Sugarcane: totally different to sugar?

Sugar has become public enemy number one in recent years. It’s the cause of diabeties, obesity, and a whole slew of other diseases. And it’s true. White sugar, corn syrup, agave nectar, and even brown sugar are all extremely bad for your health!

So many people, myself included, started to completely eliminate sugar from our diets. What did we do instead? Load up on salt, of course. But not table salt. We found

out about healthier alternatives such as celtic or himalayan salt and went on eating salt as normal. But not with sugar. See, raw sugar isn’t actually raw. And brown sugar is just white sugar with some molasses mixed in. So yes! Brown isn’t better!

After learning about auyrvedic medicine, I realised that occasionally having sweet food is essencial to keep us in balance, along with aiding in digestion. Why do you think desert became a practice in the first place? It helps ‘seal the stomach’, as they put it in medieval times. A person becomes ‘bitter or salty’ when they are upset, and needs ‘sweetening up’.

These phrases are relics of the old medical system of biles and humors, where an excess of a certain bile was the cause of a disease. Say for example that cheese is heating and causes congestion, wheras honey is light, cooling, and sweet. Every object in the world has properties, even food. Sometimes we have to think beyond our modern way of looking at things.

It’s not very scientific, but I’ve consistenly noticed that I lose my sense of wonder and joy when avoiding sugar entirely. What makes white sugar dangerious is that every other component has been stripped away, leaving nothing but sucrose and glucose. This table is in spanish, but the difference is fairly obvious.

This sends the body into shock, forcing the body to tap into it’s reserves in order to break it down, depleting precious minerals. Have you ever tasted blackstrap molasses? That’s where all the goodness goes. It’s bitter as old boots!

Jaggery- Crystalised Sugarcane juice

I’ve tried unrefined cane sugar (panella/rapadura, succanat, musavado, jaggery, gur etc.) It actually has this wonderful caramelly flavor. And it doesn’t give me a headache (low in fructose)! You can mix up a lovely drink with it, or add some to milk. Because it’s such a big plant, sugarcane can suck up minerals from far and wide.

Obviously we don’t want to overindulge, but isn’t that true of anything? When most things are consumed in their natural forms, they are okay in moderation.

Be well.


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