Does Monk Fruit Sugar Break Intermittent Fasting? — 3 Top Benefits

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Does Monk Fruit Sugar Break Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has gained widespread attention as an approach to weight management and overall well-being, prompting many individuals to explore dietary alternatives that align with fasting principles. One such alternative is monk fruit sugar, a natural sweetener renowned for its zero-calorie and low-carbohydrate profile.

The question arises: Does monk fruit sugar break intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting emphasizes abstaining from calorie intake during specific periods, and it’s through this fasting that intermittent fasting derives its benefits. 

In this article, we delve into the properties of monk fruit sugar, its impact on fasting protocols, and whether incorporating it into your diet may influence the fasting state. Understanding the relationship between monk fruit sugar and intermittent fasting is crucial for those seeking to strike a balance between taste preferences and fasting goals.

What Is Monk Fruit?

Monk fruit sweetener originates from the monk fruit plant, also known as swingle fruit or Lo Hun Guo, which is a small green fruit native to southern China.

Monk fruit stands out due to its unique composition. A single packet of monk fruit sweetener boasts zero calories and comprises the following nutritional breakdown1:

  • Carbohydrates: 0.8g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Fat: 0g

Monk fruit offers a low-carb alternative that’s 200 times sweeter than sugar2, requiring smaller quantities to achieve the same level of sweetness. This quality has made monk fruit a preferred option for those aiming to reduce sugar intake, manage weight, or following a keto regimen.

While monk fruit extract itself lacks carbohydrates, most commercial monk fruit sweeteners contain additives responsible for the additional carbohydrate content. Hence, it’s essential to review the ingredient list before purchasing this sweetener.

The sweet taste of monk fruit is attributed to mogrosides3, antioxidants found in the fruit, as it does not inherently contain carbohydrates, relying on these compounds for sweetness.

Health Benefits Of Monk Fruit

Monk fruit serves as more than just a sweetener; it offers potential health benefits that extend beyond sugar reduction, making it a valuable addition to your diet and weight loss journey.

  1. Effective for Weight Loss

With zero calories, monk fruit can contribute to weight loss by reducing overall calorie intake4. Incorporating monk fruit as a sugar substitute in various beverages and foods, such as coffee, tea, smoothies, yogurt, and sauces, supports a healthier approach to sweetening meals. However, it’s crucial to select monk fruit sweeteners without added sugars to maximize its benefits. For effective weight management, monitoring your progress is essential.

  1. Blood Sugar Level Regulation

Monk fruit sweetener is a safe option for individuals with diabetes, boasting a glycemic index (GI) of zero. Consuming monk fruit allows those with diabetes to satisfy sweet cravings without adversely affecting blood sugar levels4. Notably, it’s essential to choose monk fruit sweeteners without added sugars to avoid potential spikes in blood sugar and insulin production.

Beyond diabetes management, opting for alternative sweeteners can enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce resistance, presenting a valuable tool for comprehensive blood sugar control.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The mogrosides present in monk fruit, responsible for its sweetness, exhibit antioxidant properties that combat free radical damage, prevent oxidative stress5, and contribute to anti-inflammatory effects6. While studies showcasing these benefits have primarily involved animals, incorporating monk fruit into your fasting routine may align with the overarching goal of intermittent fasting—reduced inflammation7.

In summary, monk fruit offers a multifaceted approach to health, aiding in weight loss, blood sugar management, and inflammation reduction, provided that it is chosen wisely without added sugars.

Limitations Of Monk Fruit Sweeteners

While exploring the advantages of monk fruit, it’s crucial to acknowledge the limitations associated with monk fruit sweeteners.

  1. Limited Accessibility

Monk fruit originates from Southeast Asia, posing a challenge for individuals in other regions to easily obtain it8. Many inexpensive monk fruit sweeteners on the market may not contain authentic monk fruit extracts; instead, they often comprise sugar alcohols and fillers. Monk fruit sweeteners are typically found in specialty shops, making them less accessible to a broader audience.

  1. Cost Factor

The scarcity of monk fruit contributes to its relatively high cost compared to other sugar substitutes. Importing monk fruit from Asian countries to specialty stores can result in premium pricing, potentially deterring some consumers due to budget constraints.

