Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ayurveda Likes Sweets

In an age where people are trying to go sugar free and when we have unprecedented levels of Type 2 diabetes, sugar would seem to be frowned upon.  In Ayurveda, the sweet taste is one of six essential tastes in our diet (the others being sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent). The sweet taste is considered vital to both our emotional and general health. Here is the catch, ideally, this sweetness should come from foods such as unrefined wheat, rice, unprocessed dairy or sweet fruits and vegetables. However, in its natural, untouched state, small quantities of sugar should not cause any significant problems if consumed by a person in generally good health (diabetes and cancer should try to avoid all sugar). While regular sugar is not as nutritious as the 'sweet' tastes of a fruit or vegetable, sugar, in its natural state, is recognizable and not hard to process by our body.  Similarly, natural sugar substitutes or fructose type substances (coconut sugar, palm sugar, agave or honey) are thought of the same way.

The problem with sugar today is overload. Sugar is found in so many of our processed foods that we eat it without even knowing it. Processed sugar is thought to be addictive.  It also hurts our digestion if eaten in abnormal quantities to other tastes and other foods.  When one becomes imbalanced because of too much sugar, then sugar should be avoided.  The sweet taste should come from real foods until the body can be strengthened and healthy once again to allow the splurges of unprocessed sugar and sugar substitutes.

Today, there are many options for natural sugar substitutes.  Next week's blog, I will go into the various types and compare some of their features.

Stay healthy & well,
Lisa


1 comment:

  1. Thank you. I am happy to keep away from from adding sweeteners to dressing and chicken recipes and glad others are following this trend to avoid sugar overload. I am also glad I can enjoy fresh fruit without considering it "bad". Grapefruit, melon and berries are packed with many nutrients and can be refreshing and satisfying. Thank you for discussing this issue.

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