White/Refined Sugar Vs Palm / Coconut Sugar

BY | February 14, 2017
Ecobuddy Palm sugar Regular Cane Sugar
1 Free from Chemicals, bleaches, preservatives and GMO Bleached using harmful chemicals and bleaches, the traces of which are very much present in the Sugar
2 Highly Nutritious, contains about 24 nutrients including Vitamins, Minerals and Protein Contains hardly any nutrients
3 All nutrients are natural and not fortified or artificially added Contains hardly any nutrients
4 100% pure palm sugar Cane Jaggery is added with chemicals to increase weight
5 Traditionally in India women are suggested to consume palm sugar as a first thing after giving birth to a child and immediately after Puberty, because of its high nutritional content Contains hardly any nutrients
6 Contains Low Glycemic Index. The Glycemic index is only 40. Replacing cane sugar with palm sugar is a big step for diebetics, heart patients, cancer patients and obese people. Normal people by replacing Palm Sugar with white sugar, the risk of diebeties, obesity and heart ailments are reduced. Contains High Glycemic Index. The GI of cane sugar is more than 92. This makes it harmful for Diebetic patients, heart patients, cancer patients and Obese people.
7 Safe for infants to have Palm Sugar as it is free from chemicals and bleaches Because of presence of harmful chemical, unsafe for infants to consume. In cane jaggery and in country sugar, bleaches used in dye industry is used to bring the bring yellow color. Dangerous chemicals are also used to prevent the cane jaggery from breaking during transit.
8 Consumption of Palm sugar does not make children hyperactive Consumption of cane sugar makes children hyperactive
9 Ecobuddy Palm sugar is certified Organic Most of the cane sugars available in the market are not organic
10 Palm sugar is free from flocculent, surfactants, viscosity modifiers The process of making cane sugar crystals includes these process
11 Adds unique exotic flavour apart from sweetening the dish. Merely sweetens the dish
12 Contains medicinal properties. Used in many Ayurvedic medicines and in varieties of indigeneous medicines of India. By itself it is considered as a medicine for cough cold and breath related problems Does not known to have any medicinal properties
13 Palm trees are dry land flora. They consume very less water. Consuming Palm Sugar is ecofriendly way of living. An acre used for Palmyra tree cultivation can give more than one and half times of Palm Sugar yield than that of cane sugar. In todays population pressure over land this is very significant Sugar cane consumes lots of water. To get 1 kg of cane sugar, the water consumed is much higher than that of Palm Sugar
14 Palm sugar consumption brings in equality in economy as this supports unprevileged palm tree tappers life. Since Ecobuddy palm sugar comes with minimal processing, the proportion of money spent on processing is less and proportion paid to the farmers is more Proportion of money which goes to palm tree tappers out of every sale price paid by the customer is high than that of cane sugar. Large share of the money paid by the end customer goes to big sugar mill owners and to meet out huge processing expenditure.
15 Palm Sugar is the Traditional staple sweetener of India. This is the cause of health of Indians for many centuries. Introduced and popularised to Indians by the British. Cane Sugar is one of the cause of current health problems of majority of Indians through prolific Diebeties, Anemia and Malnutrition



Cold pressed oil: Why you should switch from refined oil to this much healthier alternative

BY | February 14, 2017

Do you remember your grandparents/parents telling you about how they used to go to the store with an empty can to purchase chekku ennai for Rs. 5/- a pail?  In South India, chekku ennai was a way of life until 50 years ago when industrially processed, refined oils took over the market.

Chekku ennai is the local name for cold pressed sesame oil. But what’s so special about cold pressed oils?

Conventional oil extraction

The modern method of oil extraction involves supplying a lot of heat. The oilseed is first crushed, and the pulp is heated under pressure. As a result, almost all the oil is extracted.

The downside is that the oil is heated up to temperatures of 230 degree centigrade. Heating it to such high temperatures alters the properties of the oil molecules in unfavourable ways (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons  are formed at high temperatures which are carcinogenic) – and strips it off of its nutritional value.

For optimum extraction of oil, a solvent is added, in this case, hexane. The hazards of exposure to hexane are many – including dermatitis and CNS depression – depending upon the quantity of hexane inhaled or ingested.

The other option of extraction is using a method called “Expeller pressing“, which is a mechanical process of extraction using a machine called an expeller. No heat is added to the process, but heat can be produced as a result of the mechanical action on the nut – which could very well result in high temperatures that alter the chemical composition of the oil.

After subjecting the oil to such high temperatures, manufacturers tend to use preservatives to prevent the oil from becoming unstable. There is inconclusive evidence about whether these preservatives are harmful, but toxicology studies advise that it’s better to stay away from them.

Oils that have been refined through this process stay longer on the shelves and are more stable. This, however, is at the cost of its nutritional value.

The case for cold pressed oils

In olden times, a long cylindrical contraption called a “ghani” was used. The oilseeds were placed inside and ground with a pestle until the oil came out. This is the simplest method for “cold-pressing” the oil out of a seed because it doesn’t involve the generation or addition of heat. The residue or the oil cake was used as fodder for cattle.

Today cold-pressed methods of extraction are the same as the expeller-pressed method, albeit in a temperature-controlled setting. According to the European Union regulations, the temperatures for cold-pressing must not exceed 27 degrees centigrade, though such criteria in India have not been established.

So why must we include organic cold pressed oils in our cooking?

1) They retain healthy anti-oxidants that are otherwise destroyed by heat. These anti-oxidants fight harmful free radicals and prevent the growth of tumors.

2) Cold pressed olive oil is rich in Vitamin E, which has anti-inflammatory, healing properties. It is a good source of oleic acid which strengthens the immune system.

