Holi 2021: Things To Keep In Mind While Indulging In Holi Delicacies
Holi 2021: The festival of colours and sweet is here. From gujiyas to malpua the holi delicacies are irresistible. Here are some diet tips you can try.
Holi 2021: Drink plenty of liquids throughout the day to stay hydrated
- Holi is the festival of colours
- Add hydrating drinks like buttermilk, lime water to your diet
- Stay active throughout the festivities
Holi is the festival of colours, spring and love that lifts everyone's spirits. With celebrations, it is always the delightful food that is at the core of any festival. It doesn't feel like a festival unless there is at least one table covered with delectable treats along with the vibrant gulal, adding the touch of colours. Holi is that time of the year when everything takes a backseat and it's only about glorifying the festival with loved ones. Although India's food varies from region to region, some dishes are enjoyed by all irrespective of origin. All these dishes have a history of their own and many of us might not be aware of it.
Whenever we think about Holi, the delicacies that first come to mind are
- Gujiyas - Crispy and filled with khoya and dry fruits
- Malpua - Crispy and deep-fried pancakes prepared using wheat and rice flour
- Puran Poli - Indian bread stuffed with channa dal and jaggery mixture
- Phirni - A thicker version of kheer having a creamy texture
- Dahi Bhalla/Dahi Wada- Soft urad dal dumplings that are mixed in yoghurt/curd
Though all of these dishes are tasty and irresistible, they are loaded with lots of sugar or simple carbs and unhealthy fat that unfortunately fail to offer health benefits. They may cause issues like bloating, indigestion, hyperacidity, dehydration, lethargy etc. if consumed in excess. Eating rich and oily food would also irritate one's digestive system. Simple sugars can directly affect blood sugar levels. All these things can take a toll on one's health and no one will want to fall sick in between celebrations.
Here are a few tips to maintain one's health before and after Holi celebrations:
- Stay hydrated: Do not forget to stay hydrated before and even after celebrations. Drink plenty of water as it will help to avoid overeating and digest the festive food easily. To know the hydration levels, check the urine colour and make sure it isn't dark yellow or yellow. If one cannot drink a lot of water, it can be replaced with buttermilk, lime water, thandai, etc.
- Watch the sugar intake: It is difficult to control cravings when surrounded by so many delicacies. While it is okay to have one or two pieces of sweets, keep a record of it and do not overeat. Maintain this before and after the festivities to avoid health issues.
- Avoid overeating: It is one of the most common scenarios during the festive season. It becomes difficult to eat in limitation when one is surrounded by a variety of food. However, overeating spicy and oily foods can lead to indigestion. Limiting these foods to bite-size portions will help to avoid overeating to a great extent.
- Avoid late-night snacking: It is very common to stay up late at night during festivals, but try not to indulge in binge eating as it may cause certain digestive issues later on.
- Take probiotics: Consumption of curd or yoghurt will help to avoid hunger pangs for longer intervals. It is also highly beneficial for gut health. Increase the consumption before and after the celebrations to improve the digestion system and avoid issues like bloating and constipation.
- Stay active: Try to be active during this Holi season. Do not sit and watch television throughout the day, participate in household activities, go and play with colours along with family and friends.
Some of the healthy alternatives that offer few benefits that can be enjoyed in Holi are-
- Replace fried gujiyas with baked gujiyas. Try a few other versions such as Palak-Methi Dumplings- They can be made with besan (chickpea flour) and will give the benefits of iron and protein, and it can be combined with mint chutney for taste
- Replace normal malpuas with malpuas made with ragi flour
- Replace normal Dahi Vada with Moong Dal Dahi Vada - Add moong dal to the urad dal and shallow fry the vada instead of deep-frying. Moong dal is protein-rich, has essential vitamins and minerals and is easy to digest. Enjoy it by mixing lots of curd/yoghurt
- Replace normal Phirni with a variety of these dishes:-
1. Sago-carrot kheer - It is a nutrient-dense dish made of Sago (sabudana), milk, carrots and nuts
2. Oat strawberry Kheer- It is a pudding made with oats, strawberries and milk. This is a super easy and quick delight that gives a rich and creamy texture and is healthy and loaded with nutrients
3. Lauki ka Halwa-Bottle gourd (lauki) is a good option as it is high in dietary fibre and low in saturated fats. Enjoy it by adding lots of dry fruits
4. Oats and dates laddoo - A combination of oats, dates, jaggery can be made
- Replace normal milk with skimmed cow milk while making all of these sweet dishes. Use natural sweeteners like erythritol, stevia instead of sugar
- Low-Cal Thandai- Use skimmed milk to make it healthier and replace the sugar with a small portion of jaggery or a natural sweetener
Add these snacks to your diet this holi and enjoy the festival of colours! Happy Holi!
(Bhakti Samant is a Chief Dietician at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital)
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