self portrait 2018


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Sugar Cane Juice: Street Treat

Sugar Cane Juice: Street Treat

Sugar Cane Juice is not your average sugary drink. I am usually turned off by sodas and fruit juice because they are too sweet and linked to weight gain and obesity.  But my concerns about developing diabetes or becoming obese can be put to rest while enjoying a daily sugar cane juice because apparently it is one of the healthier things I can put in my body.

I am always skeptical of those statistics that say things like coffee, wine, or chocolate are healthy for you and we all should be consuming more of them. Something tells me that the fine print will show that those industries are paying scientists to come up with favorable results. Then the fine print gets replaced with a notice reading, "Sponsored content."

A quick google search about the health benefits of sugar cane juice link to:

indiatoday (click to open link)

stylecraze (click to open link) (click to open link) (click to open link) (click to open link)


They say that sugar cane juice is high in minerals which make it alkaline, opposed to acidic. This effects the pH of your body and is said to help prevent cancers. Sugar cane juice is also a digestive. It also decreases the unhealthy cholesterol thus reducing the chance for heart disease. As a digestive and and eliminator of bad cholesterol, it helps reduce weight. Sugar cane juice is also rich is AHA or alpha hydroxi acids. In other words, it is good for your skin.

In essence, sugar cane juice is one of those tropical secrets, like coconut oil, that is responsible for the people of the tropics being so beautiful.




In Vietnam sugar cane juice is widely available. There is a kiosk on the corner near my apartment which sells it. The crushed husks of the sugar cane lay in bundles behind the kiosk. Few flies buzz around scavenging for remaining sweet stuff.

It costs 8,000 VND which translates to $0.35 USD. One cup is still too sweet for me and so I bring it home a mix it with lime juice and soda water. I can stretch one cup into three glasses which I will enjoy throughout the afternoon.

I used to enjoy drinking passion fruit juice which I could buy at the grocery store's fresh section. I would also mix it with soda water and ice as it too was too sweet. But I grew suspicious that there was added sugar when I ate passion fruit at breakfast one morning at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and found it to be deliciously sour. I couldn't be sure if they were adding anything to it. Plus, I saw that sometimes the juice separated. I couldn't be sure how long it had been sitting in the store.

The tropics have so many things going for it that I think I might find it hard moving to a temperate zone again. Beach weather year round, cheap and wide variety of fruit, warm nights, warm rain, etc. The food and drink in Vietnam is amazing and with claims to being extremely healthy. I choose to remain healthily skeptical. But in the meantime, I will enjoy my sugar cane juice in moderation. 

Sugar cane juice on ice

For more posts about food in Vietnam:

Raw Coconut: What do you have with your Coffee?

Ho May Park: A Day Above the City

Ho May Park: A Day Above the City