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Stevia vs. Monk Fruit: What’s Right for You?

Craving sweetness without the sugar?

Stevia and monk fruit are two popular natural sweeteners that fit the bill.

Derived from plants, they offer a sugar-free way to indulge your sweet tooth.

But which one reigns supreme?

Read on to find out!

What is Stevia?

The leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, a shrub native to South America, produce the natural sugar substitute stevia.

Its sweetness is mainly due to steviol glycosides, which are ~250-300 times sweeter than sugar.

Pros of Stevia

  1. Calorie-free: Beneficial for weight management and sugar reduction.
  2. Blood sugar friendly: Stevia does not raise blood sugar levels.
  3. Natural: Unlike many artificial sweeteners, stevia is plant-based and considered a natural product.
  4. Widely available and affordable: Stevia is available in whole leaves, powders, and liquid drops. It is also less expensive than other natural sweeteners.
  5. Dental health: Stevia does not cause tooth decay.
  6. Potential health benefits: Some studies suggest that stevia may have additional health benefits, such as lowering inflammation and blood pressure. More research is needed in these areas.
Stevia; a small amount of stevia powder next to a stevia leaf

Cons of Stevia

  1. Flavor or aftertaste: Some report a licorice flavor and somewhat bitter aftertaste.
  2. Digestive issues: Gastrointestinal problems, such as bloating, gas, and nausea, can occur when consumed in large amounts.

What is Monk Fruit?

Monk fruit is a small green gourd from Southeast Asia.

The sweetness of monk fruit is due to mogrosides, compounds significantly sweeter than sugar yet calorie-free.

Manufacturers mix monk fruit sweeteners with other ingredients to create a sugar-like texture.

Pros of Monk Fruit

  1. Calorie-free: Monk fruit is calorie-free aiding in weight management.
  2. Natural source: Appeals to individuals seeking natural alternatives.
  3. Contains antioxidants: Contains antioxidants, which may offer additional health benefits.
  4. Blood sugar friendly: Sweetens without causing an increase in blood sugar levels, making it ideal for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
  5. Oral health: Doesn’t contribute to tooth decay, offering a sweet solution that supports oral health.
Picture of Monk Fruit

Cons of Monk Fruit

  1. Aftertaste: Slightly fruity or caramel-like. Some individuals report a bitter aftertaste.
  2. Additional Processing: While monk fruit is natural, commercial products may involve processing and blending with other ingredients.
  3. Cost and Availability: Monk fruit is more expensive and may be difficult to find.

Are you curious about how stevia compares to other sugar alternatives? Check out our post on Allulose vs. Stevia.

Comparison: Stevia vs. Monk Fruit

Below is a table that summarizes the key differences between these sweeteners:

FeatureSteviaMonk Fruit
TasteSlightly bitter or licorice aftertasteSlightly fruity or caramel-like; some experience a bitter aftertaste
CaloriesCalorie-freeCalorie-free
AvailabilityWidely available in various formsLess readily available, often blended with other sweeteners
Impact on blood sugarNo impactNo impact
DigestionMay cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea in someGastrointestinal discomfort is possible in larger quantities; less likely than stevia.
Heat stabilityHeat-stable; may require recipe adjustmentsHeat stable
SafetySteviol glycosides like Reb A are approved by the FDA — while whole-leaf and raw extracts are not.Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA
CostLess expensiveMore expensive
Other potential health benefitsMay decrease inflammation and blood pressure; more research is needed.Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
Stevia vs. Monk Fruit Comparision Chart
Stevia vs. Monk Fruit

Do you want to know how monk fruit compares to other sweeteners? Check out our post – Allulose vs Monk Fruit: Which is Better?

Which Sweetener is Right for You?

Choosing between stevia and monk fruit depends on your taste preferences and budget.

If you’re on a budget and don’t mind a touch of licorice aftertaste, choose stevia.

Choose Monk fruit if you favor a neutral taste and are willing to pay more.

Stevia and Monk Fruit Products

  1. SPLENDA Stevia Zero Calorie Sweetener
  2. Stevia In The Raw Bakers Bag
  3. Lakanto Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener
  4. NOW Foods, Certified Organic Monk Fruit Liquid, Zero-Calorie Liquid Sweetener

Are you looking for additional sugar substitutes? Check out our post – Alternative Sugars 101: A Complete Guide.

Hungry for More?

Are you interested in more information on nutrition for healthy aging?

Check out the Age-Defying Dietitian’s Blog for more healthy aging content!

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*Please note this blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

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