India Tribune

Thursday, Aug 28th

Last update:05:57:16 AM GMT

Headlines:
Serving the Asian Indian community in the US for over 36 years. ***** Established in 1977 ***** Published in three editions - Chicago, New York and Atlanta. ***** Reaches over sixty thousand people every week.
You are here: Home Newspaper Magazine Healthy Living Diwali dhamaka: have a healthy blast

Diwali dhamaka: have a healthy blast

E-mail Print PDF

Traditional Diwali foods like four pieces of matthis contain 250 calories. Tikkis (350 calories for two), jalebis and gulab jamuns (140 calories each). Most of these foods contain empty calories and saturated fats. While it is traditional to exchange sweets and gifts during festivities, choosing your snack is very important for health and diet.

Come Diwali and vast sections of the Indian populace and the Indian diaspora in different parts of the world revel in a spirited delight of the senses and the soul. Be it the tantalizing tussle of festive clothes, the mouth-watering array of splendid sweets or the colorful and ear-splitting fireworks — Diwali is one celebration that lights up the religious, social and cultural life of the majority of the Indian community.

Sweet surrender
Counting calories becomes the biggest challenge as the heady fragrance of ghee and oil announces sweet temptations such as laddus, jilebis, and milk halwas. Though Diwali comes once a year and a diet routine would play spoilsport, remember that ethnically Indians are prone to diabetes and need to consciously cut down on sugar and starch.

Tips to have a healthy Diwali
With start of festive season party season also kick starts and so is the series of pre-Diwali parties. Most of these parties are synonymous with some serious binging on high calorie food like sweets, dry fruits and fried snacks. If you are not careful you may end up putting on few kilos in the span of very short time.

An average healthy adult man requires around 2,000 calories a day, while an adult woman requires 1,700 calories. However, during festivals, one often ends up consuming more than 1,500 extra calories every day through constant snacking in between regular meals.

Few traditional foods which are consumed on Diwali, are very high in calories.  Burfee  is 250 calories a serving, 50 gms of cashew contain as much as 450 calories, and traditional Diwali foods like four pieces of matthis contain 250 calories. Tikkis (350 calories for two), jalebis and gulab jamuns (140 calories each). Most of these foods contain empty calories and saturated fats. While it is traditional to exchange sweets and gifts during festivities, choosing your snack is very important for health and diet.

As most of the people are becoming health conscious so healthy snacks are also finding their way on the party table as well. While all the foods are not healthy, you can find something which is healthier than others. For instance, having dahi vada is better than eating tikkis as it some of the fat is absorbed while dipping them in water and it is served with yogurt rich in calcium and protein. Take care while you serve your food. Avoid sweet chutney or sev, while serving and you will save as much as100 calories in one plate     of dahi vada. A fruit chat is            another choice which you will get in any chat party.
Here are a few tips from
experts on how to avoid
these this season...
Plan your meals. When you are partying during night, eat less through the day. But don't go starve yourself. Eat a light snack like a salad, soup, lentils, milk, yoghurt before you go out. Keep a control on your portion size and choose from the food which you absolutely love as lot of variety of food is available so sticking to 2-3 dishes, which are your favorite, makes sense.

Choose sweets dishes like shrikhand and rice puddings like kheer and phirni. Other less fattening Diwali sweets, include sandesh and pedas.

Keep drinking water as it helps to alleviate false hunger.

Choose roasted or baked, grilled or barbequed snacks instead of fried ones.

At home, do not accumulate boxes of sweets or chocolates. Chances are you'll end up gorging on these. Get rid of them by gifting these to others.
Avoid drinking more than two medium measures of alcohol or wine. Alcohol is the main source of empty calories also save yourself from empty calories from sugarby avoiding aerated sweet drinks. Choose diet sodas or fruit juice instead of these foods.

Finally, gift healthy this Diwali, Instead of traditional sweets and namkeens try gifting fruit hampers. Don't limit yourself just to food, while gifting try other gift hampers too. It helps to shift focus from just food.

So go ahead and have a healthy blast this Diwali and while you're at it, spare a thought for the needy and the less privileged and contribute to some good cause in order to lend meaning to this festival of light-Diwali!