Know your sugars


Sugar (Sucrose) is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in every fruit and vegetable and in greatest quantities in sugarcane and sugar beets which is then separated for our regular consumption.  For most of us sugar reminds us of sweet and happy moments in our lives be it birthdays, celebrations and holidays and the all too addictive morning cuppa! which most people with a health issue would now be having ‘UNSWEETENED’ and refraining from eating cakes and sweets.

But, thanks to the various sugar substitutes, it has been easier and healthier to bake your cake and eat it too! But the question remains – Are ingredient substitutes the answer to solving your health and weight problems or will it simply create a new set of problems?  There is no scientific evidence that the use of artificial sweetners helps control weight.  Sugar is just 15 calories a teaspoon.

The natural alternative, as sugar is generally touted to be even worse than fat, and is claimed to be linked to obesity,  heart-disease, cancer and impaired brain function, are:-

Agave – Sap  of blue agave plant, intensely sweet, high fructose does not metabolise well & raises blood sugar

Maple Syrup – Sap of maple leaves, low fructose, 70% sucrose, found to have some antioxidants

Molasses – Byproduct of sugarcane,  rich in nutrients, a great source of iron.

Honey – Flower nector collected by bees, raw honey is unprocessed and remains rich in nutrients.

Stevia – Leaves of stevia rebaudiana plant, 40 times sweeter than sugar, natural sugar, does not raise blood sugar, not a alternative to baking yet.

Other natural sugars are Xylitol, Lo Han, Brown Rice Syrup, Coconut Palm Sugar and Date Sugar.

This sweet dish, which can be had for breakfast or with evening tea is also popularly served during muslim festivals of Eid.  I have used ‘Stevia’ a natural sugar and you will see in the recipe the proportion of sugar used is only a tenth of the regular amount of sugar, as otherwise this recipe calls for 100 gms. of sugar.

18Vermicelli (Seviyan) 1B



  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 150 gms. seviyan
  • 10 gms. stevia, four sachets.
  • Pistachios for garnish
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  1. Heat ghee in a kadai an add the seviyan and fry gently, tossing over several times, till dark brown in color.
  2. Sprinkle the stevia natural sweetner over the seviyan and mix well.
  3. Sprinkle the water a little at a time till the seviyan is soft and cooked, add more water if required but the seviyan strands should be dry and separate not clumped together.
  4. Garnish with sliced pistachios and serve hot. (Children may like to have this a bit sweeter, in which case one or two sachets more can be added or according to taste).



  1. Pingback: Know your sugars | My Cooking Diaries

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