How to eat healthy in the festive season

“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food” advised Hippocrates over 2,000 years ago. And, certainly a sensible one given that food is the source of all the components that make up the human body.

In our fast-paced, high stress society, fatigue and even exhaustion have become the norm. More sleep, of course, is the best answer. But the right diet can also help fuel your body for the long haul and keep your energy levels from flagging throughout the day. The festival season is a good time to get a break from the stress of long working hours.

Come Christmas and New Year, the season to rejoice is ushered in. A lot of formal get-togethers and social happenings are in the pipeline when you can’t say no to friends and relatives.

An assortment of mouth watering dishes, loaded with irresistible, high calories sweets and snacks are an undeniable part of these gatherings.

Here are few diet, lifestyle and behaviour tips to help you have fun without packing on the extra kilos.

Healthy Diet Modifications Strategies

Try to serve fruit salads to guests instead of sweets/fried namkeens.

If frying cannot be avoided, choose the best quality cooking oil.

Never use vanaspati ghee or saturated fat for making your sweets or snacks.

Try to make sweets made of multigrain or whole wheat flour instead of refined flour.

Fill yourself up with a healthy drink or soup before you reach out for fried food.

Try to consume healthy drink or fresh juice or herbal tea  instead of coffee and milk tea.

Prefer grilled, baked or roasted food over deep fried products.

Swap dry fruits for sweets made of refined flour.

Sensibly choose vegetable puddings over gulab jamun or mawa sweets.

If you have gorged on festive food in the day, then dinner should be soup and salad with plenty of vegetables.

Try to stay away from carbonated drinks which provide empty calories and go for fresh fruit juice or fruit shake instead.

Try to make sweets out of dates, chemical free jaggery and honey instead of from refined sugar and if recipes demand milk, use skimmed milk powder.

Serve snacks/sweets on a small plates.

Behaviour Modification Strategies

Share the sweets and chocolates you’ve received as gifts.
Eat slowly and savor each mouthful.
Put down the fork between bites.

Dr. Nupur Krishnan
The author is a leading nutrition expert with a decade of proven experience in Preventive and Clinical Nutrition therapies on heart attack, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, blood pressure, thyroid and kidney disorders.

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