Got a Sweet Tooth? Try Monk Fruit Sweetener

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Less is more when it comes to this stuff.

It’s no secret that people from just about every country love sugar. I love sugar, and unless you’re diabetic or hyperactive, I’m guessing you love it as well. Unfortunately, it’s also no secret that sugar is pretty bad for you. A little bit’s good for your mental processes, but too much, and you’ll rot your teeth, increase your risk for heart disease, and other not-fun conditions. Cutting out sugar entirely isn’t really feasible, though, which is why nutritionists are always on the lookout for the next sweet substitute. Corn syrup and aspertame aren’t good for you and stevia tastes weird, so what else is there? Well, have you tried monk fruit?

Monk fruit sweetener is the powdered extract of, well, monk fruit, native to southern China. It kinda looks like a cross between a melon and coconut? Anyway, monk fruit are insanely sweet by nature, and the same goes for monk fruit sweetener. According to the USDA’s findings, monk fruit sweetener is 150 to 250 times sweeter than commercial-grade sugar. Imagine a Twinkie with that kind of sweetness. In the immortal words of Winston Zeddemore, “that’s a big Twinkie.” However, despite that intense sweetness, monk fruit sweetener is like a phantom in terms of calorie content. A single packet of this stuff has no calories, no carbs, and obviously, no sugar. No protein or vitamins, either. It’s like the distilled essence of sweetness, existing only as itself and nothing else.

The FDA approved monk fruit sweetener back in 2010, and you can find it in the specialty or foreign food sections of most grocery chains. As far as anyone has figured out, there are no side effects to its consumption; it’s just sweet, tasty goodness. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’re free to guzzle the stuff like Pixie Stix, and you probably wouldn’t want to anyway. If you consumed monk fruit sweetener on its own the same way as a Pixie Stick, the sweetness would probably burn a hole in your mouth. If you’re adding monk fruit sweetener to a drink, use about a third as much as you would sugar. If you use it to bake something, use about half. As long as you go in moderation, monk fruit sweetener is a great substitute for traditional sugar.