Why is Jaggery better than Sugar ?

Why is Jaggery better than Sugar ?

Is Jaggery better than sugar ? Jaggery is one of the most used sweeteners in almost every Indian household. Regardless of the state that you reside in, you can find this ingredient in savouries and sweet dishes. Also known as ‘gur’, Jaggery is made from either extensively used sugarcane or toddy palm.

Experts suggest that people who consume jaggery daily have considered it healthier than sugar. But how far does it hold? Let’s look into some of the claims and facts that make jaggery a healthier alternative to sugar.

Know more about jaggery

Apart from cane sugar, jaggery is made from palm juice, called nolen gur, and from the sap of coconut. Palm juice jaggery is much dense in texture than jaggery made from cane sugar.

Jaggery is made using traditional methods of pressing and distilling palm or cane juice where the juice is first allowed to stand in large containers so that any sediment settles to the bottom. The juice is then strained to produce a clear liquid and this liquid is placed in a very large, flat-bottomed pan and boiled.

While heating, the jaggery is stirred and the impurities are skimmed off the top until only a yellow, dough-like paste remains. This “dough” is then transferred to molds or containers where it cools down into jaggery.

In the world of Ayurveda, jaggery has been often mentioned in various recipes and medicines, especially those made in the liquid forms – Arishtas and Asavas. Jaggery is considered to decrease Kapha dosha and serve as a diuretic. Dhauta guda or washed jaggery flushes out toxins and balances pitta doshas.

Nutritional value of jaggery

Jaggery contains 40-60% sucrose, 30-40% water and around 20-25% is inverted sugar. Both forms of jaggery (palm and sugarcane) are used and contains invert sugars, sucrose, and other components like wood ash, proteins, bagasse fibers, and water. 

100 grams of Jaggery contains approximately:

  • 358 calories
  • 27 mg sodium
  • 453 mg potassium
  • 0.22% calcium
  • 32% iron
  • 85 grams of carbohydrates

Key properties of Jaggery

Gur or jaggery can also be known as unrefined sugar that is either sourced as semi-solid powder or rocks. It has a high amount of potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and few quantities of fats (almost close to zero). Jaggery can be substituted in place of sugar in beverages like coffee, tea, and different juices. Whether you are or aren’t suffering from any disease, consider adding some amount of Gur every day because it is known to have therapeutic properties. It can be consumed directly and easily dissolves in the hot liquid of your choice.

Here’s how jaggery is healthier than sugar

Jaggery and sugar are the top most sweet components used in India and few South-East Asian countries. Jaggery has more benefits than sugar as a teaspoon of jaggery has only 54 calories with other nutrients listed above. Sugar, on the other hand, is an empty calorie which means it only increases calorie content without adding nutritional benefit.

  1. Palm jaggery is recommended for diabetic patients due to its low glycemic index. It helps to lower blood sugar levels and helps to maintain a healthy level. A moderate amount of gur can help the body significantly.
  2. Palm jaggery contains inulin – dietary fiber which stimulates bacteria for better bowel movement and digestion. It is beneficial to those with gastric problems.
  3. Problems like acidity can also be treated with a small piece of jaggery.
  4. Gur is also known to have healing properties and its capability of acting as a cooling agent during summer. It also has anti-allergy properties, helping the body to detoxify.
  5. Gur is also known to be a natural remedy for piles. It helps to soften the intestinal tract, improving bowel movement.
  6. Jaggery also helps to maintain hormonal balance. The irregular menstrual cycle is an indication of unbalanced hormonal health, which can result in obesity and low metabolism. A small quantity of gur in your diet can bring your body’s cycle on track. It also helps with problems like PCOS.
  7. If you want to lose weight, jaggery is a sweet option. Gur triggers metabolism and burns belly fat.

Side effects of Jaggery

Eating jaggery in the right amount on daily basis brings potent benefits. However, long-time use in large quantities can have certain side effects like unhealthy weight, high blood sugar levels, worm, and parasitic infection.

Bottomline

Jaggery is an age-old super food, which has been an indispensable part of Indian kitchens. Jaggery is loaded with natural sugar and is a natural variant packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals. Besides that, Jaggery is always a healthier option than sugar.

However, It is essential to consult a specialist before adding gur to your diet, especially if you are having health problems.

Reference: Calorie Value