At Turiya Wellness Center, we had 3 day wellness workshops from July 28-30, 2017. The topic on day 1 was Natural Supplements for a Healthy Body. The lecture was delivered by Dr.Sanjay, MBBS MDRD, Assistant Professor at the Department of Radiodiagnosis, K R Hospital, Mysore medical college and research Institute. We are sharing here the highlights from the talk as written down by one of the participants – Mrs.Geetha Naresh.

The first part of this 3 part blog is about better, healthier alternatives to Sugar, Salt, and cooking oil.

SUGAR : Replace with Jaggery Powder or Honey.

PS: Diabetics need caution even in consuming alternatives to white sugar.

NO Sugar, YES Jaggery powder, Honey

  • Jaggery Powder can be used instead of Sugar in beverages like coffee, and also for making sweet dishes. Honey is a great alternative to sugar in Tea.
  • White/yellow or light coloured Jaggery indicates the use of Sulphur or other preservatives and bleaching agents which is not good for human consumption. Jaggery should be dark brown in colour.
  • White sugar has a very high glycemic index and can lead to obesity, joint pain, diabetes and other lifestyle related diseases.
  • Natural sweeteners like Jaggery is rich in natural nutrients like vitamins and minerals that contribute to improved health.

SALT : Replace with Sea Salt, Rock Salt, Himalayan Pink Salt

PS: People with Hypertension or High BP, should consume salts with more caution.

NO tables salt(iodine) YES Sea salt, rock salt, Himalayan salt

  • Use only a pinch of even these unprocessed culinary salts
  • Do not use Processed Salts with high sodium content, or with added Iodine (though people living is the Eastern Part of India may have iodine deficiency). Added Iodine causes Thyroid issues.
  • Even salt marketed as Low Sodium Salt is to be avoided.
  • Use Natural Rock Salt/Sea Salt/Himalayan Salt


OIL : For cooking use oils that have high smoke point

It is interesting that Olive oil that is not native to India is being imported here, while Virgin coconut oil, that is native to India is being imported by western countries.

In India oil is used mostly for cooking, so oil is heated before being consumed. Olive Oil which has a low smoke point is not suitable for Indian cooking, and not ideal for our climate. Oil in general should be used in limited quantity.

NO Olive oil, YES coconut oil, ghee

VIRGIN COCONUT OIL : has a higher smoke point and also has many health benefits. However, it is not suitable for deep frying, re-heating, or over heating as that can lead to free radicals, which in turn increases Cholesterol levels, leave fatty deposits in joints, and lead to premature aging. So coconut oil is best suited for seasoning or in salads. Always try to use cold-pressed virgin coconut oil.

RICE BRAN OIL :  has a high smoke point and hence can be used for deep frying. At the same time it is advisable to use it sparingly, as when any food is deep fried, it loses lot of its nutritional value, and also can lead to health issues.

GHEE (COW’S MILK recommended) : While Ghee is very good and highly recommended even in Ayurveda, it should also be used in moderation as required by the body. Always go for Indian breed cow (Desi Cow) ghee that is certified by FSSAI/ISP/Agmark, as opposed to commercial ghee that could have oils or vegetable/animal fats mixed in. Also it cannot be ascertained to be from Cows. The Milk might be from Cows, Buffalo, Goat and other animals, mixed together. Ghee should also not be heated repeatedly and used.

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