Diwali Food Choice

Breathing in the sweet smell of delicacies dipped in oil and cooked with bountiful sugar, especially prepared for this Diwali, makes all our mouths water. On the brink of this festive season, keeping a tab on those calories consumed would be intelligent as it would be ignorant to avoid them until late. We offer our assistance in maintaining yours and your family’s health with a balanced diet and lifestyle. An age old myth associated with managing your physical well being is the belief that healthy food cannot be tasty.

We counter this point with various ways you could spruce up your eating habits. For starters how about you put down the bottle of sugar and try out some natural sweeteners like honey, dates, figs or raisins. In order to satisfy your sweet cravings you can opt for salads dressed with honey, or blend it in with milkshakes. Moreover, these days the market is flooded with sweets made out of sugar-free sweeteners. Another option could be to make delicacies out of jaggery, which is said to have a higher nutritional value as compared to white sugar.

For those chefs at home, changing a few cooking habits might help. Try not to include too much of milk based products unless it’s necessary. If it can’t be avoided go for products which are low in calorie like in the case of paneer, make it at home using low calorie milk. Using lesser amounts of ghee and opting for baked rather than deep fried will also help everyone in your house maintain that waistline. Also minimizing the amount of salt intake may help keeping cardio-vascular diseases at bay. Moreover, steering clear of processed foods is necessary as packaged eatables may contain high amounts of MSGs. White bread is also claimed to be loaded with calories, hence if you must consume it then opt for probably the whole wheat variety as it is healthier.

Moving on, an important food item to be crossed out from the menu as far as possible is high calorie sweets. A substitute to satiate the sweet craving would be fruits and salads. Fruits like melons, apples, bananas, pears and peaches can be used to create deliciously sweet desserts. These can be cooked in any form be it salads, custards, ice cream toppings, milkshakes and much more. Remember fresh would be more nutritious rather than cooked. Moreover, many of them have a high fibrous content including pears, bananas, guavas, oranges, apples, and figs along with several berries such as strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. The fibrous content is said to be helpful in improving the digestive system.

Diwali is that time of the year when most of us visit our relatives. Thus in order to ensure that you do not over eat at those soirees, load your plates with minimum food. It is necessary to stop once you feel full. However, most of the times we do not know when our stomach is actually full till we stuff ourselves to the maximum. Hence, if we stick to smaller quantities of food, it might help us avoid unknowing binging. Apparently, most people tend to eat lesser in small quantities as they will have to keep approaching the counter to fill up their plates.

That was in respect to family functions organized by relatives. However, when you decide to invite them over ensure that your menu proffers a healthy balanced diet. Rather than going in for several rice dishes limit it to one, while increasing the number of vegetables you serve. Instead of adding fried fritters to your menu, decide on some baked snacks. Stick to Indian bread rather than the flour based one, as it is less fattening when compared to the latter. Load up on salads and fruit juices and minimize the number of sweets.

India for long has been famous for its spices. Our old scriptures have explained to us the herbal benefits of various spices. There has always been a reason why we add a pinch of fenugreek seeds or a couple of cloves in particular dishes. The former is known to have several anti-inflammatory properties and aids digestion, due to which it is constantly used in several natural remedies. Some address turmeric as the ‘King of Spices’ due to its antioxidant capabilities, while others bestow this title on pepper as it enlivens your food while at the same time is good for digestive ailments. Other spices that have been recognized for their medicinal elements include bay leaves, cardamom, saffron, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and fennel seeds.

Going green these days has two meanings, either cutting down on your carbon footprint or opting for a greener diet with leafy vegetables. The reason why we suggest using loads of green vegetables is because they are usually low on fats and high on vitamins. Greens are also extremely beneficial for your eyes. It is assumed that most colored legumes are good for the eyes especially dark green ones as they are loaded with antioxidants. Lutein a compound found in greens like spinach, kale, broccoli and other vegetables like sweet corn or peas is extremely beneficial in maintaining good eyes and avoiding various ailments like cataract for one. These are also said to be helpful for several cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes and many others.

To conclude, it’s important to watch what you are eating. However, controlling food intake is not the only thing that will make you fit. We all need to squeeze in some time from our daily lives for exercise. Taking the stairs instead of waiting for the lift might seem small but could go a long way in maintaining your health. The Diwali delicacies sure appear tempting, but remember your health is what’s at stake.