Monk Fruit Sweeteners: Benefits, FAQs, & How It Compares to Sugar

Written by Krista Bugden

September 6, 2023

Monk fruit, known as Siraitia grosvenorii or Luo Han Guo, is a small, round fruit native to Southern China and Northern Thailand. Celebrated for its intense sweetness—nearly 150 to 250 times sweeter than table sugar—this remarkable fruit has been used as a natural sweetener and medicinal herb in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

In recent years, monk fruit has captured the attention of health-conscious consumers worldwide. This is mainly because it offers a calorie-free, natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. In fact, monk fruit appears in many of NativePath’s products, including our chocolate collagen, peach collagen, French vanilla collagen creamer, and more.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of monk fruit—exploring its health benefits and how it compares to sugar as a sweetener.

Why Is Monk Fruit So Sweet?

Surprisingly, monk fruit’s intense sweetness isn’t due to its naturally occurring sugars. The sweetness of this fruit comes from its antioxidant content—specifically a group of antioxidants called mogrosides (1). 

When processed, these antioxidants are separated from the fruit’s juice. This is why this sweetener contains zero glucose, fructose, or calories.

What Are the Health Benefits of Monk Fruit?

Beyond a natural sweetener, monk fruit has plenty of health benefits. Let’s take a closer look…

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Monk fruit is a potent anti-inflammatory. Traditional Chinese Medicine has long utilized monk fruit to reduce inflammation and soothe respiratory ailments (2). 

Modern research supports these claims indicating that mogrosides—the powerful antioxidants found in monk fruit—can help combat inflammation (3). Mogrosides inhibit the production of inflammatory substances, which may help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, or inflammatory bowel diseases.

Antioxidant Effects

Rich in powerful antioxidants, monk fruit can help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, protecting cells from oxidative stress and damage (4). In turn, regular consumption of monk fruit may reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

Can Help Manage Diabetes & Blood Sugar

Due to its antioxidative properties and its use as a zero-calorie, zero-sugar sweetener, monk fruit may help with diabetes management. In fact, research has shown that monk fruit sweeteners may even help lower blood sugar levels. On top of this, animal studies have shown it may help increase “good” cholesterol (5).

It’s theorized that monk fruit has these capabilities due to its antioxidants, which increase insulin secretion (6). In turn, insulin works to lower blood sugar by shuttling sugar into the body’s cells.

May Aid in Weight Loss

One of the most significant health claims associated with monk fruit is its potential to contribute to healthy weight loss. As previously mentioned, monk fruit sweetener contains zero calories. So it’s thought that it may reduce one’s overall caloric intake.

However, most studies conducted on zero or low-calorie sweeteners indicate that only a slight weight loss is often seen with these additions (7). Overall, weight loss efforts require a holistic lifestyle approach.

Monk Fruit vs. Table Sugar: What’s the Difference?

Monk fruit and table sugar have some striking differences. For instance, monk fruit contains zero calories, whereas table sugar contains 16.3 calories per teaspoon.

Additionally, it would seem monk fruit contains basically zero traces of other nutrients. In contrast, table sugar has small amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, selenium, and riboflavin (8, 9).

Per One Teaspoon :Calories
Table Sugar :16.3
Monk Fruit Sweetener :0
Per One Teaspoon :Protein
Table Sugar :0 grams
Monk Fruit Sweetener :0 grams
Per One Teaspoon :Carbohydrates
Table Sugar :4.2 grams
Monk Fruit Sweetener :.5 grams
Per One Teaspoon :Fat
Table Sugar :0 grams
Monk Fruit Sweetener :0 grams

Frequently Asked Questions

Monk fruit doesn’t raise blood sugar because it doesn’t contain sugar. Its sweetness comes from its antioxidant content.

Krista Bugden
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Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden is a freelance writer with a BS in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. She spent 5 years working as a kinesiologist, giving her the first-hand experience she needed to write well-researched, scientific, and informative blogs.

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    Medical Disclaimer

    This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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