Luo Han Guo: Monk Fruit
Native to southern China, Luo Han Guo has been used for decades in Traditional Chinese medicine.
This fruit is more commonly known across the nation as Monk Fruit, and due to its various health benefits, it is also referred to as the “Immortal’s Fruit.” This prized fruit is so special it carries several names—so what exactly makes Luo Han Guo so special?
Let's answer that question in several ways. There are numerous reasons why you should you care about this green melon and the fact that it is being hailed as the best sugar substitute in the world by so many individuals.
Let’s crack open this fruit and see what all the hype is about.
Luo Han Guo Sweetener & Benefits: The Immortals’ Fruit
As mentioned, this fruit has ancient roots within monk communities. More specifically, this fruit was harvested and used to help improve the monks’ chi—to help restore balance to the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of their lives.
The wisdom and ingenuity of monks from centuries ago is seeing a resurgence: Monk Fruit is quickly becoming the go-to sugar substitute due to its natural chemistry, sugar-like flavor, ease of use and health benefits.
Luo Han Guo supports weight loss efforts.
One of the biggest benefits of luo han guo is its natural sweetness and true-to-sugar taste. But why is that a big deal? There are a ton of other artificial and natural sweeteners out there?
It turns out that many sweeteners have actually been shown to carry quite a bit of side effects. For example, some sweeteners can:
- Damage good gut bacteria (gut health plays a big role in overall health and wellness)
- Increase weight gain
- Increase risk of type 2 diabetes
- May affect liver, kidney, and thymus health
In addition to the above, some sweeteners can leave a bitter aftertaste, making it a subpar “sugar substitute,” and also cause additional unwanted side effects.
Unlike the above, luo han guo gets its sweetness from antioxidants called mogrosides, instead of fructose or sucrose.
This means that along with being a perfect sugar-substitute, luo han guo is also zero calories, and is a zero on the glycemic index.
That’s right, monk fruit won’t affect blood sugar and is actually packed antioxidants with its sweetness.
Due to luo han guo’s sweetness profile and antioxidants, it serves as an incredible sugar substitute, allowing people to kick sugar and its dangers to the curb.
Sugar has been linked to so many things including increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, cancer, depression, fatigue, and more.
In short, luo han guo helps people get off sugar without having to sacrifice sweets and tasty treats. Monk fruit truly allows you to “have your cake and eat it too,” without the negative effects of sugar.
By helping people shake their sugar addiction and opt for something much more healthy and just as tasty, luo han guo is able to help people take control of their weight loss goals and diet.
Monk Fruit aids with blood sugar control.
In addition to luo han guo’s effects on weight loss, this fruit is also useful for helping control blood sugar.
Let’s face it: sugar is everywhere—in our snacks, meals, drinks. It’s in the vending machines at sporting events, and maybe even at your work. Sugar consumption is pervasive and dangerous.
As you eat sugar, your body breaks it down into glucose for immediate energy. The extra glucose ends up getting stored in the liver and can also be converted into fatty acids and stored as fat in adipose tissue.
If you are consistently spiking your blood sugar and releasing insulin, you can put yourself at risk of developing diabetes. Too much sugar can also lead to obesity, low energy, and even affect your risk of developing cancer.
Monk fruit allows you to make and consume sweet foods without the negative effects of sugar, so you can still enjoy the treats you love.
"The Immortal's Fruit" is being studied for its effects on cancer treatment.
One potential benefit that is still being researched is monk fruit extracts’ ability to inhibit cancer cell growth. That said, scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how this is happening.
In addition to ongoing research between monk fruit’s effects on cancer, sugar’s effects on insulin levels can also contribute to cancer growth and other chronic diseases.
Keep in mind that by you cutting sugar out of your diet, that’s one additional step you can take to help control your health and wellness.
Luo Han Guo Is Lifestyle Friendly
Due to luo han guo’s benefits (zero calorie, zero glycemic, true-to-sugar taste), it is lifestyle friendly.
- Keto - The goal with keto is for your macros to be about 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. In other words, you want to extremely limit your carbohydrate consumption so that your body switches from a sugar-burning machine to a fat burning machine for energy. Monk fruit helps you keep your carbohydrate (and net carbohydrate) consumption at an all-time low.
- Diabetic - Keeping carbohydrate and sugar consumption low can help manage blood sugar levels, and as a result, help prevent insulin spikes. Monk fruit once again can help those suffering from diabetes still enjoy sweets without having negative effects on their blood sugar.
- Candida - Candida is a fungus that can grow and lead to infection. Things that cause this fungus to grow include sugar and carbohydrates. Much like the benefits to those who are following the keto diet or are diabetic, luo han guo helps people eliminate sugar from their diet without sacrificing their favorite sweet treats.
The Sweetness Factor
In addition to luo han guo’s physical health benefits, as mentioned earlier, it makes for an incredible sugar-free sweetener.
But when we say sugar-free, we’re not talking about the “sugar-free” foods you may have come across at your local grocery store, or the candies that may have been sitting in a bowl at your grandparent’s house.
We’re bringing a whole new meaning to the word “sugar-free.” (More on that in just a second.)
On its own, monk fruit is 250-300x sweeter than sugar.
That’s why at Lakanto, we use a proprietary mixture of monk fruit and erythritol (a sugar alcohol) for the ultimate combination of sweetness.
With monk fruit sweetened Lakanto products ranging from the Classic Monkfruit Sweetener (white sugar substitute), to our Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (brown sugar substitute), Chocolate Bars, simple syrups, and more, you can make delicious, sugar-free/low-carb treats and foods.
Check out just some of the recipes you can make below and see how easy it can be to satisfy your sweet tooth and stay on track with your goals:
Will Luo Han “Guo” Away Anytime Soon?
Monk fruit has been singled out as one of the top products to keep an eye out for in 2019. And after considering all of its benefits and advantages, it’s no surprise. More and more people are catching on to what the monks were doing decades ago.
At Lakanto, we pride ourselves in growing and harvesting monk fruit in the same pristine area and according to the traditional environmental methods as the monks did anciently.
Have any more questions about monk fruit, or want to learn more about Lakanto and our story? Click here!