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 Wish you a Healthy Diwali!

Make an initiative with the health experts at DesiDieter in taking a head start in maintaining your and your loved ones good health.

Our genes, besides the food and lifestyle are to be blamed for the various chronic issues like diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac. Indian culture circulates around exuberant indulgence associated with festival food and festivals are plenty!!!

Health experts suggest inorder to avoid accumulating health risks, we need to change our food habits and festivals/celebrations should not be an excuse to binge on unhealthy calories.

Festivities can maintain their vigor and joy with healthy food as well.

The sweetmeats and savories prepared for Diwali are usually deep fried or rich in sugar and khoa.

The excess sugar/khoa provides too many empty calories and the excess used for frying contributes to ‘Bad Cholesterol’. A combination of empty calories and excess oil is unhealthy for the digestive tract, for weight (especially for weight watchers), for Diabetics and Heart patients.

Nutritionists recommend not over indulging in the ‘Festive foods’ but enjoying them in moderation and trying out less sweeter/low calorie options that  will ensure that you do not deviate from your ‘healthy eating’ plan.

As resisting the prepared/served high calorie snacks becomes difficult at times, here are a few tips to maintain good health:

  • Days before the festivities begin/increase the time of your regular exercise regime. If you walk/jog regularly add an extra 15 minutes this month to burn the extra calories you may consume during festivities.
  • Do not skip meals to compensate for extra calories. Instead eating more consciously will help. Eat your Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner on time and include fiber rich options like more fruits, vegetables, salads, sprouts, pulses, oatmeal, daliya, brown rice. The fiber from these takes care of stomach satiety and also maintains hunger pangs. Thus, it helps to control bingeing on unhealthy snacks.
  • As there might be unplanned snacking on sweets/snacks. Cut back the portion sizes of Carbohydrates in your meals like chapattis/breads/rice/noodles to compensate for extra calories and add more salads.
  • If one meal is heavy, compensate in the next meal by having only clear soups and salads or fruit and skimmed milk/yogurt.
  • Drinking plenty of luke warm water/green tea (without sugar) will help ‘perk up’ your body metabolism and ease digestion of high calorie snacks.
  • Start your day with a detox concoction of one teaspoon methi seeds (soaked overnight) with a glass of water or a glass of lemon juice/amla juice. These natural remedies detox Liver and intestines and also regulate metabolism.
  • If bingeing on diwali sweets/snacks are unavoidable; reduce your sugar intake in tea/coffee/juices and even fruits (contains fruit sugars),
  • Planning a late night card party with family and friends, eat an early dinner. Keep healthy snacks to binge on like salads, popcorns, steamed corns, boiled kala channa, carrots/cumbers with curd dips.
  • Dry fruits and nuts are healthy substitutes to sweets for diwali, but do not over indulge as these are high in calories too. Almonds, walnuts, prunes and amlas are rich in vitamins and antioxidants and lower in fat than cashews and pistachios.

Here are three healthy cooking options; you must adopt in your kitchen this Diwali:

Steaming - Steaming allows contact with oil and also retains nutritional value of the food. Try steamed vegetable sweet or savory momos prepared with rice flour/atta instead of maida. Dhoklas are great steamed savoury snacks.

Saute - Sautéing allows minimum use of oil and a good non stick pan is essential to prepare vegetables. So, sauté your vegetables instead of deep frying or shallow frying them. Glazed vegetables or mushrooms make interesting sauté’ tid-bits.

Microwave cooking - Microwave cooking retains the maximum nutrition, so invest in a good microwave this Diwali and learn the art of preparing your dishes in this healthy gadget. Quickly microwave a sweet corn and serve with lemon dressing. Microwave papads and serve with salads. There is more you can do with your healthy gadget!

Here are some healthy snacks you must try out at your Diwali card parties or get-togethers:

There is no healthy substitute to Indian sweets and mithais. If you want to have some, go-ahead and indulge but control portion size and quantity; exercise later to burn those calories.

Offering nuts or dried amla or chocolate coated almonds are better alternatives to mithais and sweetmeats. These are fewer in calories ad better source of antioxidants. Dried figs, murrabbas, organic jams, natural honey are also some interesting items to be offered as gifts.

For more information on diet, nutrition, health, weight loss, healthy recipes or fitness contact DesiDieter Health and Diet Experts.