Apr 7, 2016

How I stopped using white sugar

Around a month back, I waved a permanent goodbye to white, processed sugar from my pantry. That's the best decision I have made so far in 2016. "If sugar comes from sugarcane, why does it look so milky white?" - A question I was curious about when I was a kid. After reading up a lot about the kind of processing, bleaching and other processes that go into converting a sugarcane juice syrup into dry lump-free white sugar, I decided to put an end to it.

I use jaggery extensively for making Indian desserts like payasam/kheer. I also use it for baking sometimes. I use panankalkandu (palm sugar crystals) for adding to milk or to a porridge/kanji. The only purpose for which I was using white sugar was for sweetening my 2 cups of milk tea everyday. Though I reduced the quantity of sugar as I had written earlier, there was always a guilt feeling at the back of my head that I'm adding this artificial, chemical-laden substance to my tea.

I found the perfect alternative in the form of cane sugar. It's easily available these days. It's also perfect for baking needs.

Now if you are thinking "Why not sugar-free sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame etc?", these are again artificial, processed chemicals which I would like to stay away from. Stevia, being a plant-based sugar alternative seems okay but it's very expensive.

Ayurveda recommends that we include all 6 forms of taste in our everyday diet. So we don't have to stop indulging in sweet foods. Make sure you choose the "right" dessert to satiate your tastebuds - say No to sugar-loaded pastries, cakes, jams or spreads. Enjoy desserts made out of normal jaggery, palm jaggery, palm sugar, dates, honey, fruits etc but in moderation :-)

All store-bought packaged foods like biscuits, cookies, cakes, tetra pack juices, jams, sauces, aerated drinks etc are made with white sugar. Stay away from them as much as you can.

On World Health Day today (7th April), I highly encourage you to keep a distance from white sugar. All it takes is a little conscious effort for yours and your family's future wellbeing.

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