How me and my family switched to Jaggery
I had written this article (more of a personal experience) back in 2019 in our blog. Last week, one of the Organic Magazine Pure Eco India had published the Article. Hence wanted to share the same again hoping it might inspire you to go sugar free.
It has been more than a year since I consumed Refined white sugar or Brown Sugar directly. In fact, we as a family, including my kids aged 9 and 5, have stopped using sugar in our every day life. We have adopted the healthier alternative, Jaggery.
I have a sweet tooth, and love my coffee strong and sweet! There used to be a time when I used to add 3 spoons of sugar to my coffee. My 5 year old daughter is no different, she would eat sugar right from the container! Now, as a family, we don’t even stock sugar at our household and have completely adopted Organic Jaggery as a replacement.
How did it benefit me personally?
I have personally
benefited from this small change, and would definitely recommend others to try
the same too. I dropped about 13 kgs by giving up sugar, in addition to doing
Yoga regularly, over a period of 4 months. I did not do any other dieting.
I feel much more energetic during the day, and can put in a solid 13–14 hours of work, which is required as part of running a start up. My Immunity in general has also increased.
Is Jaggery a healthier alternative?
Jaggery is a wonderful, scrumptious and healthy alternative to sugar, and has been used in India for centuries due to its amazing attributes and taste.
Sugar and Jaggery, both contain 60 calories per teaspoon. Jaggery, being unrefined, is absorbed more slowly. Thus, it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels as rapidly as sugar. Sugar is EMPTY Calories, whereas Jaggery is packed with minerals and nutrients. So it is definitely a healthier alternative. However, If you’re suffering from diabetes, you should avoid Jaggery (just like sugar) in your meals.
Jaggery is not addictive. Sugar on the other hand can get addictive.
Jaggery is also packed with essential nutrients that work on the body by flushing out harmful toxins and making you burn more calories. It has mineral content approximately 50 times greater than refined sugar and five times more than brown sugar. Just a teaspoon of Jaggery delivers approximately 3–5 mg of calcium, 3–5 mg phosphorous, 6 mg magnesium, and 45 mg of potassium.
Jaggery acts as a detox, as it helps cleanse the liver by flushing out nasty toxins from the body. Refined sugar on the other hand is detrimental to the liver. Refined Sugar is half glucose and half fructose. The liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose. When too much fructose enters the liver, it gets turned into fat that can build up over time and ultimately lead to disease.
The potassium in jaggery also helps reduce water retention in the body. Jaggery is loaded with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium, which help prevent free-radicals (responsible for early ageing). Sugar can cause premature aging. It can attach to proteins in the bloodstream, and damage collagen and elastin production, which are responsible for maintaining skin’s elasticity.
However, do not go overboard with your jaggery usage! Bear in mind that while Jaggery may have a better nutrition profile than sugar, and is definitely much healthier, it is still made from sugarcane (same as sugar) and is high in calories, and so is best consumed in moderation.
How did we Make the Shift?
It took us a while to get used to not having sugar in our diet. But it is very much doable. Take it one step at a time. Initially, use half portion sugar and half portion Jaggery. Slowly keep increasing the ratio of Jaggery to sugar, and once you get used to the taste, make the complete shift. One trick is to avoid stocking sugar at home. You will be forced to work with the healthier alternative!
I also feel that since it is an acquired taste, it is important to train your kids young on this. In fact if you are giving A2 milk to your kids, why do you even need to add sugar or Jaggery to it? The milk by itself tastes so good that there is no need to add any sugar, or even Jaggery for that matter, to make it sweeter. But, for kids who are partial to the sweet taste of sugar, Jaggery is definitely the healthier and safer alternative to switch to, as early as possible.