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9 ways to stay fit this Diwali

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Don’t let your diet go awry, cautions Dr Nilesh Gautam

Diwali is the festival of lights, firecrackers, eating lots of traditional sweets and having loads of fun with family and friends. However, the festive season is also that time of the year when diet regimes can go awry. Bingeing on sweets and fried food can cause weight gain and expand your waistline. While overeating can cause blood sugar levels to shoot up in diabetic patients, snacks rich in salt can cause blood pressure to spike in hypertensive patients. A little bit of planning, self-control and smart eating can help one avoid these unwanted festive binge after effects. Let’s see how.

Stock heart-healthy foods  Keep a large stock of healthy nuts such as almonds and walnuts. Even not so healthy nuts like cashew nuts and pistachios can be had, but in moderation. Sweets made up of jaggery and figs and dates are good. 

Choose seasonal fruits Have a generous serving of whole fruits such as apple, pears, banana, oranges or any other seasonal fruit with high fibre content and a rich natural source of vitamins. Avoid fruit juices, especially canned or stored ones which have high sugar content.

Have plenty of salads during festive meals This ensures that the cravings for fatty fried food are satiated and it is easy to avoid these harmful fat- rich foods with ease. Add fresh fruits and vegetables to make newer types of salads and add to the nutritive value of the meal.

Prepare low-calorie desserts Try healthier options for example, chocolate coconut laddoos, with chopped almonds, walnuts and jaggery as sweetener. Both coconut and dark chocolate are fibre-rich. Dark chocolate is a rich source of anti-oxidants.

Apply smart cooking techniques Try a shallow or dry frying method of cooking rather than deep fried. Use less potatoes and more corn while preparing hot savouries.

Avoid eating meat during the festive season  Meat consumption adds to the calorie count. If at all, you must, eat boiled or roasted chicken or fish with lots of baked vegetables.

Keep yourself hydrated Drink plenty of water and avoid aerated drinks and binge drinking.

Eat in moderation Enjoy your sweets and savouries but in small quantities and make correct food choices.

Exercise is a must Exercise daily by at least walking 30 minutes a day and stay fit to enjoy a happy and safe Diwali.

Dr Nilesh Gautam is Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute.

Make ladoos

Besan Ladoo


Besan (gram flour), 2 cups

Powdered sugar, 1 cup

Ghee, 1 cup

Cardamom powder, half tsp.

Raisins, 2 tsp.


1. In a pan, add one cup of ghee and besan. Dry roast the mixture on a low flame for 10-12 minutes.

2. Once the besan turns slight brown in colour and starts to give a nutty fragrance, remove the pan from the stove and add powdered sugar.

3. Keep stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed.

4. Add crushed cardamom and raisins to the mixture.

5. Let it cool down to room temperature. Once done, mould them in small or medium-sized laddoos.

6. You can also store them in an air tight container.

Atta Ladoo


Atta / whole wheat flour, 1 cup

Powdered sugar / Boora, 3 tsp

Ghee, 2 tsp

Cardamoms, 2 -3 (crushed)

Mixed roasted dry fruits, 1/2 cup


1. Dry roast the atta in a thick bottomed kadai or pan till the colour starts changing slightly.

2. Add the ghee and roast some more, till the atta turns a golden brown colour. You will also get a fresh aroma of the roasted atta. Add just enough ghee so that the mixture comes together well and does not seem powdery.

3. Take the mixture off the flame and let it cool.

4. Add the cardamom powder, sugar or boora and chopped dry fruits and mix well into the mixture.

5. Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture in your palm and shape into a laddoo.

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