We have so become so much dependent on sugar that it has become almost not possible to spend a day without using it in our tea, coffee, juices or even with our chappatis.
Yes! sugar seems to rule our tongue of this generation. Although there are so many viral talks going on about MSG and other food additives, no one is actually speaking of the ill effects of white sugar.
Why would I say “White” sugar?
Sugar; when it becomes processed sugar, has its own story. One really need to understand what type of sugar is good for them and what is not. Refined Sugar commonly known as White Sugar, is said to rob our body of Vitamin B, and also has a negative effect on our nervous system and also disrupts our metabolism.
Though natural sugar is good for our health, the Sugar that we buy in the stores are mostly from the Sugarcane or Sugar Beets that are processed with harmful chemicals.
Refining of Sugar is a big mechanical and chemical process in which machines are used to boil, spin, process and separate the sugar (mostly) from sugar cane or sugar beet extract.
In addition to water, various chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, lime, phosphoric acid, diatomaceous earth, and activated carbon are used in the refining process.
As claimed by the industry experts, the final product “white sugar” doesn’t have any chemical residues. However, that seems a little tricky right? how can it only contain sucrose.
well another point is that the sugar is stripped of all the vitamins and other nutrients, thus, making it not only inedible but also making it a product that cannot be handled by the body.
Many people become addicted to sugar over a period of time. This is due to the fact that sugar gives stress to pancreas and exhausts the supply of chromium to the body.
Once the body is deficient of chromium, it leads to sugar craving.
When these cravings are satisfied, it leads to further chromium deficiency. Not only that, sugar also strips the body of all the vitamin B and seeps the calcium required for the health of hair, bones, teeth and blood.
As if this is not enough, the whole metabolic activity of the body is affected by the intake of sugar, thus, affecting the digestive process.
The other ill-effects of intake of sugar are irritability, mood swing and weight gain.
Sugar triggers a chemical reaction in brain by releasing the serotonin hormone which lifts an individual’s mood is followed by a crack. One starts feeling more irritated than ever.
Reducing Sugar Intake
If you think that brown sugar is good for your health and is half refined, then you are totally wrong. Many are under the impression that brown/ unrefined sugar is removed half way through the refining process which makes it healthy.
But the fact is that any form of brown sugar is made from white sugar (as base) by adding back molasses which gives a “raw” illusion.
Natural Sugars found in fruits and vegetables are not harmful to health and provides us with adequate energy. If you crave for sugar, then one can also substitute refined sugar with honey, date sugar, carb syrup and unrefined cane syrup.
Substitutes For White Sugar
What else can you use in place of white sugar. There are a number of other sweeteners and you can have more benefits from them than just the sweet taste.
Although Jaggery is made from sugarcane juice it is not treated with chemicals nor is it treated with charcoal. Jaggery thus retains all the minerals present in sugarcane. Jaggery huge iron contents that make sit even more special and most sought out sweetener.
2. Palm Sugar
Palm Sugar is made from the sap present in the flower buds of the coconut palm tree. It is known as natural sugar since is undergoes very little processing. Research studies have found that it contains minerals like potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, manganese and copper; small amounts of phytonutrients such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidin; and antioxidants.
Coconut palm sugar has clinically proved to have low GI of 35 which is considered to be good even for people with diabetes.
3. Palm Jaggery
Palm jaggery is called as Karuppati in Tamil. This jaggery or sugar is made from the sap of palm tree. Palm jaggery is a rich source of iron, vitamin B, vitamin C and minerals including iron, potassium and magnesium.
In fact traditionally in South India pregnant women are given kashayam made from palm jaggery every night after the 7th month. This is to increase the iron content in blood and prevent anaemia.
Palm jaggery is also found to be a good to fight pollution and some lung diseases.
Palm jaggery is a very good cleanser and aids in digestion – a more ideal reason for giving it to pregnant women.
There are some other sweeteners such as stevia – however the nutritive value of these sweet tasting products can never match the natural sugars.
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