Monk Fruit in the Limelight – the New Sugar-Substitute Star?

Monk Fruit, also known as Lou Han Guo, is a small, dark-green melon containing an intensely sweet compound called mogroside, which is the star ingredient in a new generation sweetener. monk fruit

It got FDA approval as a commercial sweetener, but remember that the FDA has approved many a food ingredient (even those that can not be called ‘food’ by any stretch of the imagination), that has proven to be detrimental to our health.

If the monk fruit is eaten as a fruit, it has wonderful health benefits.  The tangle comes when companies extract compounds, isolating them from what makes up the whole food, and processing them into a commercially viable product.  I am always curious why we think that an ingredient in isolation from its natural companions, is expected to perform as it did while in its natural state.

Well, there is still research that is needed before Monk Fruit extracts can be assumed totally safe.  For now, use Mogroside (sold as Fruit-Sweetness) in moderation.

Below is the link to an article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune, which will tell you more:

Monk fruit new natural sweetener

by the editors of Environmental Nutrition, December 26, 2012

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4 thoughts on “Monk Fruit in the Limelight – the New Sugar-Substitute Star?

  1. I like monk fruit sweetner, & have several. I mix with sugar some of the time. I use little sugar or sweetner & my favorite drink is good water! I was automatically cautious about this new monk fruit sweetner, and I also have zylitol, and several types of stevia, which I am more suspicious of now. I will be watching for all research, plus who is presenting the research, as well. Georgia c.

  2. If there’s one thing the FDA has taught me, it’s not to trust their approval system. Sad, but they practically beat that lesson into me! I usually wait a few years before trying anything they approve to see how it plays out once it’s widely used. Even then, I use my own judgment and common sense to come to a final decision whether to expose myself and my family to the product. I agree with you that isolated ingredients can’t automatically be expected to be as safe as they were in their original form, nor can they be the same once they’ve been processed into something for public use or when they’re then used in much larger quantities than you’d get them when ingesting them in a piece of fruit or whatever they were found in. Overuse (which can be tricky to pinpoint exactly how much is TOO much for each individual) and processing both can make a naturally-occurring ingredient become unsafe.

    1. Am in total agreement. Too many variables to really know.
      Ingredients that I know are in pesticides are also used as preservatives in food and personal products, and FDA says it’s ok because there is less than 1%. Well, if 8 things I eat and use each day have 1% where is the safety now? How naive to assume people will only use a tiny bit of ONE thing that has a toxin in it. And what happens over time, when your body can’t rid itself of the toxin?? 😦

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