Winters are synonymous with all things hot and delicious. As soon as the cold weather begins, we face the instant urge to binge on piping hot Pakoras or ghee-laden Paranthas. Fried goodies are the need of the hour to combat the winter chills. While these foods do provide our body with warmth and comfort in winters, the high-calorie dishes can often cause weight gain. To avoid piling up unnecessary kilos and for a number of other reasons, experts suggest exercising moderation while eating high-calorie foods.
Why Should You Avoid High-Calorie Food In Winters? Experts Reveal
Sweedal Trinidade, Senior Dietitian at Hinduja Hospital says, "Fried food and hot and spicy delicacies may serve the purpose, but it will take you miles away from your healthy weight goals, deranging your much-controlled blood parameters. Spices too may cater to your taste buds for a while but can give you gastric trouble in the long run." Even hot beverages such as tea and coffee should be consumed in limited quantities, as per the expert. "A hot cup of tea may be comforting, but over the limit may dehydrate you, dropping your energy levels further and stealing the glow from your skin," explains Trinidade.
(Also Read: 7 Foods And Drinks To Avoid In Winters For A Healthy, Infection-Free Body)
Consultant nutritionist Rupali Dutta agrees, "When you're feeling cold, it's nice to have something warm. But just because it is winter and your body needs a bit extra, it is not a carte blanche for you to keep having Pakoras or huge portions of Gajar ka Halwa. Eat it in limited quantities. You can afford to have a little extra because it's winter season, but exercise caution."
Expert Suggested Low-Calorie Alternatives To Try This Winter Season
So, what can we eat in the winter season which is filling, satiating, delicious and relatively low calorie? Celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija advises switching to hot soups and broths instead. "They are excellent in-between fillers for winters. They are considered 'food plus water' so they give you nutrition and hydration," she said.
(Also Read: Peanut Soup For Winter Diet: A Unique Recipe Packed With Wholesome Goodness)
Whole grains and fibre-rich food is also a viable option to keep hunger at bay. Oats, quinoa and Ragi are a few which can keep us full for longer and thus help keep a check on the urge to binge on fried food. Weight Management Expert Gargi Sharma says, "Oats are loaded with fibre that takes longer to digest. A bowl of oatmeal increases the appetite-regulating hormone 'cholecystokinin', which can actually control hunger rest of the day." Tubers like beetroot, arbi and sweet potato can also keep us fulfilled and also come in handy to curb sugar cravings.
(Also Read: 5 Amazing Sweet Potato Benefits: What Makes This Tuber So Good)
If you really want to eat something substantial while on a diet, try hot steamed snacks instead of deep-fried ones. "Steamed dhokla is a healthier alternative to fried pakoras. Else, make yourself a sprouted moong chaat with spicy chutneys, green chillies, chaat masala. You can also have steamed kala chana chaat which is high in protein and low in fats. Even hot corn on the cob, or masala corn bhel can be a great winter snack," concludes Pooja Makhija.
Enjoy the winter season without guilt and keep your body warm and happy!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.