Addicted to post-meal sweets? Try these healthy alternatives

If you have a sweet tooth, it must be almost impossible for you to resist the post-meal sweets craving. Well you know you are not alone.

But now reality has just hit you like a brick, because your old clothes suddenly don’t fit you anymore. Your little sweet indulgences are starting to show on your waistline.

Even if you are one of the lucky few who, to the envy of all, are blessed with a lightning fast metabolism, and manage to stay in shape regardless of what or how much you eat, deep down you know that sugar (or HFCS – High Fructose Corn Sugar) is bad for you.

Having sweets / chocolates especially after a meal, when the body has already received a good amount of carbs, proteins and fats is particularly not advisable, because the sugar (fragmented and devoid of nutrition) will cause your insulin levels to spike.

The problem with too much insulin in the blood is that it inhibits the fat burning process and rather makes the body absorb some of the fatty acids and glucose in the blood, turning them into body fat.

The good news is, there are still some healthy alternatives you can use to satisfy that sweet tooth without really piling on those extra kilos because of sugar. Let us take a look at how you can replace your post-meal sweets:

alternatives to sugarBerries

The berries available at your grocery can not only satisfy your craving, but also give you lots of antioxidants. Berries are also filled with vitamin C and flavonoids, which are associated with a reduced risk of cancer, asthma and stroke.

Dark chocolatealternatives to sugar

Now, this can be a tricky one. Dark chocolate is known to be good for the heart, while taking care of your sweet craving.  So having a small piece or two is totally fine, as dark chocolate contains much less sugar, if any. But it is sugar nonetheless, and having half a bar of dark chocolate will do more harm than good.

alternatives to sugarDates

This is one guilt free sweet that will totally give you that sweet taste, along with amino acids, fiber and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. So the next time you crave for that sweet kick, don’t hesitate to chew on a couple of dates. Who said taste and health can’t go hand in hand?

alternatives to sugar

Jaggery

Though also used as a sweetening agent, organic jaggery is considered much better than refined sugar or HFCS as craisertain minerals and plant phytochemicals are preserved in it.

It also contains iron which improves haemoglobin. Moreover, it makes a lot more sense to have jaggery after meals when you consider that it activates digestive enzymes in our body thereby aiding digestion and preventing constipation or acid reflux.

So there it is; Some healthy, guilt-free (or at least low guilt) post-meal sweets. These sweeties (pun intended) are perfect alternatives to sugar, and also take care of your health. Cheers!

P.S. Be sure to check out our article on the healthiest species of raisins, the Manuka raisins.

6 reasons you should start having Desi cow ghee today

The Vedas regard ghee as ‘the first and most essential of all foods’. Ghee (esp. made from Indian cow A2 milk) has traditionally been an inseparable part of every Indian ritual. Indians have been using Desi ghee for cooking way before cooking oils even existed.

This golden color liquid that is unmistakable from its characteristic aroma, has more benefits than one might think.

It is only now, when modern science has facilitated numerous clinical studies, that Western medicine has finally come to realize the super medicinal properties of this common Indian food. So Let’s dive right in!

Home made Desi ghee:

Most Indian households traditionally follow a rather long process to make ghee from milk.

  • Collecting cream (malai in Hindi) by separating it from the milk
  • making it into a creamy curd,
  • churning the curd + water in a wooden centrifuge (or a mixer) to separate butter and buttermilk,
  • heating the butter till all the water has evaporated and we’re left with ghee.

An important point to note is that most benefits only come from this home made ghee. Factory made ghee is not extracted through the same process and hence doesn’t have the same properties.

cow ghee benefits

Digestion and bowel movement

It is said that most diseases originate from the stomach. So they can be avoided if your digestion is in top shape.

Desi ghee is the most easily digestible of all fats that are used for cooking. Apart from aiding excretion of toxins, it also prevents constipation as it makes stools softer.

Add half a teaspoon of Desi cow ghee to a glass of warm milk and have it before you go to bed, and it will not just take care of your digestion, it will also make you sleep better.

Good for the heart

Indian cow ghee helps improve the HDL (High Density Lipoprotein), most commonly known as good cholesterol as it contains Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids, or MUFA which also helps reduce LDL or the bad cholesterol in your blood.

So go ahead and replace a spoon of oil with a spoon of Desi cow ghee in your daily fat intake and see the benefits yourself. (provided your daily fat intake is within prescribed limits)

People with chronic cardiac issues however, should avoid being too liberal with any type of fat.

Cow ghee helps fight cancer

An article in the Daily Mail speaks about a study conducted by the National Dairy Research Institute, where scientists found that ghee improves the availability of enzymes that help detoxify the body of cancer causing substances.

This could be attributed to the presence of CLA (Conjugated Linolenic Acid) present in ghee known to possess beneficial properties.

Slows down ageing

Ghee contains rich quantities of carotenoids and vitamin A that fight free radicals which cause cell damage.

Ghee has a high smoke point, which means it does not break down and release free radicals when heated during cooking (something that happens to oil when heated).

This also means ghee will retain its nutritional properties even after being heated to high temperatures. So it doesn’t cause ageing, AND slows it down too! (Unlike to most other vegetable oils)

Eye health

Vitamin A deficiency is the main cause for night blindness (most of us learnt that in school). Well consuming Desi cow ghee will give you lots of it, and more.

Carotenoids (abundantly contained in ghee) are the substances that neutralize free radicals harming the eyes’ macular cells thereby preventing macular degeneration and cataracts.

Freshly made Desi cow ghee using clean and sterile utensils can also be applied directly to the eyes for a soothing sensation in case of itchiness or irritation.

One can also put a few drops of it in their eyes (you may experience milky vision for a few minutes, but it will go away in a minute or two) and avoid many eye problems. (Just make sure this ghee is stored separately in a sterile container and not used for any other purpose)

Works wonders on the sinuses

An ancient Indian remedy for chronic sinus problems and allergies is desi cow ghee.

People who suffer from irritable sinuses (esp. during weather changes or in dusty environments) will find great relief in desi cow ghee.

Introducing a few drops of Desi cow ghee in the nostrils (preferably while lying down) reduces irritation to a great extent and also soothes the nasal passage from the inside. It is advisable for people with chronic sinus issues to this little exercise every day.

One for the road: Ghee has wonderful moisturizing properties. People with dry skin should apply it as an overnight cream and they will find their skin supple and glowing in the morning.

So while the process of making requires some effort, the miraculous end product is definitely worth it. Add a teaspoon of Desi cow ghee to your diet; you will be healthier, and your food, tastier. Cheers!

P.S.: Don’t forget to check out our infomational article on Desi cow A2 milk.