Sugar and milk not only from perspective of TCM
According to Chinese medicine, concentrated sugar has an extremely yin, expanding and releasing effect that brings the so-called SHI damp into the body and weakens the energy of the spleen PI QI XU. Therefore, people with a weakened spleen and with excessive SHI damp should significantly reduce sugar intake. To take away this harmful SHI damp from the body and raise the lacking energy of the spleen PI QI XU, a regular breakfast of Beverage of Chinese Sages (code 900) can be consumed on a daily basis. Nowadays the greatest sinner and creator of damp and heat SHI/RE in the body is sugar in any form, i.e. even including brown sugar. Brown (unrefined) sugar only differs from white sugar by its colour and refining (it contains more trace elements and minerals than white sugar) but it is still sucrose (it is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose). It is stored in the liver as a storage glycogen, and its excess makes our body swell up … Without us realizing it, sugars are contained in a variety of foods and beverages, not only in sweets but for example even in the pastry and especially in beverages that contain sugars in a considerable concentration. The organism can be harmed by any excess of concentrated sugars (including honey and sugar in fruit juices). We can even paraphrase: Traditional Chinese Medicine warns – sweetening harms health and causes damp and hot in the body! Sugar in general can be successfully replaced by barley malt (Sladěnka or Sladovit) or plum or date syrup from healthy nutrition stores, but always reasonably! Because the most important is to get used to natural sweetness and add sweeteners only in minimum extent. The worst thing nowadays is the so-called hidden sugar contained in a variety of foods (ketchup, fast food …) but mainly in sweetened beverages including fruit juices! This also sets a higher tolerance and habits to sweet taste in people, resulting in a number of the so-called civilization diseases – from diabetes and obesity to cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, it is also important to gradually reduce the total amount of sweeteners we use. Interesting is also the view of TCM of people who are nowadays actually dependent on sweets – according to Chinese medicine, seeking certain taste indicates either a state of the lack of YIN XU of the path that it is related with (in our case with a lack of yin in the spleen path PI YIN XU) or, on the other hand, the state of the excess of YANG SHI (in our case yang in the liver path GAN YANG SHI).
Sugar and sweeteners
Sweet taste is natural and its consumption in naturally sweet foods or occasional supplementation of a healthy diet with a quality cake or dessert is absolutely fine. The problem, however, is the regular consumption of unhealthy semi-finished products and drinking of litres of beverages with a load of sugar or artificial sweeteners, which is the situation that is quite common in developed countries.
A group of various substances usually of zero or lower caloric values than sugar and high sweetness. Nutrition experts nowadays generally agree that artificial sweeteners can be harmful to health and their consumption tends to increase the need for sweetness. Studies have even shown that artificial sweeteners do not address the obesity problems in any way, so I generally recommend that artificial sweeteners should be minimized or best omitted.
Sucrose (beet sugar) – our common sugar, fructose (fruit sugar) – fruit sugar and its concentrate the so-called high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which is today the most common sweetener in junk food and soft drinks (e.g. typically hamburgers with coke …). All these and other simple sugars lead to a number of undesirable metabolic reactions in the body. Their excessive intake is addictive and unhealthy. Products from white flour have very similar effects to simple sugars in the body, and it is also appropriate to reduce the consumption of common white bread.
Probably the most favourable option among sugars. Jaggery is a dried cane juice that contains molasses and therefore also trace elements. A suitable substitute for white sugar but a darker colour and caramel flavour are to be expected. Available in health food stores.
Maple, rice or agave syrup
Liquid extracts of simple sugars with a certain amount of trace elements. Recommended for sweetening. Due to the higher fructose content I often recommend it for diabetics, but in the long run, higher fructose intake is as risky as that of sucrose, although it actuates in different mechanisms.
A blend of simple sugars with a whole range of trace elements, enzymes and other health-promoting substances. Use in reasonable quantities is appropriate. Best of all, however, cold and in children after 3 years of age.
Sladěnka and Sladovit
These are extracts from germinated cereals which, besides simple sugars, also contain complex sugars and certain amounts of mineral and trace elements. Sladěnka has honey-like consistency and a stronger smell and taste that does not satisfy everyone. Sladovit is a loose malt extract with a finer flavour and smell and it can also be used for baking. It is recommended as the most suitable healthy sweetener, along with date or plum syrup!
The plant and its extract contain naturally sweet tasting glycosides. It can be used for cold and heat-treated meals. It can be used as a substitute for sugar, at least part of sugar in recipes. Completely harmless, but its regular use at higher doses can also encourage the taste for sweet.
Quality dried fruit is the best sweetener, especially for young children. Dried fruits can be consumed directly instead of sweets or, after they are soaked and mixed, used as a dessert glaze or added into pastry in bits.
Cow milk and dairy products
Milk and dairy products that were originally recommended in traditional Chinese medicine for some health problems differed greatly from today’s pasteurized, preserved, and often oversweetened dairy products most of which do not belong to a healthy diet. For this reason, it is advisable to only consume milk and dairy products in organic quality, if you have a safe source choose unpasteurized milk (from containers or directly from a farmer) and unpasteurized cheeses, or replace milk in recipes with cereal milks, tofu and tempeh soy cheeses, and soy cream.
The best prevention of osteoporosis is regular physical activity that employs our joints and bones and a healthy diet limiting sweets and fatty foods. In addition to consuming organic dairy products, also seeds (any), nuts, legumes and