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 celebrating the festival of lights – Diwali. One of the most important festivals among Hindus, Diwali (or Deepavali) is celebrated all over India with much fun and enthusiasm. And food plays an important role in celebrations. While it’s hard to say no to festive treats, it’s often difficult to eat healthy at this time of year. However, don’t worry! You don’t have to completely give up your favorite treats during the festivities – just replace them with something healthier.
Keep your party food healthy with these easy diet tips
Here are 9 food tips you can try this holiday season:
Consider sugar substitutes
Festivals are not complete without sweet dishes, 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 plain soda
If you go out drinking, replace sugary syrups, sugary sodas, and fruit juices with regular soda or sparkling water. In addition to drastically reducing calories, this will help you reduce your total sugar intake.
(Also read: 7 ways to manage blood sugar levels this festive season)
Consider roasting instead of frying
Here is a solution to not overdo the frying 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 cutlets, roast them for healthy eating during Diwali.
Opt for roasted foods instead of fried ones
Introduce real food-based dips
If you’re used to dipping your kebabs and cutlets in mayonnaise, try curd-based dips (yogurt) which are lower in calories and fat and healthier for you. Yogurt is high in protein, packed with calcium and sprinkled with probiotics. Otherwise, opt for the famous Indian chutneys whether it is the spicy green coriander chutney or the sweet but tangy tamarind chutney.
Swap White And Milk Chocolate
While it can be fun to treat yourself to a whole bar of chocolate, eating too much puts you at risk of gaining weight. Try switching to dark chocolate this season rather than offering white and milk chocolates. While white chocolate actually contains no cocoa and therefore provides none of the health benefits, the cocoa in dark chocolate does contain antioxidants, which may help prevent excessive weight gain.
(Read also: Diwali 2022: 6 sugar-free dessert recipes for a healthy treat)
Reaching Cinnamon Tea
It’s easy to get too much sugar during the holiday season, so if you’re feeling overdone, go ahead and make a cup of cinnamon tea. Cozy tea may even help lower blood sugar due to cinnamon’s effect on blood sugar.
Swap salted nuts with raw nuts
Keeping a close eye on salt cravings is just as important as keeping an eye on the sweet tooth. Reduce salt intake; Replace salted nuts with raw nuts, as they are packed with heart-healthy fats, fiber, and protein.
swap with fruit
Rather than snacking on Indian sweets, choose fruit. Fruits are packed with essential nutrients and contain many health benefits. Plus, they will also satisfy your sweet tooth. It may also provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Unlike sweets, fruits are generally low in calories and high in fiber. Save sweets for rare occasions.
Bake sweets at home
Instead of buying candies 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 nut-based desserts or chikkis (the original Indian energy bar). Nuts are a source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber and good fats, giving you immediate satiety.
Author Bio: Simrun Chopra is an experienced health coach and founder of Nourish With Sim
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