Heart Friendly Foods

7 guilt-free tasty and healthy diabetes and heart friendly foods on occasion of Diwali

Heart Friendly Foods


Festivals are times when one may not be able to/ one may not wish to adhere to diet restrictions. Infact, it is very easy to deviate from the diet routine or forget it completely. However, in case one has certain health issues like diabetes, heart disease, etc it is important to avoid deviating too much from dietary routine prescribed as it may lead to derangement in body parameters. When it comes to diabetes or heart disease, all the festival special foods are loaded with either extra carbohydrates, fats sugar and salt. However, if one wants to indulge into these items, it is rather advisable to try some heathy alternates which are tasty as well as healthy. So herewith are a few tips to replace your favourite diwali special foods with healthy diabetes and heart friendly foods to avoid disturbances in your blood parameters:

  1. Replace rice chakli with barley khakhras: Barley is a healthy alternate to rice. It does not lead to spike in blood sugar levels like rice. Also, as khakhras are roasted and not fried, this is an ideal snack for people on a diabetic diet or low fat diet. This recipe is also suitable for weight watchers as well as fitness enthusiasts.
  2. Consider replacing kurmura with jowar popcorns: Although kurmura is a low calorie ingredient, replacing it with something that offers better nutritional properties like vitamins and minerals; can prove to be a good option for people with diabetes. Jowar popcorns can be roasted and they may not derange your blood sugar as well as cholesterol levels. Hence, this is one of the most healthy diabetes and heart friendly foods that can be enjoyed during festival season.
  3. Prefer replacing poha chivda with roasted oats chivda: Poha (flattened rice) can be replaced with oats in order to keep blood sugar in check. Oats are a healthy source of soluble fiber that help in keeping blood sugar in control as well as lowering cholesterol levels. Oats chivda can be made in a manner similar to roasted poha chivda.
  4. Try muesli, sprouts and dahi chaat instead of karanji/ kachori: Karanjis and kachoris are both fried farsan items which may take a toll on health especially if you are someone who has had a recent cardiac illness, hence it is better to opt for something better. In order to add a good festival feel to the occasion, one can opt for tasty and healthy muesli and sprouts based dahi chaat. A note of caution for muesli is that it should be preferred sugar free. The combination of sugar free museli with sprouts and dahi makes this recipe a superhit one for Diwali pooja celebrations. 
  5. Replace puran poli with sweet bhakhris: Instead of sugar loaded puran polis, one can opt for sweet chapatis/ bhakhris by simply adding an artificial sweetener to chapati/ bhakhri dough. This dough can be seasoned with elaichi and nutmeg powder. Dough can be prepared using milk instead of water. 
  6. Prefer butter naan with oats and pudina parathas: Oats is an excellent cereal for people with diabetes as well as heart disease due to its fiber content and cholesterol reducing properties. These oats parathas can be preferred with subjis, dals or just vegetable raita. This is absolutely one of the most tasty and healthy diabetes and heart friendly foods that can be made a part of festival season. 
  7. Consider replacing malai kulfi with homemade flavoured yogurt: As malai (cream) is a rich source of saturated fats which need to be restricted for patients with heart disease, yogurt is a healthy and tasty option. As yogurt is rich in good quality proteins, calcium phosphorus, vitamin D; it is a perfect dessert item and when flavoured with healthy nuts, it can beat the regular kulfis too (check out the recipe below).

Elaichi flavoured nutty yogurt

Nutty Yogurt


  • Curd, cow milk — 250 grams
  • Walnuts, finely chopped — 2 tsp
  • Almonds, finely chopped — 2 tsp
  • Fruits (finely chopped strawberries) – half cup
  • Stevia powder — half tsp
  • Elaichi powder — pinch
  • Kesar strands — optional

Method –

  • Place curd in a thin cloth or muslin and hang for 10–15 mins (so as to allow its whey portion to drain out. You can collect this whey and keep it aside)
  • Now take this hung curd in a bowl, whisk it well into a smooth paste
  • Add stevia powder mix thoroughly
  • Now in a short glass, take 2 tsps pf this hung curd and on it add chopped nuts and chopped berries
  • Again place a layer of hung curd and then on it add chopped nuts and fruits
  • Refrigerate it and serve chilled

Note:  Whey obtained from the hung curd can be used it in making dals/ curries/ dough/ etc. It is a rich source of proteins and should be used for everyone especially growing kids and adolescents. 


Happy Diwali, safe Diwali 💫


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