Diwali is the time for lights, fireworks, delicious food, and fun with family and friends. But tasting and enjoying mouth-watering sweets, crispy namkeens, chocolates, and other calorie-rich foods can result in weight gain and other unwanted health problems.
Here are some food-related tips to help you enjoy a healthy and safe Diwali.
Eat healthier homemade sweets
- Store purchased sweets tend to be over sweet, high in fat and mixed with artificial flavours, so eat sweets cooked at home.
- Home-made sweets and snacks use high-quality ingredients and are also fresh, therefore they are light on your stomach.
- Opt for low-fat, low-sugar ingredients. For example, use jaggery and natural sugar substitutes to prepare sweets, which is healthier than using white refined sugar. Adding dates, raisins, figs etc. can help sweeten naturally.
- Make ladoos of ragi, jowar or bajra, which are low in calories and healthy.
- Limit your use of unhealthy white flour (maida). Preferably use whole wheat flour or multi-grain atta.
- Try baking or steaming your snacks instead of frying them. Choose baked Karanjis or steamed Dhoklas instead of fried Kachoris.
- Foods such as nuts and dry fruits keep you full for a longer period of time, so you eat less, and are healthier options to traditional Diwali sweets.
Be aware of adulteration
- The large-scale preparation of sweets to meet the growing demand during Diwali may lead to compromising on quality through adulteration.
- Adulteration can be intentional, where low-quality substances are added to the food for reducing the cost of production. It can also be unintentional, due to carelessness or negligence. In both cases, it can cause serious health problems to the consumers.
- For example, the eatable silver foil or Barkh used for coating sweets may be adulterated with toxic metals, such as aluminium, which is very harmful to health.
- Other foods that may be adulterated include milk, khoya, ghee, vanaspati, flour etc. You, therefore, need to be extra careful while buying and eating food items during Diwali.
Choose your sweets wisely
- Avoid purchasing sweets from lesser known places. Buy from a reputed store.
- Buy fresh sweets, preferably without silver foil.
- Avoid sweets with syrup; they generally will have more calories.
- People with diabetes should look for sugar-free sweets, especially made for them.
Don’t reuse oil
- In order to provide for the huge demand for fried sweets, many stores and home cooks reuse oil. Once the oil is used, then it should not be reused as it is unhealthy.
- Reused oils contain a lot of free radicals that are carcinogenic in nature, and also harm the body by causing acidity, heartburn, and even clogged arteries.
Practise portion control
- A Diwali feast can tempt even those strict about their diets. If you can’t control what you eat, control how much you eat. Practise portion control.
- You’ll find that eating smaller portions of your favourite dishes is far more satisfying than overdoing it. Limit the portions to one single piece or one small bowl once a day.
- Larger plates lead to overeating, so choose a small plate to serve yourself. Try to avoid a second helping.
Drink enough water
- Drinking enough water throughout the day helps you get rid of toxins and also stay hydrated and full of energy.
- Moreover, drinking water at regular intervals helps keep you feeling full, preventing you from overeating.
- Having cold drinks and sodas during festive get-togethers not only increases your calorie consumption but can also make you dehydrated. Instead, opt for healthier drinks like nimbupani, coconut water or green tea
Diwali is incomplete without sweets. Enjoy your favourite foods, but in moderation and with a little caution. Make a healthy and hearty choice this Diwali.
Wishing all Hidoc users a very Happy, Healthy, and Safe Diwali!
Disclaimer: All material on Hidoc is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.