by Dr. Trupti Shirole on  November 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM Health Watch
 The Good, Bad and Ugly About Diwali Desserts & Sweets
Diwali the Hindu festival is all about sweets, desserts, fire-crackers and socializing. Socializing means tasting and enjoying mouth-watering sweets and desserts with high calories with your friends and family. Counting the calories is a challenge during Diwali. But it is a festive season and a time to indulge. So if you wish to eat your favorite sweets then see to it that you have smaller portions of other meals to cut back on calories.

Also in the last decade the impact of diabetes on society has meant many people avoiding sweets and the ever growing incidence of this 'sweet condition' makes this festival a little bitter for many. However more recently there are many shops that offer sweets that are especially meant for such people. Cutting down on fats, sugar and excess of preservative and food color is the key for healthy Diwali sweets.

Some 'Health Hazards' About Sweets

Have you ever thought that the mouth-watering sweets you savor during Diwali might be of substandard quality? Or may be adulterated? Recent raids across the country have unearthed several kilograms of adulterated sweets prepared with adulterated ingredients.


For the purpose of preservation the sweets factories use formalin. Formalin is a chemical used for preservation of corpses. Consuming such formalin-mixed products can cause damage to the kidneys and liver. It can cause asthma attacks and cancer. Pregnant women are most vulnerable to this chemical and if consumed during pregnancy there are chances of delivering a physically challenged baby.

Silver Foiled Sweets

The 'edible' silver foil' or 'Barkh' used for coating the sweets, are made from metals that can be harmful for health.

Tests conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Pune, confirmed that the silver foil used for coating sweets is increasingly being adulterated with aluminum. Aluminum is a hazardous metal. Aluminum accumulates in body tissues, especially the bones. It can also enter the brain. During pregnancy it can cause damage to the placenta and fetus.

The process of making this silver foil is extremely unhygienic. It involves long hours of beating the foil in pouches of leather and goat epidermis and intestines. It can also cause the remnants to mix into the silver foil.

How to Test Silver foil to know if is good or bad -Gently rub the silver foil between your fingers. If the silver foil is genuine it will virtually disappear. While contaminated or impure foil rolls into a mass. (However this is a crude test.)

Tips for Buying Diwali Mithai or Sweets

1. Avoid buying sweets from lesser known places. Buy from a reputed store. The other options is to prepare them in your own kitchen

2. Buy fresh sweets without silver foils

3. Diabetics should look for special sweets prepared especially for them

4. Lessen the Mithai numbers and substitute using dry fruits and chocolates

5. Avoid sweets with syrup - they usually will have more calories

6. Only buy as much as you or your family can consume in a day

Follow these simple steps and enjoy your way to a healthy and joyful Diwali!

Diwali is incomplete without sweets. These Diwali sweets/ Diwali mithai are an integral part of Diwali celebrations. So enjoy the festival and sweets with a little caution.

Source: Medindia

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