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Eating right during the festive season

Eating right during the festive season

It’s the season for moderation Photograph by Nathan Meijer/Flickr

As one festival makes way for another, moderation is the key to staying healthy even as you enjoy the traditional festive spread of sweets and savoury treats. Mumbai-based nutrition consultant G Padma Vijay, who is also the author of books such as Diet For Diabetics, Healthy Heart Diet Book and The Anti-Ageing Cook Book, recommends you cut back on all the feasting. The reasons are to do with what all of these foods contain. Read on to find out more.

Foods rich in saturated fats and hydrogenated fats (dalda): Saturated fats are coconut oil, palm oil, butter, ghee, cream, cheese and cottage cheese. Hydrogenated fats are margarine or dalda. Saturated fats and hydrogenated fats-rich foods increase increase the risk of some degenerative diseases. Avoid the products made from the above fats such as sweets, desserts, burgers, French fries, chips, vadas, samosas, kachoris, pakoras, bhajjias, puris, bhaturas, mixtures, heavily salted snacks and other fried foods.

fried stuff - Srinayan Puppala - FlickrExcess salt found in some snacks can cause water retention. Photograph by Srinayan Puppala/Flickr

Foods rich in sugars: Foods rich in sugar, honey and jaggery causes fluctuations in blood sugar levels and can cause stress and anxiety which can be aggravated by hot weather conditions. Foods rich in sugar are glucose, jam, marmalade, syrups, fruits in syrups, fruit squash, sweets, carbonated beverages, chocolate, soft drinks, cakes, pastries, pies, puddings, jelly, ice cream, cream biscuits and sweetened milk.

Foods rich in salt: Excess salt in foods causes water retention. Water retention also dehydrates the body which is not good in already hot weather conditions. Foods rich in salt such as chutneys, pickles, papads and processed foods (such as sauces, ketchups, stock cubes, tinned soups, bread and breakfast cereals contain hidden salt).

Sweets by Robert Sharp - FlickrWhole milk products as in the case of some Indian sweets are high in fats Photograph by Robert Sharp/Flickr

High fat dairy products: Whole milk and products made from it (butter, cheese, cottage cheese and cream) are high in fats. Vegetarians may include some high-fat dairy products as a source of vitamins A, D and B12 in their diets.  However, limit intake of high fat dairy products.