The holiday season is upon us and our excitement is at an all time high. After celebrating Navratri, Durga Puja, Karwa Chauth, we are now ready to mark the festival of lights – Diwali. One of the most important festivals among Hindus, Diwali (or Deepavali) is celebrated all over India with great pleasure and enthusiasm. And food plays an important role in the celebrations. While it’s hard to say no to holiday delicacies, healthy eating is often to be thrown in the water this time of year. However, don’t worry! You don’t have to give up your favorite treats entirely during the festivities – instead, just swap them out for something healthier.
Make Your Festive Eating Healthy With These Easy Diet Tips
Here are 9 food tips you can try this holiday season:
Consider sugar substitutes
Festivals aren’t complete without sweet foods, no matter how many. Consuming delicious sweets can certainly affect your health, making you vulnerable to weight gain and more susceptible to diseases like diabetes. Add natural sweeteners such as dates, cardamom, anjeer and saffron to kheer, halva, fruit salad and rava sheera.
Switch to simple soda
If you are going out to drink, replace sugary syrups, sugary sodas, and fruit juices with soda or sparkling water. In addition to drastically reducing calories, it will help lower your total sugar intake.
(Also Read: 7 Ways To Manage Blood Sugar Levels This Holiday Season)
Consider roasting instead of frying
Here is a solution not to overdo the fries during the festival season. Consider roasting any foods you would normally fry. Roasted foods not only taste great, but also offer promising health benefits. It improves the texture and deepens the flavor profile of what you are cooking. Instead of frying all the wadas, samosas, bhajias, spring rolls, and chops, roast them for healthy food on Diwali.
Opt for roasted foods instead of fried
Introduce real food-based dips
If you’re used to dipping your kebabs and cutlets in mayonnaise, try curd (yogurt) dips that are lower in calories and fat and are healthier for you. Yogurt is packed with protein, calcium and probiotics. Alternatively, opt for the famous Indian chutneys, be it the spicy green cilantro chutney or the sweet but tangy tamarind chutney.
Swap white chocolate and milk chocolate
While it can be fun to get a whole bar of chocolate, overeating can put you at risk for weight gain. Try switching to dark chocolate this season rather than offering white and milk chocolates. While white chocolate actually does not contain cocoa and therefore does not provide any of the health benefits, the cocoa in dark chocolate does contain antioxidants, which can help prevent excessive weight gain.
(Also read: Diwali 2021 Weight Loss Diet Plan: Add These Foods To Your Party Menu)
Reach for cinnamon tea
It’s easy to consume too much sugar during the holiday season, so if you feel like you’re overdoing it, make yourself a cup of cinnamon tea. Cozy tea may even help lower blood sugar due to the effect of cinnamon on blood sugar.
Replace salted nuts with raw nuts
Keeping a watchful eye on salt cravings is just as important as watching out for foodies. Reduce salt intake; Substitute salted nuts for raw ones, as they are packed with heart-healthy fats, fiber, and protein.
Trade with fruit
Rather than snacking on Indian treats, choose fruit. Fruits are packed with essential nutrients and contain many health benefits. Moreover, they will also satisfy your sweet tooth. It can also provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Unlike sweets, fruits are generally low in calories and high in fiber. Save the treats for rare occasions.
Make sweets at home
Instead of buying candy for festivals, try making them at home with healthy substitutes for the ingredients. Some of the options you can try are coconut barfi / ladoo, ghia katli, dried fruit energy balls, carrot cake, and whole grain cookies. Make desserts with nuts or chikkis (the original Indian energy bar). Nuts are a concentrate of carbohydrates, proteins, fibers and good fats, giving you immediate satiety.
Author Biography: Simrun Chopra is an experienced health coach and founder of Nourish With Sim
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