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Go low-cal this Diwali
Rohini Cardoso Diniz |
October 28, 2005
Festivals are a time for celebration and, with all that mithai on offer, a time for binging too.
It can be a trying occasion for the health conscious, as they battle between indulging and abstaining from the array of festive treats.
The good news is, there is no need to feel deprived.
Here are a few strategies that should help you indulge this Diwali:
The low-calorie guide to festive cooking
~ Use skimmed milk to prepare dishes like shrikhand, rice puddings like kheer phrini, Bengali sweets, fruit custards, etc.
~ Make salted munchies such as mathris, shakarpalis, chaklis, kachoris, etc, using high-fibre flour such as finger millet or bajra, ragi or soya flour along with wheat flour.
~ Add green leafy vegetables such as methi (fenugreek), palak (spinach), kothmir (coriander) or mint to salted snacks.
~ Bake salted snacks instead of frying them.
~ Bake cutlets or kebabs instead of frying them.
~ Serve roasted papads.
~ Decorate biryanis with baked onions instead of fried ones.
~ Serve meals with rotis or pulkas or steamed pulao instead of puris or parathas or biryani.
~ Eat dry roasted nuts and dry fruits in their natural form instead of fried, salted or sugared.
~ Sweets, puddings, chocolates, ice cream and soft drinks are made with sugar that only contain empty calories.
~ Many sweets are also rich in ghee or mava, making them calorie dense. Instead of buying commercial ones, make sweets at home using less sugar and ghee.
For instance gajar ka halwa can be made at home using condensed milk instead of khoya or mava.
Have rasgollas instead of gulab jamuns. Other less fattening Diwali sweets include sandesh and pedas.
Save place for sweets and desserts
As festive eating would be incomplete without sweets, save place for sweets and desserts by eating less rice, bread, chapattis and other high calorie dishes during the main course of a meal.
This way, you will be able to eat a small portion of a sweet or sweet dish without exceeding your caloric intake.
Restrict your intake of alcohol and soft drinks, as they are high in calories.
Use sugar in moderation
~ Cut down on the amount of sugar used in sweets and desserts. Use half the sugar you need. Retain the sweetness by adding the pulp of fruits like mango, papaya or chickoo or purees made of dry fruits like dates or prunes.
As fruits contain natural sugars, vitamins, minerals and, most importantly, fibre, the result is a more nutritious and delicious sweet.
~ Have fresh lime soda, fruit juices or iced teas instead of gulping down empty calorie soft drinks.
We tend to consume 50 percent more calories when we socialise with relatives and friends. So be on your guard and eat sensibly this Diwali.
Rohini Cardoso Diniz, a consultant dietician, is based in Goa.
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