Monk Fruit vs. Stevia – Finding The Best Sweetener

Ever stood in your kitchen, teaspoon in hand, pondering whether to go for monk fruit vs stevia? I’ve had my fair share of moments like these, torn between the promise of natural sweetness and a health-conscious choice for my daily treats. Like many of you, I’ve searched for that perfect sugar alternative, craving something that tastes great without the guilt.

Through my own journey of taste-testing and research, I’ve realized that choosing between monk fruit and stevia isn’t just about sweetness—it’s about finding a balance that satisfies both the palate and the conscience. 

So, let’s embark on this flavorful exploration together, as we uncover the distinct charms of monk fruit and stevia, helping you make an informed choice for your next culinary adventure.

What Is Monk Fruit?

What Is Monk Fruit

Starting with a sip of my favorite iced tea, I was pleasantly surprised by its sweetness, not knowing that monk fruit was the secret behind its delightful taste. So, what exactly is monk fruit? Well, let me share what I’ve discovered on my journey to understand this intriguing natural sweetener.

Monk fruit, also known as “luo han guo,” hails from the misty mountains of Southeast Asia. Imagine stumbling upon a small, green gourd that, when dried and processed, yields an intensely sweet extract without the added calories. This fruit has been cherished for centuries, not just for its sweetening prowess but also for its traditional medicinal uses. It’s fascinating to think that something so petite could pack such a powerful punch of sweetness, offering a natural alternative to sugar that feels almost too good to be true.

What Is Stevia?

What Is Stevia

Other than monk fruits, another sweet revelation that crossed my path during my culinary adventures was stevia. As I recall sipping on a refreshing lemonade that tasted delightfully sweet, I couldn’t help but wonder about this mysterious ingredient that lent its natural sweetness without the guilt. So, let me unravel the story of stevia based on my curious exploration.

Stevia, derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant native to South America, is like nature’s own little sweet secret. Picture a lush green plant with leaves that, when dried and processed, offer a sweetness that’s several times more potent than traditional sugar. It’s astounding how a simple leaf can transform dishes and beverages, adding a burst of sweetness without the extra calories. As I delved deeper, I found that stevia has been cherished for generations, not just for its sugary allure but also for its potential health benefits. Truly, nature never ceases to surprise, offering us alternatives like stevia that redefine the way we experience sweetness.

Monk Fruit Vs Stevia: What Are Similarities 

You might be wondering about the similarities between Monk Fruit and Stevia. Well, let me share some insights with you. Both Monk Fruit and Stevia are natural sweeteners that have gained popularity as alternatives to sugar. They are known for their intense sweetness without the added calories, making them suitable for those looking to reduce their sugar intake.

When it comes to similarities, Monk Fruit and Stevia share several commonalities:

Monk Fruit Vs Stevia: What Are Similarities 

Natural Origin

Both Monk Fruit and Stevia are derived from natural sources. Monk Fruit extract comes from the Siraitia grosvenorii plant, while Stevia is derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant.

Zero Calories

One of the key similarities between Monk Fruit and Stevia is that they contain zero calories. This makes them popular choices for individuals who are mindful of their calorie intake or those following a weight management plan.

Intense Sweetness

Both sweeteners are significantly sweeter than sugar. Monk Fruit extract and Stevia are known for their intense sweetness, allowing only a small amount to be used to achieve the desired level of sweetness in foods and beverages.

Low Glycemic Impact

Another similarity is their low glycemic impact. This means that they do not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, making them suitable options for individuals with diabetes or those aiming to manage their blood sugar levels.

Suitable for Low-Carb Diets

Both Monk Fruit and Stevia can be incorporated into low-carb or ketogenic diets due to their minimal impact on blood sugar and carbohydrate levels.

Monk Fruit Vs Stevia: What Are Differences  

Other than the similarities, there are several differences between Monk fruit and Stevia.

Monk Fruit Vs Stevia: What Are Differences  

Taste and Flavor

In my experience, Monk fruit has a more subtle and mild taste compared to Stevia. It doesn’t have the bitter aftertaste that is sometimes associated with Stevia. Monk fruit sweetener is often described as having a clean, pure sweetness without any lingering flavors.

On the other hand, Stevia can have a slightly bitter or metallic aftertaste, especially when used in larger quantities. Some people may find it off-putting, while others may not notice it as much.

