16th April 2019

Why I don’t eat refined sugar? What I use instead and What positive changes it has brought to me?

By Jinal Gada

We have been fed refined sugar since childhood. Milk was one major reason to add sugar to a child’s diet. However, with a lot of update and google knowledge mothers are now replacing sugar with alternatives but sadly not healthy enough.

I have also eaten refined sugar throughout my life until I learnt the damage it does to the body other than gaining weight.

Now I don’t eat any refined sugar except when I am eating outside and I don’t have a choice, which is infrequent. Because most of the time, I have wide variety of choices.

I am not a researcher and I am not going to give you too much gyan on why you shouldn’t have sugar and how its harmful. You can google and there will be tons of information.

I am sharing a bit of why I don’t eat it with whatever little I have learnt through workshops and people.

  • Refined sugar is Addictive

Sugar is addictive in nature. If you have it today, you will want it every day. You will crave for sugar/sweet. But if you have natural sweeteners you will never crave or get addicted.

  • Refined sugar Causes weight gain

Refined sugar is simply calories without nutrition. You definitely don’t want to consume those extra calories without nutrition. Instead eat healthy and nutritious food.

  • Refined sugar is a refined form

Sugar is a refined form of sugar cane. Anything refined is not good for health. Having a wholesome diet is  best for your body and refined sugar is a strict no.

  • Refined sugar is Chemical

Refined sugar is not even food. It’s a chemical. A lot of chemicals are used to get those white crystals in your kitchen. (google for more information on this)

I believe in using natural plant based sweeteners instead of sugar. It’s been 15 months, I must have not had sugar except when I was out of choice.

Here is what I use instead of refined sugar.

  • Dates an alternative to refined sugar

Dates have become an important ingredient in my kitchen. I can’t do a day without dates. Just adding whole dates to my smoothies and vegan milk does a fab job. I make date paste for cookies, cakes and other sweets that I make.

  • Dry dates powder/ Kharek Powder an alternative to refined sugar

I use this sweetener in place of  powdered sugar. But one can use it anywhere. I add it to pohas, upmas also at times. But since it’s a little expensive I use it a little less than other plant based natural sweeteners.

  • Pure Organic Jaggery / Liquid Jaggery/ Powdered Jaggery the easiest alternative to refined sugar

Jaggery is also our favorite sweetner. Although it’s not directly from nature but it’s much better than refined sugar or any other artificial sweeteners. We use jaggery in dals and sabjis. Liquid jaggery is used in place of honey for giving ginger lemon shots when my son has cough or cold. We use powdered jaggery in place of sugar like Muthiya, banana tikkis.

  • Raisins and Dry figs are healthy alternative to refined sugar.

Dry figs and raisins are also used in smoothies or milk. We love our badam anjir milk (almond fig milk). Raisins paste is used in making sweets.

There are lot of benefits and positive changes I have noticed after ditching refined sugar.

  • No dependence

Thanks to no sugar and no dairy in my life, that little addiction, I had for tea has also gone. The morning tea that you drink is a chemical made by mixing three chemicals milk, tea and sugar. Sugar is as addictive as tea or coffee.

  • Lost weight

While, I haven’t lost a lot weight by numbers after turning vegan or sugar free, but my clothes have become loose and that’s a sign. Moreover, I don’t really gain any weight in spite of eating sweets almost every day.

  • Fruits also satiates my sweet cravings if any

Yes, even a banana or mango is good to go, if at all I crave sweets. And this is possible only and only after leaving refined sugar. Frankly, now I don’t like too much of sweet which is unnatural. I am having sweets plus health here.

It’s not difficult to have a healthy lifestyle. You just have to look for alternatives from nature. Nature has an answer to everything.

If at all you choose to go sugar free and need help. Feel free to dm me on Instagram. Would love to help you.

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You may like to check some healthy refined sugar free desert recipes:

vegan-vanilla-ice-cream

vegan-chocolate-ice-cream

And many more here in the recipe section here.