The festive season is upon us and our excitement is on an all-time high. After celebrating Navratri, Durga Puja, Karwa Chauth, we are now celebrating the festival of lights - Diwali. One of the most significant festivals among the Hindus, Diwali (or Deepavali) is celebrated across India with much fun and enthusiasm. And food plays a significant role in the celebrations. While it is difficult to say no to festive delicacies, healthy eating often goes for a toss during this time of the year. However, fret not! You don't need to completely let go of your favourite treats during the festivities - instead, just swap them with something healthier.
Here Are 9 Food Tips You Can Try During The Festive Season:
Consider Sugar Substitutes
Festivals are not complete without sweet dishes, no matter how many there are. 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 out for drinking, switch the sweet syrups, sweetened carbonated beverages and fruit juices for plain soda or sparkling water. Apart from reducing the calories considerably, it will help you reduce your total sugar consumption.
Consider Roasting Instead Of Frying
Here is a solution to keep you from overindulging in fried foods during the festival season. Consider roasting all those food items that you would normally fry. Roasted foods not only taste good, but also provide some promising health benefits. It improves the texture and deepens the flavour profile of what you're cooking. Instead of frying all the wadas, samosas, bhajias, spring rolls and cutlets, roast them to have healthy food during Diwali.
Introduce Real Food-Based Dips
If you are used to dipping your kebabs and cutlets in mayonnaise, try curd (yoghurt) -based dips that are lower in calories and fat and are healthier for you. Yoghurt is packed with protein, crammed with calcium, and popped with probiotics. Else opt for the famous Indian chutneys be it the spicy green coriander chutney or the sweet yet tangy tamarind chutney.
Swap The White And Milk Chocolate
While it can be fun to get a whole bar of chocolate to yourself, eating too much puts you at risk of gaining weight. Try switching to dark chocolate this season rather than gifting white and milk chocolates. While white chocolate actually contains no cocoa and therefore provides none of the health benefits, the cocoa in dark chocolate has antioxidants, which can help prevent excess weight gain.
Reach For The Cinnamon Tea
It's easy to consume too much sugar during the festive season, so if you feel yourself going overboard, go ahead and make a cup of cinnamon tea. The cozy tea may even help decrease blood sugar due to cinnamon's effect on blood glucose.
Swap The Salty Nuts With Raw Nuts
Keeping a watchful eye on the salt cravings is just as important as watching out for the sweet tooth. Reduce salt intake; swap salted nuts for raw nuts since they are packed with heart-healthy fats, fibre, and protein.
Swap With Fruits
Rather than snacking on Indian sweetmeats, choose fruits. Fruits are loaded with essential nutrients and contain numerous health benefits. Moreover, they will satisfy your sweet tooth as well. It may also provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Unlike sweetmeats, fruits are usually low in calories and high in fibre. Keep the sweetmeats for rare occasions.
Prepare Sweets At Home
Instead of buying sweets for the festivals, try preparing them at home with healthy substitutes of the ingredients. Some of the options you can try are- coconut barfi/ladoo, ghia katli, energy balls with dry fruits, carrot cake and whole-grain cookies. Make nut-based desserts or chikkis (the original Indian energy bar). Nuts are a powerhouse of carbohydrates, protein, fibre and good fats, giving you immediate satiety.
Author Bio: Simrun Chopra is an experienced health coach and founder at Nourish With Sim
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.