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October 23, 2014 is Diwali.
Diwali is the time when families and friends come together to celebrate the festival of lights. Apart from the fire crackers, sweets and snacks are an indispensable part of this festive season. It can be a trying occasion for you as you battle between indulging and abstaining from the festive treats. With all the binge-eating and ghee-infused diet you end up doing quite a bit of harm to your health. Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy your Diwali guilt-free without compromising on your health.
Prefer home-made sweets
When there are plenty of colourful ladoos and kaju katlis of different shapes and sizes everywhere, it becomes very difficult to resist them. According to nutritionist Sneha Sadhwani, in India where most of us are genetically prone to diabetes, it especially becomes very important to restrict our sugar intake. Sweets found in the market are high in calories. You cannot modify the caloric content of sweets when you buy them from outside, but you have the option of giving them a healthy touch at your home. Sneha advises to avoid the use of artificial sweeteners and use natural sweeteners such as dates, jaggery and figs when you prepare them at home. Choose to make your home-made desserts with skimmed milk and honey.
With so much going on during Diwali, most of us forget to drink enough water. Low fluid intake can make you feel weak or tired as it inhibits the absorption of other macronutrients in the body. Many a times people replace water with sugary beverages or aerated drinks. Hydration does not mean having such drinks. Sneha advises to include healthy beverages such as nimbu pani with less sugar, iced green tea, buttermilk, and infused water. Also, serve your guests these healthy beverages rather than the sugary ones.
Distribute healthy gifts
Gifts are a symbol of friendship and hospitality of this festival. Choose sensible gifts for your family and friends this Diwali. Try gifting them low-calorie sweets and snacks instead of ghee-laden sweets. Set an example by sending hampers of fruits and dry fruits to your relatives. Fruits are less calorie laden and dry fruits make a good option as they are good sources of protein and minerals such as zinc, potassium and magnesium which are not present in those sweets.
Eat healthy snacks
Sneha adds, 'During Diwali not just the consumption of sugar is high, but the intake of salt and fat in forms of namkeen and farsan is high too. A very healthy way to modify these snacks is to bake them rather than frying. Baked chaklis and puris, low-fat khakras and roasted chivda are all healthy snack options which are low in fat as well as calories as compared to our traditional deep-fried snacks.'
Say no to food colours and preservatives
Select your food wisely and stay away from artificial food colours, preservatives and chemicals. Sneha suggests opting for a dry fruit barfi rather than a mawa or coconut barfi. Both are high in calories, but a dry fruit barfi will be more nutritious. Also, avoid eating sweets with silver-coating as these coatings are adulterated with aluminium and can affect your health.
Here's a little more information
Image source: Getty Images
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