I was sitting at Java Wilson waiting on my coffee date who also happened to be an old friend from a previous life. Certain life experiences had since severed that friendship but after a few years of being out of touch and in the spirit of traveling light we had agreed to meet up for a coffee and catch-up.

It was a hot afternoon and something cold seemed more appealing than a coffee which is how I discovered Java served a cold dawa. I have always enjoyed the sweet tarty combination of ginger, lemon and honey so I figured a cold version would be just as tasty except it would obviously be cold-er. I ordered myself one and asked for the honey on the side so I could control how much I put in my drink. It was at that point that the nice waitress who’d been attending to me told me that honey didn’t mix that well with a cold dawa so instead they served it with an alternative sweetener, Sugar Syrup! Now I don’t know if it’s just me but the word ‘sugar’ in sugar syrup doesn't sound as healthy as honey and for a moment I debated whether or not to order something ‘healthier’.

Granted, honey has trace nutrients which makes it a slightly better substitute to sugar but calorie wise honey actually has slightly more calories than sugar. Although, honey is sweeter so less may be required. I however have borne witness to many a dawa-lover drown their dawas in honey without a second thought because to their knowledge ‘honey is healthier than sugar’. The same goes to those of us who love to bake. We seem to exercise less restraint when using honey in our pastries than when we are using sugar for this same reason - 'Honey is healthier than sugar!'- Innit? Not really...

Honey has similar effects as sugar on our blood glucose and both sweeteners can lead to health issues like weight gain and type 2 diabetes if overused. Healthier therefore means moderating your sugar intake, whether it comes from table sugar or honey because regardless of which of the two you opt for, the real issue is quantity.

So on that hot afternoon I went ahead and had my cold dawa with a tablespoon of sugar syrup and boy was it refreshing! Xo

Eat better. Live better.