I made the mistake of meeting my doctor for a regular checkup early last week. While most parameters seemed under control, the doctor made a note on my prescription in big bold letters, which read – NO SWEETS.
It’s the festive season, and everywhere I turn, all I see are delectable sweets, so staying away is certainly going to be a daunting task. If you are in the same boat as me, here are a few things to keep in mind while indulging in sweets this season.
1. Eat homemade sweets
While the sweets in the stores look delicious, the same can be prepared at home in a much more healthy manner. You could consider using jaggery, honey or dried dates as a sweetener rather than refined white sugar.
Natural honey is loaded with nutrients and is an essential part of Indian home remedies since ages. It has proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Jaggery too has multiple benefits, from being a blood purifier to boosting immunity. It is also loaded with anti-oxidants.
You could also consider using whole-wheat flour, which is a more nutritious alternative to refined, white flour.
2. Adding spices to boost metabolism
Adding a pinch of certain spices not only enhances the flavour and taste, but also helps in boosting the metabolic rate. Cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg, and cardamom are some of the spices that you can use for your sweets.
Cinnamon is known for its great flavour and can be added to sweet dishes as well as savouries. It makes the dish so delicious that it helps curb your cravings and keeps you satiated for a long time. It also regulates your blood sugar and lowers bad cholesterol in the body.
Saffron adds not just a lovely colour to sweets but also helps lose weight at a healthy rate by curbing your hunger pangs.
3. Time your sweet consumption well
Rather than consuming sweets immediately after a meal, plan to eat them as a mid-day snack. Since our bodies require instant energy after an exercise session, the sugar in the sweet will be used for energy instead of being converted into fat.
A sweet as a mid-morning snack, along with a handful of nuts, is something that even nutritionists recommend. In fact, sweets made in ghee are a time-tested recipe causing the least amount of disturbance to the body’s blood sugar levels.
4. Keep yourself well hydrated
Drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Water is also known to be a powerful appetite suppressant. You could also make a jug of water infused with lime, mint, berries, cucumber and any other citrus fruit of your choice, and sip it throughout the day.
Ensure that you increase your intake of water during the festive season.
5. Spend time unearthing some traditional sweet recipes
This festive season, spend some time with the elders in your family and ask them to tell you about the sweets and foods that they grew up eating during the festive time. Try and make those very sweets again. You will not only make the elders extremely happy, but by re-creating those sweets, you will carry with you a tradition which is otherwise lost to us.
You might even want to document the stories that they share with you while teaching you how to make them. It is sure to make for a very interesting watch.
The Better India wishes you all a very happy and healthy Diwali.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)