Diwali healthy eating guide: How to indulge in sweets guilt-free
The countdown to Diwali has begun and preparations are on in full swing to celebrate the festival with much enthusiasm. From home renovations and decorations to organizing Diwali parties and planning get-togethers with friends, the spirit of Diwali has brightened up our routines.
As Diwali celebrations will extend to almost a week, it is important to pay attention to what we are eating, especially calorie-laden desserts that could increase our chances of many health problems. There is no reason for us to skip eating sweets altogether, but adding a healthy twist to them will make sure we do not go through guilt-trip later on.
"Healthy and dessert do seem like contrasting words. Healthy is usually something that is low in fats, or low in simple sugars or full of natural vitamins and/or minerals. Desserts on the other hand are calorie-dense and expected to be sweet. But with a bit of modification our desserts can be made healthy and guilt-free," says Minal Shah, Senior Nutrition Therapist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.
Shah suggests few tips for you to enjoy desserts guilt-free:
Go for milk-based desserts
Choose a Milk based dessert like Shrikhand, Sandesh, Mishit Doi, Kheer, etc. Milk is a good source of first-class protein, and these desserts can very easily be made at home with any modifications that we desire.
Replace sugar with natural flavouring agents
Sugar can be replaced with natural flavouring agents such as cinnamon, nutmeg, dry fruits like dates, raisins, and fresh fruits. To an extent jaggery and honey can also be opted over refined sugar, but with quantity restriction.
Make a healthier choice among existing desserts
Choose Badam Katli which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids over Kaju Katli. Choose Besan Ladoo that has protein or peanut ladoo which has monosaturated fatty acids over Rava Ladoo. You can go for Mysore Pak which has protein over Coconut Ladoo. Carrot Halwa or Dudhi Halwa which are full of antioxidants and vitamins or Moong Dal Sheera which has protein are better than Rava Sheera. Choose Payasam over a regular rice kheer.
Innovate by adding healthy ingredients
Try something new and unconventional with a functional food added to it. Like Dates Sesame Ladoo, Oats Dates Nut Ladoo, Walnut Ladoo, Methi Kheer, Dudhi Kheer, Apple Sheera, Fruit Kheer, Papaya Halwa, Beetroot Halwa, Carrot Kalakand, Oats Pancakes with Cranberry Syrup or Blueberry Syrup or Chocolate Syrup, homemade protein bars, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, fruit Yogurt, seeds Chikki (Pumpkin/ Sunflower/ Flaxseed)
Keep in mind the portion size
Consider the portion size. There may be desserts which are high in fats like Jalebi, Malpua, Gulab Jamun, Gulpapdi, Sheera etc. If it’s your absolute favourite, reduce the portion size. Make or order for mini’s or cut smaller pieces to reduce the calorie intake.
Add salad to every meal
Also, let’s remember the basics, add a good bowl of salad with different colored vegetables and fruits to ensure healthy fiber in every meal
Add fillers for yourself and your guest which are low in calories and tasty as well like Ginger Lemonade, Virgin Pina Colada, Kiwi Margarita, Masala Milk, Thandai, milkshake with Fennel seeds, Falooda, Cucumber Mint cooler, Tomato mocktail, etc.