Recently, on my Facebook page, I posted a status message that declared: “Sugar doesn’t harm, the misinformation around it does”. My usually receptive ‘fans’ lashed out at me, each response exposing frustration, anger and even some hope.
Was I amused by the responses? Yes and no. The misinformation around sugar runs so deep that other than funny responses it’s also a sad tale of how this ancient nutrient (yep, I wrote nutrient) is now just looked down upon. We just ‘know’ that it’s harmful for ‘normal’ people and a killer for ‘diabetics’.
Here’s the truth: sugar has been celebrated as panch amrit in our culture along with milk, honey, ghee and curd. The weight-loss industry has brainwashed us to look down upon each of them and it is the reputation of sugar that has taken maximum beating. Sugar is not the white killer. In fact, ancient Egypt used it as a healer on wounds way before antibiotics came into existence. It helped dry the wound through osmosis, leaving the bacteria weak, reducing the throbbing pain.
What’s harmful is the way we are using sugar now—in biscuits, pastries, cakes, chocolates etc where, other than the fact that massive amounts of sugar is used, there is an overload of preservatives, transfats, salts, emulsifiers and lack of essential fiber and minerals. Of course, we choose to overlook this fact and instead attach all harmful effects of these to sugar. Then, all the weight-loss industry does is create another market of ‘diet’ foods. The preservatives, transfats, emulsifiers stay and sugar gets replaced by a sweetener. Yes, you are right, this mixture will make you thin and prevent diabetes and heart disease. Yes, dream on, buddy.
Rujuta Diwekar’s piece on sweeteners not being the solution to cutting back on sugar would have been more convincing had she not glorified sugar (Sep 10). Sugar is an addictive anti-nutrient, as proven by research on obesity.
Varsha Tiwary, New Delhi
For Rujuta Diwekar’s information, in the old days sugar was not used in the refined form that we get it in today. If you consume less refined sugar, you will become thinner and will better protect yourself against diabetes and heart disease.
Sugar boiled in water or mixed with hot ghee is beneficial. Raw sugar is poisonous in the long term. It needs very high levels of insulin to absorb the glucose from blood.
Bowenpalle Venurajagopal, Hyderabad
Moderation, dear friends. Moderation in everything.
Shubhang Pandya, Ahmedabad
Author seems to have no idea as to what exactly is a sugar !
If you want to kill a child ,giver her , raw sugar to eat every day. She would die in ten years’ time if she were lucky.
Sugar boiled in water or mixed with hot ghee and other foods is beneficial. "Madhu" that is sweet strengthens nerves, increases sexual power ,tones up skin texture etc., but an excess of this "madhu" according to Ayurveda , increases "kapha" ( sputum or phlegm) and infects lungs and bronchia.
So sugar cannot cause diabetes but overweight can cause diabetes mellitus ( type 2 ). Sugar is finally stored ( excess of it )by body in the form of fat, if you do not burn it by physical exercise.
Sugar in the form of fructose found in fruits is very healthy form of sugar because to retrieve it from blood or for absorption of it by body tissues from blood is very easy in that it needs very less insulin ( a hormone ) secreted by pancreas located close to liver .
A raw sugar needs very high levels of insulin to sensitize body tissues or muscles to absorb glucose ( or sugar ) from the blood. Finally sugar is available to body in the form of glucose, fructose and sucrose ( such as honey).
A raw sugar when eaten proves to be poisonous in the long run. A raw sugar , without boiling in water or added to ghee, butter, wheat flour or gram flour etc., is dangerous to eat and must be avoided unless there is an emergency situation like someone going to faint because of low sugar, high heat, sun stroke etc.,
Talking specifically about Sugar and for that case any food item, a lot also depends on genetics.
A number of Indians are prone to sugar related diseases (diabetes et al) and such people must exercise moderation in diet.
But then sugar is not the only culprit. Even consuming protien in excess leads to health issues that can potentially be fatal. A number of Indians are prone to kidney related ailments and they too need to exercise moderation.
Our Public policy makers in health and education should spread the virtues of moderation in diet to our public and discourage binge eating, binge drinking etc etc.
I am amused by the comments here.
Anything in EXCESS is bad for the MIND, BODY and SPIRIT Of a Human Being.
Anything in MODERATION IS good for MIND, BODY and SPIRIT OF human Being.
This is basic Eastern wisdom that has been passed for generations across, castes, religions and nations.
But then the Mainstream Media is against this beleif since the elite Mainstream media makes a living by promoting EXCESS and EXTREMISTIC point of Views that help the elite.
For once, I agree with the woman-friendly author.
The medical profession is to blame for the propaganda that the cause of diabetes is sugar, when there is no scientific evidence for that.
Now this is complete crap.....i believe the comment from "varsha tiwary" explains the validity....also for writers information in early days sugar was not used in refined form which is what we use in todays scenerio which is actually the big problem...also i would suggest the writer to eat some iodex or any antiseptic cream if he believe whatever used in earlier days for healing injuries can be considered good to eat....
Another part its a fact if you consume less refined sugar you will become thin and prevent diabetes and heart disease and why i am saying that cause i have been on the other side due to very high consumption of refined sugar products specially choclates ice creams, cold drinks and lot of other high sugar based components i reached to a scale of 107 Kg on weighing machine and guess what when i started to realize the problem i do what commonly people do... i started hitting gym i lost few kgs initially but even after hitting for 2 Hrs in Gym on daily basis with a lot of strenght training and aerobic activities i couldn't see great results but afterwards when i controlled my sugar intake i really saw the difference and i lost a lot then further when i cut down to all refined products i see again a big difference .....rt now i am 68 and i think i have some level of right to comment on the validity of this article referring to my personal experiences.
Also i have seen a collegue of mine going through the same situation but his alarm bells rang a bit late after he was detected high BP and Type 2 diabetes. but even after that following my advice he cut down on refined products ...he lost 20Kgs and both these diseases are in much control.
Rest whoever is craving for sugar appraise the fact and go ahead have some sweets.......
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