  1. Distinct Taste Profile

Monk fruit possesses a distinctive aftertaste that may not appeal to everyone unfamiliar with its flavor. This unique taste may limit the versatility of monk fruit as a universal sweetener, as it has the potential to impact the overall taste of various food items8.

  1. Allergic Potential

As a member of the gourd family, natural monk fruit sweeteners can trigger allergic reactions in certain individuals9. It is advisable to assess the allergic potential of monk fruit before incorporating it into your diet as a natural sweetener. Considering potential allergies is essential to ensure a safe and positive experience with monk fruit sweeteners.

Does Monkfruit Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

Monk fruit stands out as a safe sweetener for various reasons, particularly due to its ability to avoid elevating blood sugar levels. Despite its intense sweetness, monk fruit lacks the typical sugar content that causes spikes in blood sugar levels. This quality makes it a suitable sugar substitute for individuals practicing fasting or adhering to keto diets10.

The safety profile of monk fruit extends to its approval for general use in the United States. This designation means that monk fruit sweeteners are deemed safe for consumption by pregnant women, children, and individuals with diabetes11. While monk fruit is generally recognized as safe, it is advisable for individuals with medical conditions to consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating it into their diet, ensuring personalized safety considerations are taken into account.

Does Monk Fruit Sugar Break Intermittent Fasting?

Some say that sweeteners like stevia may trigger an insulin response in some individuals12, but this is not the case for the monk fruit.

Monk fruit is generally considered safe for consumption during fasting, particularly for individuals who do not exhibit an insulin reaction. 

Given the variability in individual responses, it is recommended to conduct a personal assessment to gauge how your body reacts to monk fruit before incorporating it into your fasting routine. This precaution is essential as individual insulin responses can differ.

In comparison to artificial sweeteners, monk fruit is generally regarded as a safe sweetener with minimal to no side effects. Its calorie-free nature further positions it as a fasting-friendly option for those pursuing weight loss.

However, the impact of monk fruit during fasting can vary depending on the underlying reason for sugar cravings. For instance, if low blood sugar is the issue, monk fruit may have minimal to no effect on blood sugar levels, making it a potentially suitable choice.

Alternative Natural Sweeteners

If monk fruit isn’t readily available to you, several alternative sweeteners offer viable options that align with intermittent fasting goals. Not all sweeteners break a fast, but it’s advisable to steer clear of common artificial sweeteners due to potential adverse effects on gut health and the digestive system.


Derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener, boasting sweetness levels 200-400 times greater than sugar13. With minimal carbohydrate content—just one gram per teaspoon14—stevia is a popular and fasting-friendly substitute, allowing for calorie reduction during eating windows.


As a sugar alcohol with zero calories15, erythritol is derived from sugar but lacks sugar and alcohol components. Its low carbohydrate content ensures that consuming erythritol while fasting won’t disrupt the fasting state. Erythritol generally avoids raising blood glucose levels16.


Belonging to the sugar alcohol category, xylitol closely mimics sugar’s taste17 without the aftertaste commonly associated with other sweeteners. With fewer calories than sugar, xylitol supports oral health18 and doesn’t break a fast due to its low-calorie content.

Yacon Syrup

Crafted from the yacon plant, yacon syrup features a caramel-like flavor19, making it a satisfying option for sugar cravings. While a teaspoon of yacon syrup contains approximately 20 calories20, moderation is key during fasting periods to prevent breaking the fast. Yacon syrup has demonstrated safety for individuals with diabetes and may even improve insulin resistance in some studies21.

In the absence of monk fruit, exploring these natural sweeteners provides a range of options to enhance intermittent fasting without compromising its benefits.


In conclusion, the impact of monk fruit on fasting hinges on individual responses, particularly in relation to insulin reactions. Monk fruit, being a low-calorie natural sweetener, offers a viable option for those adhering to intermittent fasting for weight management. Its safety, even for individuals with diabetes, contributes to its popularity as a sugar substitute.

While monk fruit is generally considered fasting-friendly due to its minimal impact on blood sugar levels, caution is advised. The potential for an insulin response varies among individuals, necessitating a personalized assessment before confidently incorporating monk fruit into a fasting routine.

Ultimately, monk fruit emerges as a promising sweetener for fasting, yet individual considerations, taste preferences, and the pursuit of health goals should guide its inclusion in one’s intermittent fasting journey.


