If you are one of those people who just can’t handle the funky aftertaste of stevia, you are going to LOVE Lo Han.

Luo Han Guo is a traditional Chinese fruit, also known as monk fruit or the “longevity fruit.” It has been around the Asian markets for a long time but has only recently found its way mainstream as a natural sugar alternative with hardly any calories.

The area where Lo Han is cultivated in China has a high number of centenarians, people who live to be 100 years or more. For this reason, Lo Han has established a reputation as being a food that promotes longevity.

Lo Han (short for Luo Han Guo) is now all the rage as the new alternative for stevia due to the fact that it has none of the bitter aftertaste that stevia users complain about.

It is perfect to use in your coffee or tea since it boasts a mere single calorie per ¼ teaspoon, plus, it also works great for baking and cooking. Just beware—Lo Han is about 300 times sweeter than sugar, so you will need to adjust your usage accordingly. Use ½ to 1 teaspoon of Lo Han in place of 1 cup of white sugar.

Lo Han comes from an herb found in China, while stevia is native to South America. It has been used in China for hundreds of years before finding its way to the United States and being hailed as the new, natural sugar alternative.

In China, monk fruit has medicinal purposes in treating throat infections, coughs, constipation, heat stroke, even diabetes. This doesn’t necessarily apply to the sweetener Lo Han but is an interesting side note of the plant properties.

Lo Han is very low on the glycemic index and does not cause the wild fluctuations to the blood sugar levels like other sweets and sugars do. It also remains very stable under high heat and can be used in cold foods as well.

WARNING: You must become a label-reading detective when purchasing Lo Han OR stevia because many not-so-desirable additives are now being tossed into the product. You want pure Lo Han, so shop around and monitor the labels for the real deal.  Here is one pure source of Lo Han extract.

If you really like your sweetener but could never get used to the taste of stevia, Lo Han may be just the solution you’ve been looking for with all the sweet, sugary taste and near zero calories with none of the bad effects.

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