Sweetness Level

Both Monk fruit and Stevia are intensely sweet, but the sweetness level differs. In my personal usage, I found that I needed to use less Monk fruit sweetener to achieve the same level of sweetness as Stevia. This could be due to the fact that Monk fruit extract is generally considered to be 150-200 times sweeter than sugar, while Stevia extract is about 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.


Monk fruit sweeteners are typically made by extracting the natural sugars from the fruit and then drying them into a concentrated powder or liquid. On the other hand, Stevia sweeteners are derived from the leaves of the Stevia plant and processed using various methods including extraction and purification.


As I mentioned earlier, Monk fruit sweetener usually doesn’t have an aftertaste, making it a popular choice for those who are sensitive to bitter flavors. In contrast, some people may detect a slight aftertaste when using Stevia, which can vary depending on the brand and processing method.

Usage in Cooking and Baking

In my personal experience with cooking and baking, both Monk fruit and Stevia can be used as substitutes for sugar. However, due to their intense sweetness levels, it’s important to use them in moderation to avoid overpowering the other flavors in your recipes.

Monk Fruit Vs Stevia Nutrition Facts

NutrientMonk Fruit (per 100g)Stevia (per 100g)
Total Fat0g0g
Saturated Fat0g0g
Total Carbohydrates4.9g25g
Dietary Fiber4.9g25g

Mind-Blowing Benefits Of Monk Fruit?

Now that you know a lot about monk fruit, let’s dive into the benefits of this natural sweetener. 

Zero-calorie sweetener

Monk fruit extract is a zero-calorie sweetener, making it an excellent alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. It is perfect for those looking to reduce their calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight. By using monk fruit in your daily diet, you can enjoy the sweet taste without worrying about the added calories.

Natural and safe

Monk fruit extract is derived from the fruit itself, making it a natural and safe sweetener. It is free from artificial chemicals and additives, ensuring that it poses no harm to your health. Many people prefer using monk fruit over other artificial sweeteners, as they are concerned about the potential side effects of consuming chemicals.

Rich in antioxidants

Monk fruit contains a high concentration of antioxidants, which help protect the body from harmful free radicals. These antioxidants can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. By incorporating monk fruit into your diet, you can reap the benefits of these powerful antioxidants.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Monk Fruit?

Although monk fruit has been gaining popularity as a natural sweetener, it is essential to be aware of its potential disadvantages. Here are some of the issues that may arise from consuming monk fruit.

Limited research and understanding

One of the primary disadvantages of monk fruit is the lack of extensive research and understanding about its long-term effects on human health. As it gains popularity, more research is needed to determine if it is entirely safe for consumption.


Monk fruit extract can be quite expensive compared to other natural sweeteners like stevia or sugar. This cost may deter some people from using it as a regular sweetener.

Unpleasant aftertaste

Some people may experience an unpleasant aftertaste when consuming monk fruit, which could make it less appealing as a sweetener.

Limited availability

Monk fruit extract can be challenging to find in local grocery stores, which may force consumers to order it online.

Possible allergic reaction

Like any other food product, monk fruit can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Symptoms may include itching, hives, and difficulty breathing.

How To Choose The Right Sweetener For You?

When it comes to choosing the right sweetener for you, it can be a bit overwhelming with so many options available. As someone who has explored various sweeteners due to health concerns, I understand the importance of finding the best fit for your needs. Here’s a simple guide to help you navigate through the different sweetener options and find the one that suits you best.

Understanding Different Sweeteners

First, it’s essential to understand the various types of sweeteners available. Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar are derived from plants and are less processed than artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are synthetic sugar substitutes that are intensely sweet and low in calories. Sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol are another category of sweeteners commonly used in sugar-free products.

Consider Your Health Goals

When choosing a sweetener, consider your health goals. If you’re looking to reduce your calorie intake or manage blood sugar levels, artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols may be suitable options. However, if you prefer natural options and are not concerned about calorie content, natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup could be a better choice.

Taste Preference

Your taste preference plays a significant role in selecting the right sweetener. Some people may find artificial sweeteners to have a noticeable aftertaste, while others may prefer their intense sweetness. Natural sweeteners offer a more complex flavor profile and can vary in taste depending on factors such as floral sources for honey or the grade of maple syrup.

Cooking and Baking

Consider how you plan to use the sweetener. Not all sweeteners are suitable for baking or cooking at high temperatures. For instance, some artificial sweeteners may lose their sweetness when exposed to heat, while natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup may caramelize or affect the texture of baked goods.

