Most sweeteners are artificial chemicals
There are many different types of sugar alternatives. Most come from the chemical vats of large manufacturers and seem to be linked to health problems.
For example, aspartame is used in Diet Coke as a sweetener. A recent study has shown that even low doses of aspartame can induce oxidative stress, damage cells and lead to systemic inflammation.
Monk fruit and stevia are plants
Both monk fruit and stevia are plants that have been used by native peoples for thousands of years. They are both safe to consume although stevia is associated with some side effects.
Unprocessed stevia has been linked to kidney and reproductive system damage which could be a concern in children, pregnant women or those in ill health. It has also been shown to be mutagenic in both lab and animal testing.
Monk fruit has no such negative effects. Further, during its FDA certification process it was noted that “monk fruit powder extract did not exhibit any cytotoxic or mutagenic potential”.
Many people find that stevia has a slightly bitter flavour that can be off putting. It also has a liquorice taste that may alter your favourite foods. High quality monk fruit sweeteners have virtually no aftertaste and can be difficult to distinguish from sugar.
Stevia based sweeteners have the advantage of being widely available and much cheaper than monk fruit based sweeteners. Monk fruit is harder to cultivate and harvest which raises its production costs.
Monk fruit is superior
Monk fruit is the superior sweetener in terms of taste and health benefits, however, stevia is cheaper and is more widely available.
Regardless of the sweetener you decide to purchase you should ensure that it uses non-GMO additives and is USDA certified organic.