Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tips & Product Suggestions for Weight Loss

Ever since we started this venture (our store www.shophealthy.in), the question we have been asked more than any other is – “Do you have some products for weight loss as well?” My answer to this has always been – there is nothing better than regular moderate exercise and a balanced diet. Also you need to remember to burn more calories than you consume.


Here is some more information on additional steps you can take – either to switch to healthier substitutes or use products to aid the goal of weight loss. This article is the first in the series that will discuss various weight loss aids and substitutes.


For this first one, I’d like to focus on Natural Sweeteners. The search for healthy, natural and low calorie sweeteners is not new to households fighting obesity. If you actually think of the  spectrum of sweeteners ranging from least healthy to most healthy, here is how it would look like in the order of bad to good for your health:

Refined Sugar (also called white or regular Sugar)  – Brown Sugar – Jaggery – Palm Sugar and/or  Stevia

Here is a comparison and some facts that you’ll find interesting:
Factor
Stevia
Palm Sugar
Regular Sugar
Brown Sugar
Calories
0
Low
16 (1 teaspoon)
11 (1 teaspoon)
Carbs
0
Low
100%
100%
Glycemic Index
0
35 (Low)
60-90 (High)
66 (High)
Nutrients
Numerous vitamins and trace elements like Selenium, Cobalt and Chromium (powerful antioxidants)
Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and C are naturally present in it. Also has some natural protein and fat.


Made Of
Dried Stevia leaves. (Stevia  is a non-caloric herb that is native to Paraguay).
The sap of palm trees by making several slits into the stem of a palm tree and collecting the sap. The sap is then boiled until it thickens.
Processing sugarcane, crystallized, bleached to make it white and then refined to make it free-flowing.
Molasses mixed with refined sugar
Pros
        1.   Excellent for diabetics and weight watchers due to 0 calories, 0 carbs and 0 GI.
       2.  Highly sweet
       3.  Helps control blood sugar, reduce blood pressure,  preventing hypertension, suppressing appetite
       1. Great for people who are weight conscious or diabetic.
       2. It cooks, dissolves and melts just like regular sugar.
       3. Has a far superior taste than regular sugar
       4.Absolutely free from bleaches and preservatives

1. Does not contain the harmful chemicals in bleach since it is not bleached to make it white. 
2. It has a slightly lower caloric value than white sugar 
Cons
       1. Bitter after-taste
       2. It does not melt or cook like sugar does
       1. It is not completely free of calories or carbs.
        1.  White cane sugar is bleached using harmful chemicals like phosphoric acid, formic acid and sulpher-di-oxide
1. It is still 100% carbs and with the same high GI as regular white sugar

If you are like me, after reading these facts you’d like to know more about the regular or brown sugar you’ve probably been consuming all these years.

  • So sugar as we know is made out of processing sugarcane, crystallized, bleached to make it white and then refined to make it free-flowing. Bleach contains harmful chemicals like phosphoric acid, formic acid and sulphur di-oxide.
  • Sugar is 100% carbs and its GI ranges anywhere from 60-66 (High).
  • Brown sugar is often produced by adding cane molasses to completely refined white sugar crystals.
  • It may have a slightly stronger flavor with a hint of caramel in taste.
  • Brown sugar has a slightly lower caloric value by mass than white sugar due to the presence of water.
  • Brown sugar is also 100% carbs though and its GI is the same as white sugar (60-66). By comparison, the GI of honey is 55-60.
  • The difference is that brown sugar does not contain the harmful chemicals in bleach since it is not bleached to make it white. And it has a slightly lower caloric value than white sugar. 


But neither white nor brown sugar come even close to all the nutrition and benefits that is provided by Stevia or Palm Sugar.

So here’s the bottom line. If healthy and natural is what you are focused on, make the switch from regular sugar to Palm Sugar. If diabetes is what you are trying to control, then Stevia is the best natural choice for you as a sweetener.

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