Til ke ladoo, or til laddu, is an Indian dessert made by roasting sesame seeds, combining them with jaggery, which is cane syrup, and rolling them into balls, using a small amount of butter to prevent them from getting too sticky. While sesame seeds are highly nutritious, the large amount of sugar that the cane syrup adds makes til ke ladoo an occasional splurge rather than something you'd eat every day.
Calories, Fat and Sugar
An ounce of sesame seeds contains 160 calories and 13.6 grams of fat, of which about 11 grams are heart-healthy unsaturated fats that can lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. Sesame seeds don't contain sugar, but the cane syrup added to the seeds has 36.6 grams of sugar in each 1/4-cup serving. That translates to just more than 9 teaspoons of sugar. Eating too much sugar can raise your risk of heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Large amounts of sugar also contribute to tooth decay.
Sesame seeds are a good source of dietary fiber and supply 4 grams per ounce. That's 16 percent of the 25 grams of fiber you should aim to include in your daily diet. Fiber is best known for helping to keep your bowel habits normal so you're less likely to get constipated. Including at least 25 grams of fiber in your daily diet is also a healthy way to lower your cholesterol and regulate your blood sugar levels, MayoClinic.com notes. Cane syrup and butter don't add any additional fiber to the dessert.
Vitamins and Minerals
Iron is the most impressive nutrient you'll get from a serving of til ke ladoo. An ounce of sesame seeds contains 4.18 milligrams of iron, which is almost one-quarter of the 18 milligrams you need each day. One-fourth cup of cane syrup adds an additional 1.8 milligrams of iron to the dessert. Iron promotes red blood cell production, which ensures that plenty of oxygen is circulating throughout your body. An ounce of sesame seeds delivers 2 milligrams of zinc, which is 25 percent of the 8 milligrams you need each day. Zinc is essential for wound healing and normal reproduction. The sesame seeds provide about 1.3 milligrams of niacin, as well. That's 9 percent of the 14 milligrams you need on a daily basis to keep your skin and nerves healthy. The butter adds a trace amount of vitamin A to the dessert.
Tips and Considerations
Rolling the sesame seed and cane syrup mixture in your hands gets quite sticky, so the traditional way of making til ke ladoo requires you to rub butter on your palms. The butter adds fat to the dessert, but it's a negligible amount that isn't something to worry too much about. The bigger concern is the amount of sugar the dessert contains. Til ke ladoo can have a place in your healthy eating plan as long as you compensate elsewhere in your diet on the days you splurge. Reducing your sugar consumption throughout the day will help prevent you from going overboard when you do enjoy the dessert.
- The Indian Cuisine; Krishna Gopal Dubey
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fats and Cholesterol: Out With the Bad, In With the Good
- MayoClinic.com: Added Sugar: Don't Get Sabotaged by Sweeteners
- MayoClinic.com: Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Iron
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Zinc
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Niacin
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.