glycemic impact, and a healthy punch of antioxidants, I say let’s give Monkfruit sugar a warm welcome to the U.S. of A!
Here’s a basic breakdown, the “skinny”, if you will (pun intended, sorry not sorry). Monkfruit, the fruit, is similar to any other melon in regards to its sugar content and glycemic impact. It’s loaded with fructose and glucose. This fruit definitely does not fall under the Keto umbrella. Oddly though, Monkfruit sugar’s tasty sweetness is NOT derived from its fructose/glucose content.
Monkfruit contains a chemical compound of antioxidants, called mogrosides. Mogrosides are extracted from the squeezed juice during processing, and this creates a sweetener devoid of fructose and glucose!
Pretty wild, right?
So how does Monkfruit compare in taste to sugar? Depends on who you ask. Sources state it’s anywhere from 150-200x sweeter than sugar. However, oddly, there’s no need for a conversion measurement from sugar. Thus far, I’ve followed this guideline and my recipes have been successful. So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Also, Monkfruit extract is heat stable. You can confidently cook sauces, etc with it knowing that you’re not creating extra free radicals. Rad, right? (See what I did there? Rad? Radicals? Is this mic on?)
Despite it’s original slightly exotic origin, purchasing Monkfruit sugar is rather easy these days. Specialty grocery stores and good ol’ Amazon stock Monkfruit sugar, and there are typically a variety of brands. The two I use most frequently are ‘Lakanto’s Monkfruit Sugar Substitute (available here) and Pure Monk (available here). The only difference between these two brands is that Lakanto’s contains erythritol, a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols can potentially cause gastro distress and/or inflammation, so use with caution if you aren’t sure of any sensitivity issues.
In the meantime, if you do struggle with sugar addiction, I’m so excited to share my newest program–the Sugar Detox! This is a 6 week holistic approach I created to help others break up with the white stuff. Sugar has been shown to be as chemically addictive to our brains as drugs, like cocaine. It’s no surprise that our country lives on sugar despite the awareness of physical damage it wreaks on our bodies. They’re simply addicted.
This program IS for you if you’re ready to ditch the cravings, moodiness, bloating, hormone issues, skin inflammation, and sleep disturbances. This program is NOT for you if you’re looking to count calories, points, etc. My goal is to help you learn how to nourish your body with food that energizes you. I want to help you strengthen your mind/body connection so you fuel yourself with what makes you feel well! Here are the details.
Any questions or want more deets? Shoot me an email or comment : )
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