Is sugar good or bad for me? If you ask this question to a Doctor or a Dietician, the answer of course will be in the negative.
Sugar is nothing but empty calories which some of us add liberally in a cup of coffee or tea. Too much sugar can cause insulin resistance; which doctors believe is the leading cause of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
After learning about the ill effects of eating excess sugar, one wonders if there is a suitable alternative? Indeed there is and for centuries Indians having been using jaggery as an ideal substitute for sugar. As far as appearance goes, jaggery may not live up to your expectations. It is dark yellow in color and rather sticky. It’s not free flowing and comes generally in a square or round shape. However, the benefits of jaggery catapult it as the ideal alternative for sugar.
1. Unlike sugar, jaggery is devoid of chemicals or bleaches. It not only adds the required amount of ‘sweetness’ to your dishes but is pleasant on the taste buds too.
2. A complex form of carbohydrate is how we can term jaggery. If you consume a sweet dish made of jaggery, it gets digested gradually and releases energy in a steady pace thereby maintaining the energy levels in our body for a longer period of time.
3. Jaggery is rich in iron and other minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium. It helps in combating acidity, acts as an expectorant and eases pre-menstrual syndrome.
4. It detoxifies the system and builds immunity. It’s also known to keep a check on blood pressure and relieves muscle cramps.
5. Jaggery has the capacity to warm the blood thereby making us feel snug during extreme cold.
Jaggery can be added in your coffee/tea, cereal, porridge, jams, chocolates and can be used in desserts too. So, say goodbye to sugar and opt for jaggery – a healthier and tastier alternative.
Written by: Dr. Rohini