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Sweeteners

Cane-Sugar:

We have gone completely against nature by extracting sugar from sugar-cane and using it indiscriminately in sweets, ice-creams, chocolates, biscuits, cakes and drinks. The only advantage that jaggery has over refined sugar is that it contains iron. Refined sugar contains 99% glucose and jaggery contains 95%. Restrict the intake of sugar to four teaspoons a day. Once a week go out to eat your favorite sweets, chocolates, ice-creams or milk shakes. Ensure that you do not keep these foods at home where you will see them and will be tempted to even a little every day. If someone presents you with sweets, generously distribute them to all around you so that the box is emptied on the same day. You may occasionally eat 50g of sweets and combine them with predominantly protein foods at dinnertime. If we understand that sweets are like poison for the human body we would stop poisoning ourselves and others.

Substitutes of Sugar:

Aspartame, which is the ingredient in commonly used sugar substitutes, is not found in nature and we cannot be sure if they are safe when consumed over long periods of time. Use stevia rebandina instead, which is obtained from the leaves of a plant.

Aspartame is comprised of phenylolonine, methanol and aspartic acid. It is therefore a chemical sweetener and is artificial. Stevia is extracted from a plant called Stevia rebaudiona. It has been in use for many years and no side effects have been observed. It is available in sachets of powder, and is becoming increasingly popular in India. Complaints from users such as the blurring of vision, aching heads, depression and other neurological disturbances could be related to the long term usage of aspartame. Conclusive data are not yet available and in the circumstances, it is best to avoid a chemical sweetener, especially since there is now a controversy surrounding its use. The Aspartame Consumer Safety Network has received many complaints about the above effects possibly related to aspartame. The use of stevia instead of aspartame is advised by many since our enzymes are able to digest metabolic natural foods.

Honey:

Ayurvedas allow the use of honey (which contains 79% glucose) instead of sugar. Since we usually use sugar in tea and coffee, do not add honey to your diet. If you do not drink either tea or coffee, you may use four teaspoons of honey every day: two in the morning and two in the evening. Honey and lime is not a magic option to lose weight. In the ayurvedic system it is used as a substitute for coffee or tea with sugar. Since lime is acidic it changes the pH in the pharynx and may predispose us to infections of the throat. On the other hand honey is an antiseptic which is added to lime juice to prevent these infections. As mentioned, rice contains 78% glucose and wheat 72%. Cooking a cup of rice or making 4 chapatis from a cup of wheat is therefore like drinking a cup of honey. Everyone knows that honey is sweet and would hesitate to drink a cup of it, but we do not hesitate to eat a cup of rice. No one realizes that the glucose content of rice, wheat, ragi and honey is almost the same. Millets have only 11% less glucose than honey.

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