Sunday, July 1, 2007

Taste Contributors: Sweetness - Why not Sugar and Jaggery

Please note both sugar and Jaggery are prepared the same way and the explanation below applies to both of them equally.

- Sugarcane juice as such is not bad but the refining process results in the loss of the nutrients in the juice such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, iron etc. By the time we consume it, it is nothing but carbohydrates / sucrose and only adds calories and work to your body

- Addition of various chemicals: binding agents to ensure firmness; antioxidant to prevent melting; preservatives to prevent spoilage; soluble agents to hasten melting during usage; coloring agents. These chemicals cause many problems to the body:

            - The chemicals added contribute to throat infections, sinus trouble etc

            - Tonsil infections due to these chemicals; remvoing tonsils is not the solutions since it is removing the "guard" at the throat

            - As the chemicals remain in the teeth, they serve as food to the bacteria and result in teeth decay and overall health issues

            - These chemicals help the growth of bad bacteria in the body

            - Throat infections due to these chemicals; water change, weather change bother you too much

            - The body tries to eliminate these toxic chemicals - through urin, feces, sweat AND breathing. So in some people when the body tries to eliminate these toxins in the form of excess mucus through lungs / nose, the mucus gets accumulated in the lungs resulting in respiratory problems such as asthma

- As we believe, sugar does not cool you down (reduce the heat "inside"). It is the other way around. Our body is basic in nature 80% and acidic 20%. Sugarcane juice has the same composition as well. But sugar on the other hand is acidic in nature. It hence releases the acids as it gets digested resulting in the thinning of intestinal walls that produce mucus and ulcers.

- We will gain too much weight when we consume sugar. The glucose in sugar due to the lack of fiber reaches the cells too fast. The cells since they do not need all this energy, will convert the energy into fat

Hence making it fit to be labeled slow poison / white poison: Sugar - Sweet Poison

Alternatives to Sugar:
- Dry and fresh fruits, dates, honey, maple syrup, date sugar (available in Whole Foods Market), evaporated sugar cane juice (available in Whole Foods Market) are better alternatives

- Try to eat fresh fruits and not depend on "sweets". This will help you provide vitamins, minerals, enzymes etc to your body while satisfying your sweet tooth.

- Use other alternatives moderately. Just replacing sugar with healthier alernatives alone may not help. It is important that you learn to love other whole foods, not just fruits, and overcome the desire for cookies, ice creams etc.

- Using the healthier alternatives, in moderation, can help a lot in controlling the tongue and desire for food

- When you are preparing a sweet dish, try to use 50% of the amount suggested by your recipe. Most recipes will still be yummy and quite satisfying.

- Brown Sugar sold in Whole Foods market does not contain the chemicals and hence is not as harmful as white sugar. Still, dates and honey can be better alternatives because they contain more fructose and less sucrose than sugar.

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