Don’t gorge when you feast

Don’t gorge when you feast

Nutrition and diet experts give you tips to protect yourself from eating excesses.

Deepavali is here and food is a big part of the festivities. Nutritionists say it helps to strike a balance and not go overboard when you see a spread.

Their advice: pay attention to what you eat and drink. 


Khushbu Patel, dietician and nutritionist at a hospital in Whitefield, offers tips separately for vegetarians and non-vegetarians:


- Use brown rice for making veg pulao and put more vegetables to make the dish less starchy. This helps cut carbs.

- To make kheer or rice pudding, use makhana instead of rice. Use jaggery and dates instead of sugar.

- Eating red rice is healthy as it is packed with nutrients.

- Use soya milk and almond milk when making biryani and pulao.



- Barbeque chicken or cook it only in olive oil.

- Roast chicken with swede, celeriac and carrots flavoured with rosemary, lemon and garlic to enhance the taste.

- Tandoori chicken is a good option. Marinate pieces with curd and pepper a day prior to the preparation. This can later be microwaved.

- Use chicken stock for soup.


Manasa Rajan, Health and wellness coach:

- Make one meal fruit-heavy. It is important to add fibre and nutrient-rich fruits to the day. Have a substantial portion of fruit for breakfast. This will help digestion and avoid the heavy feeling.

- Choose one thing a day to indulge in. If you are eating out every day, don’t have multiple heavy meals or desserts. Mindfully choose one thing that you love, like gulab jamuns for instance, and keep the rest of the choices in the evening relatively healthy, like veggies and a simple dal.

- Hydrate. Consciously drink water through the day, and increase consumption by two or three glasses at least. This will keep cravings at bay and help reduce bloating that comes with excess salt and sugar.

- Choose healthier alternatives like baked or roasted snacks over deep-fried foods and jaggery-based desserts over those made with white sugar and snacks made with whole wheat rather than maida.

- Avoid sugary drinks and packaged fruit juices, soda or sugary mixers. Choose plain water with lemon, green tea, or fresh juices like watermelon or sweet lime.

- Snack before the party. Have a small healthy snack like sprouts, fruit or roasted peanuts or a green smoothie before you step out for a party. This will help tide you over a really late dinner and the resultant acidity or discomfort.

Chef Jason DeSouza, Head, culinary operations and food design:

- Monopolise what you do: when you are indulging, ensure you have a healthy salad with lots of raw vegetables and lettuce. This helps you stay full and not binge-eat when cooking or socialising.

- Exchange or gift dry fruits instead of sweets.

- If you can’t resist sweets, it is better to consume them in liquid form like, for instance, kheer. These can be made from healthier variants like honey or jaggery instead of sugar.

- Try the baked variants of dry-fruit stuffed samosa, kachori, sweet potato and kale tikkis with mint chutney.

- Try healthier versions of chaats like oat and millet baked papdi, instead of the refined-flour version. Puffed red rice can be used for bhel, and pseudo-grains like quinoa can be used to make healthier chaats.

- The oat and millet papdi serves well as Indianised canopies with an assorted array of toppings. A Tzaziki dip with roasted acchari carrot sticks is an extremely good party pleaser.

- Colourful vegetable shashliks with basil pesto, peri peri infused sweet potato wedges, baked mushroom and corn roestis serve well with any tangy and spicy dip.