Choosing Between Monk Fruit And Stevia

When it comes to choosing between monk fruit and stevia, it’s important to consider their taste, side effects, and how they compare to other sweeteners like Swerve, Splenda, Agave, and Erythritol.

Monk Fruit Vs Stevia Side Effects

Both monk fruit and stevia are generally considered safe when consumed in moderation. Monk fruit doesn’t have calories or impact blood sugar levels which make it suitable for diabetics , while stevia has a negligible effect on glucose. Concerns about cancer risks are minimal for both. However, excessive intake might pose digestive issues for some individuals. Always consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific health conditions like diabetes.

Monk Fruit Vs Stevia Vs Swerve

When comparing monk fruit, stevia, and Swerve, it’s important to note that Swerve is a blend of erythritol and oligosaccharides. While all three sweeteners are low in calories and don’t raise blood sugar levels, Swerve may have a cooling effect when used in large quantities due to the erythritol content. In terms of taste, some individuals prefer the taste of Swerve over monk fruit or stevia due to its similarity to sugar.

Monk Fruit Vs Stevia Vs Splenda

Splenda is a brand name for sucralose, an artificial sweetener. When comparing monk fruit, stevia, and Splenda, it’s important to consider their origins and potential health effects. Monk fruit and stevia are both naturally derived sweeteners, while Splenda is chemically processed. Some individuals prefer natural sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia due to concerns about potential health risks associated with artificial sweeteners.

Monk Fruit Vs Stevia Vs Agave

Agave nectar is another natural sweetener derived from the agave plant. When comparing monk fruit, stevia, and agave, it’s important to note that agave nectar has a higher fructose content compared to monk fruit and stevia. This means that agave may have a higher impact on blood sugar levels compared to monk fruit or stevia. Additionally, some individuals may prefer the taste of agave nectar due to its mild flavor profile.

Monk Fruit Vs Erythritol Vs Stevia

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol commonly used as a low-calorie sweetener. When comparing monk fruit, erythritol, and stevia, it’s important to consider their taste profiles and potential digestive effects. Erythritol has a similar sweetness level to sugar and doesn’t cause digestive issues for most people when consumed in moderate amounts. However, some individuals may find that erythritol has a cooling effect similar to Swerve.

Alternatives To Monk Fruit And Stevia

Last but not least, it’s essential to explore other natural sweetener options if you’re not a fan of monk fruit or stevia. Here are three alternatives that you can consider:

Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is derived from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. It has a low glycemic index, which means it won’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. It also contains a variety of minerals, such as iron, zinc, and potassium. Coconut sugar can be used as a 1:1 replacement for sugar in most recipes. I’ve found that it gives a subtle caramel flavor to baked goods and beverages.


Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables. It has little to no impact on blood sugar levels and has about 70% of the sweetness of sugar. It can be used in cooking and baking as a 1:1 replacement for sugar. I’ve used erythritol in my recipes, and I find it works well for both sweet and savory dishes.

Date Sugar

Date sugar is made from dehydrated dates, making it a whole food sweetener. It has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar and is rich in fiber, potassium, and other minerals. It can be used as a 1:1 replacement for sugar in recipes, but it’s essential to grind it into a powder before using it. Date sugar has a subtle caramel-like flavor that works well in baked goods and hot beverages.

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In conclusion, both monk fruit and stevia are natural, zero-calorie sweeteners that offer a great alternative to sugar. Monk fruit is known for its unique sweetness and lack of aftertaste, while stevia is popular for its versatility and availability in various forms. When choosing between the two, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and intended use. Whether it’s for sweetening beverages, baking, or cooking, both monk fruit and stevia have their own advantages and can be incorporated into a healthy diet.


Which Is Better For You Monk Fruit Or Stevia?

Both monk fruit and stevia are natural sweeteners with minimal calories; the choice between them often comes down to personal taste preference.

Is There A Downside To Monk Fruit Sweetener?

Monk fruit sweetener is generally considered safe; however, excessive consumption might lead to digestive issues for some individuals.

What Is The Least Harmful Artificial Sweetener?

Among artificial sweeteners, many consider erythritol to be the least harmful due to its low calorie count and minimal impact on blood sugar.

What Is The Safest Sugar Substitute?

Many experts consider stevia to be one of the safest sugar substitutes due to its natural origin and minimal impact on blood sugar levels.

Rebecca Wojcik

Rebecca Wojcik

Rebecca Wojcik, a highly skilled and accomplished nutrition expert, is an experienced Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Registered Yoga Teacher (200 hr), and successful female entrepreneur.