Indians and sweets: How much sugar is in your favourite sweet?

Indians and sweets: How much sugar is in your favourite sweet?

The Festival of Lights on Oct 29 was a high-calorie affair. Celebrated with sweets such as ladoo and barfi, it can cause a person's blood glucose levels to spike.

But it is still common for the festival to see record sales of these sweets at restaurants and sweet shops here.

Nutritionist Kohila Govindaraju from The Berries Nutrition Consulting told tabla! that Indian sweets made of flour, sugar, milk, nuts and dry fruits are naturally rich in calories.

"A piece of kaju katli has 69 calories and a bowl of kheer with milk and sugar has 270 calories."

But Deepavali or not, diabetes is a crisis that needs to be under control here.

She shared the calorific value of some of the commonly consumed north Indian sweets, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Ms Govindaraju said having a very high intake of sugar and having it too often can affect the part of the brain controlling impulse that leads to craving and a lower tolerance to sugar.

Instead of sweets, she recommends opting for fruit as dessert as it helps increase the intake of vitamins and minerals instead of desserts that are loaded with a large amount of added sugar.

"A small apple (149g) with a meal gives 77 additional calories. In addition, you get potassium and fibre that help you feel full for a longer period.

Read also: Target all Indian groups to fight diabetes​

But a bowl of kheer adds 270 calories and if not expended it will be stored as fat," Ms Govindaraju explained.

She also advises having a good quality of protein in one's meal that helps control the craving for sugar after food.

Apart from sweets, sugar is also found in common food and drinks such as tomato sauce, yogurt flavoured milk and aerated and carbonated drinks, among others.

Raw sugar, corn syrup, honey, glucose, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, lactose, starch are all different forms of sugars.

So, Ms Govindaraju cautions people to read the food labels of products, before adding them to the cart.

"When you find sugar, glucose, and honey, on the product label, it means that the product contains three different types of sugars."

She added that many people think that only "if they are over the age of 40 and are overweight, they are prone to get diabetes". But she clarifies that it is not true.

"Many studies have shown that with poor diet and lack of exercise, many children weren't meeting their nutrients daily.

The fast foods, sugary drinks and sweets they tend to enjoy are loaded with energy that turn immediately into fat when not expended. And this puts them at an equal risk of getting diabetes," said Ms Govindaraju.

Read also: War against diabetes: Why Indians are at risk and what they need to know

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