Sugar, in the diet, has a bad reputation and for good reason. Most products on the market today contain over processed sugars that are bad for the human body. Heating sugar and most sweeteners is not a good idea. Here are some of the reasons to not use refined sugars. Listed below are some of the diseases associated with the consumption of refined sugars:
Hypoglycemia Thyroid & adrenal malfunction
Obesity Coronary heart disease
Hyperacidity of the stomach Bone loss
Liver and kidney disease Infertility
Dental decay Hyperactivity
Violent tendencies Depression
Increased desire for alcohol, coffee, and tobacco
I say that we need the sweet flavor to have good health. My thoughts on sweet come from my education in Chinese medicine. It’s about balance, as well as where the sugars come from, and how the sugar is processed.
First about balance. In Chinese medicine theory, there are five flavors – bitter, salty, sour, aromatic/pungent and, yes, sweet. To have good health, you need all the flavors in your diet in equal amounts. The American diet tends to include lots of salty and sweet but leaves much out the other flavors.
Think of a circle with the five flavors spread equally around the circle. If one of the flavors is eaten more than the others, the circle will not be be balanced any more. So now that we know it is OK to have some sugar in the diet, let’s look at the healthiest options.
Heat, how high the sugars are heated, as well as other processing like bleaching, are important deciding factors in how healthy they end up after processing. Heat changes other foods as well, but let’s stay one the subject at hand. Heating most sugars, especially during processing, brings them to temperatures that molecularly change the sugar making it unhealthy.
Let’s look at some of the healthier options, as long as you make sure you are buying from ethical companies. Coconut sugar is the dehydrated nectar from the blossoms. Raw local honey is awesome and good for people that have allergies to local plants. Buy the honey of the plant that you are allergic to and it will help build your immunity to that allergy. Monkfruit is another option as a sweetener, as well as inulin. I would have never thought of mesquite as sweet, but it has a sweet, nutty flavor. I use it, as well as several of the previously mentioned sugars in a super fudge recipe that you don’t cook. If you would like some recipes for sweet treats that you don’t heat, check out the website WildlyOrganic.com. They carry the most amazing nuts and some of the sugars I mentioned. They have many yummy recipes. Happy non-baking!!