More Minerals and Fewer Calories: Is Jaggery a Healthy Sugar Alternative? We introduce you to the Indian sweetener.
Have you heard of jaggery? Jaggery is used in India as a sweetener and is also used for various ailments. In this country, too, you can buy jaggery, which is traded as a “healthier” alternative to household sugar. But can a sweetener really be healthy?
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Jaggery: The Indian Alternative To Sugar
Jaggery is also known as Gur in India and is also found in a similar form in other Asian countries as well as in Central and South America. Just like table sugar, jaggery is classically made from sugar cane, but sometimes also from the date palm.
For production, the juice is pressed from the sugar cane plant. Then it is boiled and thickened until a dough-like mass is formed at the end. This is then dried and is available as small blocks or granules.
Is Jaggery Healthy?
Jaggery is not refined or bleached as part of the manufacturing process, as is the case with table sugar. This means that the sweetener still contains minerals and trace elements. These include iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. But the sweetener mainly consists of sugar in the form of glucose and fructose and has around 350-380 calories per 100 grams.
In comparison, refined sugar contains 400 calories and no minerals. Because these are removed by refining. This makes jaggery “healthier” than white table sugar, but it is still sugar and should therefore only be consumed in moderation. Otherwise, too large amounts of the alternative, just like refined sugar, can promote obesity, dental problems, blood sugar fluctuations, or diabetes, among other things.
In fact, jaggery is also used in Asia to treat certain ailments. Among other things, it is said to aid digestion, which is why it is often eaten after a meal in India. In addition, due to the minerals, it contains, the sweetener should support the liver during regeneration and strengthen the immune system. However, these modes of action have not been proven.
In Ayurveda, jaggery is used, among other things, to strengthen the nervous system. If you are overweight, however, it should be avoided.
Where Can You Buy Jaggery And How Can You Use It?
The Indian sweetener is available in selected drugstores, supermarkets, and organic shops as well as on the Internet.
Jaggery is suitable for sweetening teas and other beverages. Of course, the sweetener can also be used for baking or for making desserts.
Conclusion On Jaggery
Replacing refined table sugar with jaggery gives you more minerals. Thus, the sweetener is actually a “healthier” alternative to refined table sugar.
However, sugar is sugar and so jaggery should only be part of an overall healthy and balanced diet in moderation.
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