Suji ka halwa or sheera - know your calories

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In our previous blog, we spoke about the importance of feeding your body a nutritious breakfast, and here’s one popular breakfast choice around the country. Served in many parts of the country as Suji ka halwa and served as dessert post meal, or as Sheera in many parts of the country as a breakfast dish, this sweet and tempting dish is easily available and is sold in restaurants across the country, But is it healthy? How many calories does it contain? How often can I eat it? And will it lead to weight gain? We’ll leave the last 2 questions to your judgement, but in terms of calories and ingredients, we’ll break it down for you in today’s Know Your Calories blog.


Ingredients: Prepared using suji/rawa, refined vegetable oil or vanaspati "ghee", some pineapple, if you opt for the pineapple flavoured one, and tonnes of sugar, along with some cashew seeds, rasins, and some food colouring, this dish may not contain all that many ingredients, but it sure is high on the caloric meter. Suji/semolina comes from wheat and is refined, making it similar to maida. This makes it sit high on the glycemic index, and needless to say, it's bad for your blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrates: By looking at the nutritional chart, you may be led to believe that this is one doomsday breakfast option, and you aren’t wrong. Each serving of Sheera/Sooji ka halwa contains 50 grams of carbohydrates, or a whopping 200 calories. 20 grams of these carbohydrates come from the sooji/rawa, which is a refined source of carbohydrates. But hold on, there’s more! A single plate of sheera contains a whopping 30 grams of refined sugar. 56% of the calories come from carbohydrates alone, and of these, 33% come from refined sugar alone. Do we need to tell you how unhealthy that can prove to be? I guess not. But if you’d like to know how your body reacts when you get off or reduce sugar, then you can read our blog by clicking here.

Fats: It should come as no surprise that this dish is high in fat. Restaurants are known to use refined oils, or worse, vanaspati or imitation ghee, that’s prepared using hydrogenated vegetable oils. How bad are they? Click here and you’ll get to know. Getting back to the dish, each serving of sheera contains 15 grams of fat, or 135 kcal. 38% of the calories in this dish come from fat alone. So what does that mean? This dish is almost entirely made of refined carbohydrates, sugar, and unhealthy fats.

Protein: Needless to say, this dish contains no significant amount of protein, but we aren’t surprised, and neither should you be. Each serving of sheera contains 4 grams of protein, or 20 kcal. Just 5% of this dish is protein—the most important macro-nutrient among the 3. And to add fuel to the fire, it's also an incomplete protein, as wheat in itself, be it refined or unrefined, lacks one or more essential amino acids.

If you are craving this sweet breakfast or dessert dish, then you can prepare it at home. You can opt for dalia, which is the unrefined version of semolina, use less ghee or a healthy fat, and swap the sugar with a sugar alternative. Want to know more about sugar alternatives? Click here and you’ll get everything you need. You can also add milk to it, to add to the protein content and to make it a complete protein, whilst also keeping the portion size small, to just a few spoonfuls at most.

So there you have it, another Know Your Calories blog served up just for you. Keep following us for more information on your favourite dishes.

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