The dangers of excess sugars are many and can impact our lives in the short and long term. The most common is associated with extra calories and possible weight gain. Secondly, the spike in blood sugar creates increased glucose levels, affecting our energy levels and creating the roller-coaster effects of overstimulation and depression. Finally, sugar-related illnesses include heart disease, diabetes, candida, and diminished immunity.
Ayurvedic views refined sugar negatively because it upsets all three doshas (Vata, Pitta & Kapha) and is heavy, clogging, stale, and overstimulating. It creates Ama (toxins), sluggishness, and weakens immunity.
The sweet taste is important because its qualities are cool, wet, heavy, and stable, which benefits the Vata and Pitta doshas by nourishing, calming, and giving strength and contentment. It is a large part of our diets because it is found in animal proteins, grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, dairy, sweeteners, and starchy vegetables.
Some reasons for sugar cravings:
· Not getting enough natural sweet taste in your diet (carb-free diet), where the body is starved.
· Being fatigued and chasing the sugar rush keeps energy levels high and consistent.
· Excess caffeine use and higher glycemic foods and drinks can cause yo-yoing blood sugar levels.
· Missing any of the six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent) in your meals can create an imbalance.
· Not being present mentally, emotionally, and spiritually creates imbalance and bad choices.
Some healthy considerations:
· Be conscious of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual condition and create practices (Dinacharya), including a morning spiritual practice connecting to your higher self.
· Eating warmer and heavier foods will stabilize and ground the body, mind, and spirit.
· Include the six tastes (sweet, sour, salt, pungent, bitter, and astringent) in each meal which initiates proper digestion, assimilation, and elimination processes.
· Plan your meals for the day, including the six tastes that initiate proper digestion, assimilation, and elimination processes, bring stability, and satisfy the need for sugar.
· You can find the sweet taste in legumes, grains, root vegetables, dairy products, animal proteins, fresh and dried fruits, and sweet spices like cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, anise, and licorice.
· Consume fewer stimulants and transition from excess coffee to green or white tea or herbal teas like fresh ginger tea.
· Switch to more balancing sweeteners for the doshas:
Vata: Jaggery (palm sugar) or raw honey
Pitta: maple Syrup and sugar
Kapha: raw honey.
· If all else fails, there is a wonderful medicinal herb called gurmar (which means sweet destroyer). It suppresses the sweet taste and is used in medicinal formulas.
Do not use it if you are on hypoglycemic or diabetic medication.
Please set up a consultation if you would like to discuss this.