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Top 10 Diet Mistakes to Avoid this Diwali

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Diwali Diet Mistakes To Avoid

Diwali is a part of a long string of festivals that begin right from August and culminate in the New Year celebrations. In India festivities roll in, from Raksha Bandhan while internationally October heralds the festive season with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Halloween to name a few.

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Diwali is a metonym for mithai boxes flying from home to home and at offices. Dried fruits and chocolates are the most common gift boxes that are used to convey greetings, blessings, belongingness and of course social status.

Merriment and joy envelope the dark center of various diet mistakes that gives birth to various lifestyle diseases.

Top 10 Diet Mistakes to Avoid This Diwali

10 Diet Mistakes to Avoid this Diwali

White Refined Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Everyone excepting the most conscious ones tend to binge on sweets, way above the daily recommendation of 6 teaspoons of sugar. Mithai made at home or bought from shop uses white refined sugar. It gets processed immediately, and spikes glucose in the blood leading to insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and other diseases related to metabolic syndrome.

Experts believe that sugar rather than fatty foods, is the main cause of heart disease. The byproduct of fructose metabolism is triglyceride and uric acid. Do not let artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin and sucralose be an excuse to consume more sweets.

Research is inconclusive about the health benefits of artificial sweeteners. As an alternative to artificial sweeteners, use jaggery (liquid or chunk) and brown sugar. 

Include fruits, dates, raisins and figs to sweeten your dish, which will lessen the use of sugar.

White Flour

Gujiya, gulab jamun, kulcha, poori and mathari are made from maida. Medical fraternity links sugar and white flour to all modern diseases like diabetes, obesity and clogged arteries.

Choose roasted savory snacks or roasted nuts. Air fryer or ovens can be used to cook or bake snacks, since less oil is required. Use multigrain atta or whole wheat for savory items. Eating chapatti in place of kulcha will not create a dent in your social standing.

Use Multigrain Atta to Make Healthy Diwali Sweets and Savories

Reuse of Oil

In order to cater to the huge demand of fried sweets and savory items, most stores and some home cooks reuse oil. Dalda is saturated oil and has high amounts of transfats. The recommended level of saturated fat is 7% of daily energy needs. Foods cooked in dalda are forbidden.

Although olive oil is a rich source of MUFA, it cannot be used for deep frying due to its low smoking point. Even mono-saturated fatty acids rich oils can become deleterious if reused several times.

Reused oils contain lot of free radicals which are carcinogenic in nature and it causes clogged arteries. They become oxidized and contain 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal (HNE) which leads to neurodegenerative diseases. If the oil is smokey on heating, it needs to be disposed off.

Sunflower and mustard are preferred oils for deep frying. Use air fryer or ovens to cook low fat foods. Serve stuffed idlis, khandvi, parfaits, chocolate dipped fruits, and any baked or steamed food.

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Skipping Meals

Extra bite into sweet and savory is no excuse to skip meals. Skipping meals combined with oily and sugar laden food items, are sure shot recipes for an unhealthly festive season. In fact having meals will prevent overeating of sweets and other fried items during Diwali. Subdue your hunger with homemade meals and merely punctuate it with the festive food.

Fruits are Sour

In general, a laid table or the refrigerator will not feature fruits during the Festival of Lights. Many do gift fruits baskets, but it is not opened till the festive season is over. Eat the daily recommended portion of fruits and use them to make exotic, low calorie sweets. Fruits will provide certain portion of sweetness, making one use less sugar granules. Fruits prevent binging. You can mix a tablespoon of lemon juice or any other juice with brown sugar and cinnamon powder and pour over peeled fruits like pineapple, oranges and relish them.

Fruit Salads Keep You from Overeating During the Festive Season

No Water

People often forget to drink water. It is proven that drinking excess water helps to lose weight, and the festive season is no excuse to keep the body dehydrated. Make infused waters from fruits and herbs to provide you nutrition and hydration.

No Portion Control

Festivities bid farewell to sense of proportion of meals, fruits, sweets and fried food. You forget water, and fruits do not seem appetitizing during this time of the year. You skip meals and binge on sweets and fried food. Have your meals, fruits and drink enough water so that your portions of desserts and fried food stay in control.

Cold Drinks

People gift and serve cold drinks as a part of festive celebration. Say no to cold drinks.  Packed fruit juices, squashes have high sugar content. Prefer coconut, sugarcane or lemon juice, organic tea and infused water for your visitors.

Common Gift Boxes

Make innovative gift boxes with organic tea, honey, amla candies, winter products, plants and homemade sweets. Sweets, dried fruits and chocolates are too common. Instead of boondi laddoo try chocolate and nut butter combination; or chocolate dipped fruits and dried fruits. Donate extra sweet boxes so that you donít get chance to binge on them.

Assorted Dry Fruits Gift Basket

Alcohol & Smoking

Say no to alcohol, smoking

Healthy Diwali Sweet Recipes

Chocolate and Almond Halwa Mound

Ingredients:
  • Pieces of dark chocolate
  • Low fat Almond Halwa or Almond/Cashew butter (depending on availability)
Preparation:

Layer pieces of dark chocolate and nut butter or almond halwa, alternatively.

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Pineapple Orange Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:
  • Slices of pineapple, kiwi, strawberry
  • Orange pieces with the seed and pith removed
  • Low fat sweet curd
  • Topping - roasted pine nuts or roasted flakes of dry coconut or dry fruits and jaggery chikki
Preparation 1:

In a short glass, take alternating layers of sweet curd and fruit pieces and add the toppings.

Preparation 2:

Take a bowl of sweet curd and add fruits and toppings.

Sweet curd (misti doi method) is settled after adding brown sugar to it. Alternatively take strained plain yogurt and whisk in brown sugar to have a creamy texture (shrikhand method).

Chocolate Dipped Fruits And Dried Fruits

Ingredients:
  • Slices of pineapple, kiwi, strawberry
  • Orange pieces with the seed and pith removed
  • Dark Chocolate
Preparation: Melt dark chocolate in double boiler. Keep a tray with baking sheet ready. Take pieces of fruits of your choice and dip them in the chocolate, in such a way that half the pieces are covered in chocolate. Keep these pieces on the tray and freeze them till the chocolate hardens.

Chocolate Dipped Fruits

Halwa, chocolate and fruits provide a sense of fullness, making one eat less portions. They are healthy options to common Diwali sweets of boondi or besan laddo, gujia and gulab jamun.

Wishing you all a very Healthy & Happy Diwali from Medindia.

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