What is Diwali without Diwali Ki Mithai?
Who doesn’t wait for the sight of boxes and boxes of motichoor laddu, kaju katli, halwa and barfi?
It doesn’t matter if you have a sweet tooth or no, these shiny boxes of goodness offer the warmth of Diwali even without eating what’s in them. While some indulgence is fun and even maybe necessary to get into the spirit of Diwali, excessive indulgence in these sugary delights can have adverse effect on our health.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, the adverse effects of excess added sugar intake are higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease1. It is recommended to have no more than 150 calories (about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams) of added sugar per day1. So in order to stay healthy, it is only wise to celebrate the spirit of Diwali and yet practice caution so as to not allow Diwali sweets to have any adverse effects on one’s well-being. After all celebrations shouldn’t come at the cost of one’s health. And to make this happen there are alternates for those seeking to have a healthier celebration to one of the most awaited festivals of the year.
#1 - Ras Malai
Scary Fact - A traditional piece of 185g of Ras Malai has approximately 32 grams of sugar which equals to about 220 calories2!
Alternative - Here are some easy tips you can follow to make ras malai healthier. Do these to make the dish healthier:
- ● Utilize low-fat milk instead of whole milk throughout the recipe.
- ● For a dish that is rich in fiber and antioxidants, include nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios.
- ● Cut back on the sugar.
- ● Use low-fat cream when preparing the dish.
#2 - Gajar Ka Halwa
Scary Fact - A bowl of traditional Gajar ka Halwa has around 26gms of sugar which equals to about 101 calories3!
Alternative - Diwali is incomplete without the famed carrot halwa. But each bite of this delicacy comes at the cost of your health. Make eating it a healthy affair by substituting with a healthier version of the same. Enjoy this low-ghee, no sugar Gajar ka Halwa alternative that's delicious and healthy.
- ● Instead of cooked carrots, use raw carrots
- ● Instead of sugar, use dates/jaggery
- ● Reduce the use of ghee
- ● For crunch and healthy fats and fiber, add a variety of nuts (almonds, pistachios, and walnuts)
#3 - Kheer
Scary Fact - One bowl of traditional kheer has around 20 grams of sugar which equals to about 80 calories!
Alternative - Kheer is a favourite of many during the festive season because of its sugary satisfaction and slurpy goodness. One way to substitute an unhealthy dish is by substituting it with something nutritious. And the perfect alternate to regular kheer is Makhana Kheer.
- ● Makhana is a super food that aids in wealth loss, improves heart health, improves bone strength and controls blood sugar levels.
- ● So go ahead have a bowl full of Makhana kheer, but make sure you add less sugar or a sugar substitute.
#4 - Barfi
Scary Fact - One piece of traditional Mawa Barfi has around 20 grams of sugar which equals to about 77 calories4!
Alternative – Despite your best efforts to resist, you cannot resist the lure of the many Barfi mithai trays. No worries, we've got you covered. Let’s replace the traditional Mawa Barfi with Almond Barfi!
- ● An almond is a popular super food that is low in cholesterol.
- ● It is an excellent source of vitamin E that is known to reduce the risk of heart attacks. Give your usual barfi a skip and have an almond barfi instead.
- ● Almond has its natural sweetness so you don’t need to add any sugar.
#5 - Laddoos
Scary Fact: One traditional Motichoor laddoo approximately 15 grams of sugar which equals to about 58 calories5!
Alternative - Say goodbye to the traditional laddoos with no-fry motichoor laddoos. No-fry motichoor laddoos are the healthier alternatives to our traditional laddoos.
- ● The healthier option is to use Chana Dal that is soaked and ground very little water instead of Gram flour (Besan).
- ● Instead of frying, try steaming the laddoos and make the balls
- ● Use honey/brown sugar as a sweetener instead of sugar for making the syrup.
- ● Add dry fruits for the crunch, balancing the sweetness, and to make it healthy.
While substituting the traditional mithai for healthier alternatives is a great way to have a healthier festive experience, it is also advisable to continue your exercise routine during the course of the festivities. Exercising will not only keep you in good spirits, but it will also help you burn the extra calories. They say that there’s no wealth like that of good health. So this year celebrate with the attitude of preventing and protecting your health, which is your true wealth.
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Have a Delicious and Healthy Diwali!