1 FoodData Central. (n.d.). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2345826/nutrients

2 Brown, M. J. (2023, February 8). Monk fruit sweetener: good or bad? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/monk-fruit-sweetener

3 Wang, B., Zhou, Y., Xin, Z., Ma, G., Qian, Y., Xie, T., & Prakash, I. (2019). Analysis of Mogrosides in Siraitia grosvenorii Fruits at Different Stages of Maturity. Natural Product Communications, 14(9), 1934578X1987862. https://doi.org/10.1177/1934578×19878621

4 Brown, M. J. (2023, February 8). Monk fruit sweetener: good or bad? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/monk-fruit-sweetener#weight-loss

5 Xu, Q., Chen, S., Deng, L., Feng, L., Huang, L., & Rao, Y. (2013). Antioxidant effect of mogrosides against oxidative stress induced by palmitic acid in mouse insulinoma NIT-1 cells. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 46(11), 949–955. https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431×20133163

6 Di, R., Huang, M. T., & Ho, C. (2011). Anti-inflammatory Activities of Mogrosides from Momordica grosvenori in Murine Macrophages and a Murine Ear Edema Model. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 59(13), 7474–7481. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf201207m

7 Jordan, S., Tung, N., Casanova-Acebes, M., Chang, C., Cantoni, C., Zhang, D., Wirtz, T. H., Naik, S., Rose, S. A., Brocker, C., Gainullina, A., Hornburg, D., Horng, S., Maier, B., Cravedi, P., LeRoith, D., Gonzalez, F. J., Meissner, F., Ochando, J., . . . Mérad, M. (2019). Dietary intake regulates the circulating inflammatory monocyte pool. Cell, 178(5), 1102-1114.e17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.07.050

8 McDermott, A. (2023, April 11). Monk Fruit vs. Stevia: Which Sweetener Should You Use? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/monk-fruit-vs-stevia#disadvantages-of-monk-fruit

9 McDermott, A. (2023, February 10). Why everyone’s going mad for monk fruit. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/monk-fruit-health-benefits#allergies

10 Tey, S. L., Salleh, N. B., Henry, C. J., & Forde, C. G. (2016). Effects of aspartame-, monk fruit-, stevia- and sucrose-sweetened beverages on postprandial glucose, insulin and energy intake. International Journal of Obesity, 41(3), 450–457. https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2016.225

11 Gray, A. (2019, October 13). Nutritional Recommendations for Individuals with Diabetes. Endotext – NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279012/

12 McKelvey, B. (2022, March 7). Stevia unveiled: The Impact of Artificial Sweeteners on insulin. Nutrisense Journal. https://www.nutrisense.io/blog/artificial-sweetener-and-insulin-levels

13 Nutrition, C. F. F. S. a. A. (2023, July 14). Aspartame and other sweeteners in food. U.S. Food And Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/aspartame-and-other-sweeteners-food

14 FoodData Central. (n.d.). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/917968/nutrients

15 FoodData Central. (n.d.). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/576799/nutrients

16 Shin, D., Lee, J. H., Kang, M. S., Kim, T. H., Jeong, S. J., Kim, C. H., Kim, S. S., & Kim, I. J. (2016). Glycemic Effects of Rebaudioside A and Erythritol in People with Glucose Intolerance. Diabetes & Metabolism Journal, 40(4), 283. https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2016.40.4.283

17 Saraiva, A., Carrascosa, C., Raheem, D., Ramos, F., & Raposo, A. (2020). Natural sweeteners: the relevance of food naturalness for consumers, food security aspects, sustainability and health impacts. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(17), 6285. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176285

18 Nayak, P. A., Nayak, U. A., & Khandelwal, V. (2014). The effect of xylitol on dental caries and oral flora. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dentistry, 89. https://doi.org/10.2147/ccide.s55761

19 Alternative sugars: Yacon syrup (nectar). (2017). British Dental Journal, 223(9), 625. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.943

20 Yacon syrup, yacon by ORGANIC TRADITIONS nutrition facts and analysis. (n.d.). https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Yacon_syrup%2C_yacon_by_ORGANIC_TRADITIONS_1064133_nutritional_value.html

21 Caetano, B. F. R., De Moura, N. A., Almeida, A. P. S., Dias, M. C., Sivieri, K., & Barbisan, L. F. (2016). Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) as a Food Supplement: Health-Promoting Benefits of Fructooligosaccharides. Nutrients, 8(7), 436. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8070436


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