3) Cold pressed coconut oil, despite its bad reputation, contains lauric acid, which fights against harmful pathogens. This compound is also found in human breast milk. According to this article, “Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders.”

4) Rujuta Diwekar, in her article for Outlook recommends cold-pressed filtered groundnut oil. “At low temperatures, the fatty acid bonds in the groundnut don’t get destroyed, keeping its heart-protecting abilities intact, along with vitamins and minerals. Groundnuts, with their high Niacin (of the Vitamin B family) content, help stabilise blood sugars”, she writes.

Cold-pressing eliminates all the harmful effects that arise from the conventional methods of oil extraction. The only problem with cold pressed oils is their short shelf-life.

However, an organic producer of cold pressed oils said that if stored in clay utensils, chekku oil lasts for almost a year. Chekku oil is traditionally supplemented with palm sugar or jaggery, which heightens its flavor and also its nutritional value.

To be cautious, always buy cold pressed oil in small quantities, store it away from light, in air-tight containers, and consume it within three months of purchase.

And remember to buy organically sourced cold pressed oils that are free of pesticides to reap the full benefits of cold pressing (look for one of the “India Organic” certifications on the label to confirm that it’s organic). These are good for your heart, your overall well-being, and your grandparents will be proud!



Virgin? Expeller pressed? Organic? Cold pressed? Centrifuged? How do I choose the best coconut oil?

BY | February 14, 2017

After my last post – 50 amazing beauty tricks with coconut oil – I have received tons of queries about the best type of coconut oil available in the market. How do you pick the best, most healthy version? Which one will work best for the skin and hair? Virgin or refined? What do “cold pressed”, “centrifuged”, and “expeller-pressed” mean? And what is the difference between the cheap coconut oil you see on the department store shelf and the high-quality oil you can buy in a health food store?

The answer is that (much like olive oil) coconut oil is graded according to its level of refinement. And here is a list of what the various designations mean. Consider this your definitive guide to choosing good coconut oil.

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) is crafted from fresh coconut meat with minimal application of heat or chemicals. It smells and tastes strongly of coconuts besides being laden with anti-oxidants, Medium Chain Fatty Acids, Capric Acid, Lauric Acid, Caprylic Acid and Vitamin E. VCO also has remarkable anti-microbial properties and can be pure white when solidified or crystal clear when liquefied.

Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil

This is a misnomer as, unlike olive oil, there is no industry standard for distinguishing between “virgin” and “extra virgin” for coconut oil. Therefore, a coconut oil labelled “extra-virgin” is probably the same as one labelled “virgin”.

Pure Coconut Oil

Extracted by manual compression (cold pressing) from dried coconut kernels (copra), Pure Coconut Oil is crude, unrefined and without any additives. More expensive than RBD, it is used for cooking, massage, hair treatments, medicines and confectionary items. However, most crude oil is converted to RBD before selling, thereby making pure coconut oil more expensive and less easily available. Also, note that most of the coconut oil sold under the name of Pure Coconut Oil is actually RBD Coconut Oil.

Refined Coconut Oil (RBD)

Also, known as RBD, which stands for “Refined, Bleached & Deodorised”, refined coconut oil is golden in colour and laden with pure saturated fats. It is obtained by mechanically and chemically refining, bleaching and deodorising the crude coconut oil, which makes it tasteless and odourless. The economies of mass production make it the cheapest, most easily available form of coconut oil and it is good for cooking foods where you don’t want a dominating coconut flavour (think pie crusts or french fries). However, refined coconut oil does not offer the same health benefits as the virgin variety – like proteins, anti-oxidants and vitamins. In fact, it can actually contain some pretty nasty stuff so you need to make sure you’re getting a quality product – preferably one that’s cold pressed. As a given, almost all the coconut oils available in your grocery store or vitamin store are refined unless they specifically say otherwise on their label.

Organic Coconut Oil

This oil is extracted from coconuts that are grown on organic manure, with no synthetic fertilizers, insecticides etc., and eschew the involvement of any chemical in extraction or processing. However, organic coconut oil is scarce and comes at a high cost. The most premium variety is organic virgin coconut oil – the best and purest form of coconut oil. However, it is very scantily available since this combination of virginity and organic cred is rarely matched.


Cold Pressed, Expeller Pressed and Centrifuged

These are methods of extracting the oil from the coconut and can be found in both refined and unrefined varieties.

Cold pressing: This is one of the oldest methods of extraction and involves the use of mechanical means to squeeze oil out of the coconuts. Heat pressing methods (including centrifuge and expeller) can degrade the oil’s quality and alter characteristics like taste, odour, colour and texture. Cold pressing extracts a relatively smaller amount of oil but retains most of its nutrients.

Centrifuge: During this process, coconut meat is emptied into a machine that chops it into tiny pieces. First, the milk is extracted from the meat; then the remaining coconut is placed in a high speed centrifuge that rapidly spins the contents (and generates a high amount of heat due to friction). Through this spinning process, the oil is separated from the meat. Centrifuge coconut oil retains a strong coconut taste and smell and requires no further refining.

Expeller: Heated coconut is placed into the barrel where it is crushed by a rotating metal rod to break down and prepare the meat for oil extraction. Then, the extractor uses a chemical solvent (hexane) to separate the coconut from the oil. Further refining is often necessary to cleanse the extract.

Chemical extraction: These oils are refined using a chemical distillation process dependent on lye or other harsh solvents, or they’re made from the rancid oil by-products leftover from creating desiccated (dry) coconut flakes. They are often hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. Avoid at all costs!