5 Healthy Changes From Breakfast to Dessert This Holiday Season

Winter fun can be irresistible and here are some healthy options to make it happen.

The Christmas bells are ringing and the New Year is just a few days away. Festive mood is going on and everyone is getting ready to bid farewell to the passing year and welcome the new year. This time of year people sit back and evaluate their accomplishments and set goals for the new year. Health and happiness go hand in hand. It is imperative that we take responsibility for our health at the beginning of the year and commit to healthy eating practices for a healthy New Year.

India.com contacted Dr. Meghna Pasi, Nutrition Consultant, Mythali, Arogya World. While you enjoy Christmas and New Year’s Eve, be careful about swapping out foods. Choose nutrient-dense foods that are low in healthy fats, lean proteins, sodium and sugar, and high in fiber and micronutrients. Such changes can be quite impactful and aid in weight management, improving digestion, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and establishing a long-term relationship with healthy food.

Here are some healthy meals to try during the holiday season:

Choose baked or steamed snacks instead of fried snacks: Baking is a cooking process that requires less oil and can help preserve more nutrients in food, making it a preferred choice for health-conscious cooks. Less use of oil means less calories and fat. Deep frying on the other hand requires a lot of oil/ghee which makes the dish calorie-rich and high in fat. Eat baked samosas/gujiyas instead of fried samosas/gujiyas. Instead of medu vada and fried momos or bajji and bonda, go for idli and steamed momos.

Try healthier cooking methods like grilling, roasting or frying: Instead of deep frying pakodas and samosas, try grilling or stir-frying paneer, capsicum, baby corn, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes. They are rich in vitamins and fiber and keep you satiated for a long time. These cooking methods reduce the consumption of unhealthy fats and excessive calories present in deep-fried dishes.

Choose nutrient-rich sweets and desserts: Eat frozen fruit yogurt instead of ice cream.

Instead of plum cake or brownies, try avocado shrikhand or apple-oats pudding. Avocados are rich in nutrients and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), while apples and oats are rich in fiber. Oats also help control blood sugar which may benefit diabetics. Choose homemade nut and date bars with honey instead of sugar-laden cookies. Nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as monounsaturated fats, which may help lower cholesterol. Dates are high in soluble fiber and iron. Choose fruit salad instead of pastries. Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and citrus fruits help in building immunity.

Include millets in your sweets and breakfast: Include millet in your dishes at the beginning of this New Year. Eat Ragi Laddus, Jowar Pongal, Jowar Sesame Sticks, Bajri Vada and Jowar Kesari.

Ragi contains high amounts of dietary fiber and essential amino acids and is also rich in calcium and iron. Jowar is a good source of protein and dietary fiber and a rich source of minerals like copper, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium. Millet is an ideal food for diabetics as it can control blood sugar levels and hyperglycemia.

Choose snacks made from wheat flour instead of maida: Whole wheat flour has a lower glycemic index than maida which helps in slower and less sugar rise in diabetics. Maida, which is a refined form of wheat flour, also lacks all the essential nutrients and fiber. So, choose whole wheat flour pizza instead of the usual pizza prepared with maida, choose chapatis instead of maida parathas and make whole wheat flour cookies instead of maida cookies.

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