12.03.2010

Date Sugar


My little sis lives on her own now, and she frequently calls or texts me from the grocery store to ask about a certain food or new product. She is a conscious shopper, which is something I encourage everyone to be. She also isn’t afraid to try new foods. This is so important – if you get into a routine of buying the same things at the grocery store each week, you will never learn about new foods and eating becomes more of a chore and less enjoyable.


This week, sis asked me what I think about date sugar. Although I have baked with dates, I have never tried date sugar before (new food!), so I had to do a little research. What I found is that date sugar is simply dehydrated dates, and it is used as a sugar for sweetening or baking – similar to the way you’d use brown sugar. Bob’s Red Mill makes date sugar, and this is a company that has very reputable products that are minimally processed.






Date sugar seems like a good sugar alternative if you like the flavor of dates. However, IT IS STILL SUGAR! That is the key point I want to make. Just because the sugar comes from a date does not make it any healthier or react any differently inside the body. Keep in mind that most of the regular white sugar we see comes from beets – a root vegetable! But that doesn’t mean we’re eating veggies when we consume sugar.








My advice on sugar is this: if you like something sweet every once in a while, choose something that is made with REAL ingredients: butter, eggs, whole wheat flour, and – most importantly – a form of real sugar. This will be more likely to satisfy your craving, and then you can get back to your healthy diet. Artificial sugars have countless side effects to our body and its many systems, including neurological, psychological, gastrointestinal, and endocrine issues. Since our body does not recognize “fake” sugars, they are not processed like real food and instead are deposited into our tissues, where over time they build up and cause symptoms. While symptoms may start small, such as occasional headaches, they can quickly progress to much more serious health issues.


But consuming too much real sugar isn’t great either. Which leads me into my topic for next week: hormones! We have been learning a lot about hormones and it’s one of my favorite topics, because it seems that balancing hormones is one of the major components of health and well-being. Next week I’ll talk more about hormones – specifically adrenaline, cortisol and insulin – and the important roles they play in the body.


3 comments:

  1. Your research is incorrect. Date sugar is not sugar that comes from dates, but rather the date itself, just dehydrated and ground. Because date sugar is just ground dates, it is technically a whole food, and as a whole food, contains actual nutrients that are good for you. Date sugar makes for a healthier alternative to artificially processed/manufactured sugar.
    Now as for your statement about "real sugar," what you mean to say is natural, unprocessed, or minimally processed sugar, because processed sugar is just as real as its unprocessed derivative. The same thing goes for "...REAL ingredients..." Also, you should not be harping on sugar to health conscious people while recommending they use things like butter and eggs. Butter is high in fat and eggs are very high in cholesterol.
    Lastly, you are right about one thing...that sugar in any form can have a negative impact on the body if consumed in large enough quantities. That being said, the body does need some sugar in order for certain vital processes to take place. So, in the end, one must watch their sugar intake and always remember that natural, unprocessed anything is best.

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  2. Yes, I did state above that date sugar is the actual date itself: "What I found is that date sugar is simply dehydrated dates...". So, I do agree with you that date sugar is the actual date itself. However, I do not consider it a whole food because I consider whole foods to be in their original, unprocessed state. Date sugar has been processed into a sugar, and therefore is no longer a whole food. The processing can include things like high temperatures, which can destroy some enzymes and nutrients in the original whole food.

    Regarding your statement about butter and eggs, I guess we disagree on this. I wholeheartedly believe that pastured butter and pastured eggs contain so many beneficial nutrients, including healthy fats and cholesterol. I encourage all of my clients to eat these whole foods, and have never had anyone who has gained weight or increased cholesterol after including these into their regular diet. In fact, quite the opposite - these foods have been instrumental in the weight loss and health improvement of each of my clients.

    Thank you for your comment. Please email me if you'd like to discuss these things further!

    Ann

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  3. Hi Ann, you may want to check out Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn for his studies on heart disease and animal products and animal secretions. Humans do not need to consume animal products in order to be healthy. No other animal on the planet needs to consume the lactation of another species, especially in adulthood (calcium, for example, can be found where cows should be getting this mineral -- from leafy greens). Plus, the majority of people are not even able to properly digest animal milks after early childhood since necessary enzymes are lost...Again, check out Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, as well as Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Klaper and Dr. Alan Goldhamer. Their researched base information is very educational.

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