Let’s talk sugar?

Refined white sugar is well known as one of the five white poisons. It contains zero nutrients, raises blood sugar which creates hormonal imbalances and also feeds the bad bacteria in our gut, which can lower our immune response and hamper the absorption of nutrients. 
 
What about other so-called healthy refined sweeteners in the market such as jaggery, maple syrup, palm sugar, coconut sugar etc.?  Although a little better than white sugar as they may contain some nutrients, they are highly processed and  lack fibre, hence cause the same results in our body as white sugar. (Use these occasionally – if at all). 

STEVIA: Most people would think stevia is their best substitute for sugar. Any why not? It’s natural, it is really low in calories and does not cause the spikes that refined sugar is guilty of. 
 
Truth – The moment the sweet taste of stevia touches your tongue, your body is tricked into believing glucose  (and calories) are coming in and gears up by dropping your blood sugar. But no sugar comes in, and hence the endocrine system gets into a frenzy to bring things into balance by releasing adrenaline and cortisol. 
If you’re having stevia occasionally, no problem. If having it daily, this is what goes on in your body, and can lead to hypo glycemia and hormonal imbalances.  
 
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: These factory made sweeteners are also so alluring, as they bring in no calories! The most common ones on the shelves – saccharin, aspartame and sucralose, cause the same reaction in your body as stevia does. Long term usage has been known to cause depression and neurological problems. Other lesser known sweeteners like xylitol and maltitol have been related to hypertension, headaches, and pre-term births. 
 
If you really have to, natural sweeteners (containing calories) such as jaggery, coconut sugar or palm jaggery are definitely a safer bet. 
 
HONEY: Despite what experts will tell you, most of the honey lining the supermarket shelves is glorified sugar. Honey bees are farmed, fed sugar, which they by the way take in their mouth, regurgitate and spit out – and that is your honey. 
 
Original raw, wild honey does contain some nutrients. None that you cannot get directly from the plants themselves! 
Fact – a single honey bee produces 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime. This is the bee’s security for the winter (when flowers/food will not be available). Do we really want to be taking this away from the bee just to sweeten our herbal chai ? 
 
Even the purest of honey will cause blood sugar spikes and related chain reactions leading to hormonal imbalances and inflammation. 
 
What then is a safe way to sweeten your life – on a daily basis ? 
 
” Fruits and dry fruits.” They work well in many desserts and smoothies. 
If you are not diabetic, jaggery or liquid jaggery can work well in all hot beverages and most Indian desserts too. 

Here is a BASIC SWEETENER made with dates that can sweeten up your smoothies, beverages and many of your desserts too. Click on the picture to get the recipe for DATE PASTE

Try some more recipes that use Date Paste or Jaggery as the sweetener :
Besan Barfi
5 min Coconut Barfi
Chocolate Bliss Balls
Makhana Kheer
Cacao Orange Millet Pudding