Healthier Diwali : How to make your Diwali Healthier : Pavithra N Raj

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Happy and Healthy Diwali : With the impending Diwali celebrations people tend to throw caution to the wind and falter on their dietary choices that could undo all their hard work of one year. Any celebration would remain incomplete without the customary sweets and savouries, and in India it’s the – Mithai’s. Even a diehard fitness freak would find it difficult not to fall to the temptation. What one needs to watch out for is the sudden surge in the calorie count intake. The festival buzz continues and your calorie count rockets. By the time you are done with your Dussera, Diwali and Christmas celebrations, and step into another brand new year, you are already heavier by a few pounds, with the guilt written all over your face.

Ms. Pavithra N Raj, Dietician Executive, Columbia Asia Hospital, Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore talks about some of the precautions you can take this festive season.

  1. In most of our Indian Sweets, Sugar is an integral ingredient without which the dish is incomplete. Indians in particular tend to have an affinity towards sweet, and our love for Indian sweets is boundless but instead of consuming an enormous amount of sugar, one could try alternatives made of Jaggery (Gur). You could try out sweets like Bengali Sandesh made from khajoor (dates) Gur and realise that it isn’t the sugar that makes your sweet mouth-watering. Roasted chikki made of sesame/peanuts and Jaggery is delicious in taste and is not unhealthy at all.
  • When you just cannot resist the temptation and are constantly thinking about the yummy laddoos and juicy jalebis, head towards the sugar-free section and pick some mouth-watering delicacies. Some stores add sweeteners like stevia, which is superb for health. It’s better to say no to those extra sweet mithai and switch to healthier options, after all, you don’t want a mini heart attack this festive season.
  • You can even have dry fruits. Dry Fruit Laddoos are healthy, delicious and guilt free snacks. They are good not only for kids but also for adults. These healthy power packed snack does not have any unhealthy ingredients like sugar or preservatives or artificial food colours. The good thing is that they are so easy to prepare. Stock healthy snack like these at home instead of potato chips or cookies and keep them easily accessible to kids. Everyone should allow themselves a daily treat because there is no reason why a 100- or 200-calorie snack can’t fit into a healthy diet. But we should always be aware about our portion sizes, if we eat 2-3 sweets or Half a Bowl then it will only give 250-300 Calories.
  • During this coming festive season, to maintain a good balance of total calorie intake, one could cut down on other carb. For eg, the wheat base from a vegetable wrap can be replaced by a lettuce leaf.  Also, one should focus on snacking healthy. Small portions of nuts or seeds and fresh or dried fruit are make an apt healthy snack. Fill in your plate with extra salads and fruits and taking as much as liquid such as soups, milkshakes and fresh fruit juices.
  • Workout is of utmost importance to maintain a balance in your body. Hence, a brisk walk of minimum 20 to 30 Mins is recommended as it helps in burning excess fat in the body.
  • At last for this coming festive season few suggestions to maintain balance in our body are to replace Fruit toppings instead of icing, dark chocolate instead of chocolate, sweets with fruits, and baking instead of frying.

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