Sunday, August 12, 2018

**REVIEW** Monk Fruit Sweetener

A couple of years ago, when I was actually attempting to do Keto, I did a blog post about the different types of sugar substitutes. It's a great post so go and check it out, but as you know, Keto has gone buh-bye for me. I now do intermittent fasting and just attempt to eat low-carb.

One of the serious issues I have cutting out carbs is not bread or preservatives or any of the common carb bombs. My problem has to do with my coffee. Lately, I have gotten better at sipping black coffee during my fasting hours. I'm still working on tea... Now, it looks like I don't have to give up sweetening my coffee. And it's because of these sugar substitutes right here:

Both brands look the same to me

Those are the 2 brands of mong fruit sweetener I am trying. Don't they look a lot like regular table sugar?

Of course, like with any other trend, everyone in the game and their mama has jumped on the wagon. There are so many brands and types of monk fruit out there that I got dizzy trying to read reviews on them all. That's why I finally just chose the 2 brands to test out.

One is from Health Garden (via Walmart) and the other is Lakanto brand (via Amazon but can be found everywhere).

The Health Garden brand on the left is in 6-gram packets (nice for tucking into my purse), and the Lakanto on the right is a loose form.

Again, looking at the nutrition labels, Health Garden is on the left:

 Before a couple of weeks ago, I had never even heard of monk fruit. If I had, I'd forgotten all about it. Now I'm really glad I tried it.

Let me go over what I consider to be the Pros:

  • Taste, taste, taste - or, rather, no aftertaste. I literally ate some of both these brands right off a spoon. I wanted to know if I'd get that metallic 'bite' that I do with most sugar substitutes. Nope. Not one tiny taste of nastiness. Remember that I did try Erythritol by itself and I did get that aftertaste. With the other fakes that were tolerable, after this one, they just don't live up to the hype anymore.
  • The cost, while much higher than regular table sugar, is right up there with other substitutes. Also, because this is a health issue, I'm not going to cry about paying around $0.50/oz for the loose sweetener. I was paying $0.11/oz for Sugar in the Raw - which was not helping my fasting.
  • The packets are more convenient, but the loose sweetener is the most economical. Now that I see there is no difference in taste, I know which type to order.
  • You can do everything with this substitute that you can with table sugar - or so I've heard. I don't usually cook with sugar and will probably just stick to using this for my beverages (more on that in a moment).
  • This is a 0 on the Glycemic Index, which I learned more about here. That's going to be important for when I am fasting.
I can't help but come back to the taste being what sells me on this. When I talk about being able to use this in beverages, you don't know what a game-changer it is. I've been wanting to do a liquid fast again. Last time, I did okay but I got really tired of just water and plain coffee and green tea. I looked up some information and it looks as if I will be able to fast and have this sweetener in my beverages. That means... I can add lemonade to the mix. Yay. Lemon water is supposed to be all kinds of good for the body but I could never do it without a little sweetening.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know about this sugar substitute.