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April 13, 2008

Sweet v Fat

An article was recently published in The Australian Wish Magazine about how sugar is behind the 'obesity blow-out.' Adam Cresswell quotes some impressive statistics that counter the common modern belief that fat is a much bigger problem than sugar.

In the last 40 odd years obesity have gone through the roof, particularly in the western world. In that same amount of time soft drink consumption has increased more than 60% and corn syrup consumption has increased 1000%. Even fructose, found in fruit, is not above suspicion.

Look at it this way, it takes 6 oranges at least to make a glass of orange juice, which can be gulped down in a few seconds flat, usually cold straight from the fridge, and contains none of the fibre of the whole fruit. There is an 80% increased risk of gout in men who drink more than two glasses of orange juice a day. And children are more likely to put on weight relative to how much juice they drink.

Ayurvedically speaking sweet taste is the most ama forming of all tastes, whilst refined sugar, the purest form of sweet taste is the most ama forming of all foods. Sweet taste is heavy and cool and made up of earth and water elements, sweet is therefore very life-sustaining, very building and very strengthening. In it's refined form sugar is too ama forming for all dosha, but in all forms sweet foods will increase Kapha. Whilst fruit is a natural unprocessed food, it is still a big hit of water and earth elements, which will raise Kapha, and ama if digestion is not strong.

For convalescences, children or pregnancy for example, such strengthening sweet taste can be beneficial, but where obesity is present sweets are worse than fats. Sweets must be accompanied with digestive herbs and spices or they can cause obesity in all dosha.

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