NUTRITIVE NATURAL SWEETENERS
Monk fruit, or lo han guo, is a small green melon native to southern China and named after the monks who first cultivated it centuries ago. The health benefits of the fruit have been used in traditional Chinese medicine. The extract derived from the fruit is used as a sugar substitute that is 150-250 times sweeter than table sugar, without any calories, and some health benefits.
The compounds that give ripe monk fruit its sweetness are called mogrosides, which are cucurbitane triterpene glycosides. They consist of a backbone structure called a mogrol with glucose units or glycosides attached to it. Other constituents include flavonoids, polysaccharides and essential oils, some of which show anti-asthmatic, antitussive, glucose-lowering, and immune regulating actions.
As monkfruit is very sweet, often a small dose is used. This is also because monkfruit extract is very expensive.
Only certain companies will use it due to the premium price tag.
General benefits of monk fruit
- Safe for diabetes
- Promotes weight loss
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
- Prevents kidney failure
- Ensures hormonal balance
Stevia rebaudiana or stevia is a plant that belongs to the subgroup of the asteraceae family. It is commonly used as a sugar substitute in a number of applications. It has no calories and is 200+ times sweeter than sugar in the same concentration. While refined sugar has been associated with negative health effects, stevia is popularly used due to its image as a safe and healthy sugar substitute.
SAVVY NOTE: There are many types of stevia extract on the market, so often people may have tried an unpleasant extract with a bitter or metallic aftertaste (the cheaper versions have this property). However, Savvy uses a much better and different type - more on this below.
How is Stevia made?
Stevia is usually grown on small farms throughout Asia, South America or other sub-tropical climates. Stevia leaves are picked from the plant, and then they are dried, and steeped in hot water (a bit like tea). The water is then filtered over and over until only the most concentrated sweetest parts of the leaves are collected.
Are there different types of stevia?
Yes there are. If you have had a bitter or unpleasant stevia before, there are many alternative options that do not taste bitter.
All forms of Stevia have the same chemical property, and depending on the way it is extracted depends on whether you receive high quality Stevia with minimal aftertaste (like the one Savvy uses) or the one that has an aftertaste.
The active compounds are steviol glycosides (mainly stevioside and rebaudioside), which are heat-stable, pH-stable, and not fermentable. The human body does not metabolize the glycosides in stevia, so it contains zero calories, like artificial sweeteners.
General benefits of stevia
- Helps losing weight
- Aids in diabetes management
- May have antioxidant properties
Main benefits for savvy
Improved Alertness, Memory enhancement
Scientific Proof of Benefit
Villareal, Lejan Miguel Alabastro, et al. ‘Neurotropic effects of aspartame, stevia and sucralose on memory retention and on the histology of the hippocampus of the ICR mice (Mus musculus)’. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. Volume 6. Issue 2. 2016. Pp. 114-118.
“Novel nutraceutical composition containing S. rebaudiana extract or its constituents, such as stevioside and steviol, as active ingredient(s). The compositions are helpful for improvement of psychological feature functions, such as learning, memory, alertness, and psychotic stability”
Erythritol is commonly found in fruits and mushrooms. It has 70% the sweetness of sugar, but 5% of the calories, which is why it is so popular instead of sugar. It also does not affect blood sugar levels, making it a suitable alternative for people who are conscious of blood sugar levels (such as diabetics).
Erythritol is in a class of compounds that belong to sugar alcohols. The term "sugar alcohol" can be misleading as it is not alcohol and it is not sugar. It just happens to have a chemical structure that is similar to sugar. This means they can stimulate the tongue's sweet taste buds, adding flavour and sweetness without the harmful effects of sugar.
These sweeteners act as low-calorie sweeteners in sugar-free or low-sugar products. These molecules are structured to give them the ability to stimulate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue.
There are no active compounds of erythritol, identified from the literature.
Erythritol is very safe through multiple studies conducted on its toxicity and effects on metabolism.
General benefits of erythritol
- Reduces calorie intake
- Has anti-diabetic properties
- Helps with weight loss and management
- Prevents dental plaques and cavities
- Has antioxidant properties