Holi special: 5 simple, healthy options for individuals on diabetic diet/ weight loss diet

Holi — also known as ‘festival of colours’ or ‘festival of spring’ in Indian tradition has been celebrated since ancient times. It marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Several families usually start their festive preparations in advance and one of the major attractions during the festival period is food. However, not all food options routinely made during festivals are healthy and they may seem a concern if you are on a diabetic diet or aiming for weight loss.

So, we herewith present few diabetic diet specific options that can replace the unhealthy ones to help you celebrate a guilt-free Holi:

1. Replace pan-fried gujiya with tandoor gujiya: For ones aiming for blood sugar control and/or weight loss, it is ideal to invest in an electric tandoor. Replace the refined flour (maida) with whole wheat and oats flour. Replace the filling of khoya with rawa (suji) and skimmed milk powder (for proteins).

You may opt to continue with the dry fruits; however with few changes in the proportions, instead of more cashews, add more walnuts (for omega-3 fatty acids), almonds (for vitamins), and black raisins (for iron), and black til (for calcium)Instead of sugar, add dates, dry anjeer, kharek, and if needed an artificial sweetenerLastly, avoid deep frying the gujiya and instead prefer baking in tandoor or prefer air-frying it.


2. Consider vegan thandai instead of cow/buffalo milk-based thandai: In order to cut down calories and extra fats, thandai can be prepared with soya milk.

Thandai comprises of soaked nuts like cashew nuts, almonds, and pistachios with sugar, poppy seeds (optional), and spices (cinnamon, cardamom, saunf, kesar, etc) added to milk. You may prefer these nuts and spices but instead of sugar, add dates or dry anjeer and blend it well before serving.


3. Try replacing puran poli with sweet poli: Puran means filling which is usually a sweet filling placed inside a poli i.e roti. Instead of loading a poli with puran, if we add a sweetener to the poli flour itself, it may help drastically in cutting down the calories. To make this sweet poli, take regular poli (chapati) flour, add almond milk with an artificial sweetener instead of water. Also, add spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and Kesar. You may opt to add a pinch of salt. Roast it on a tawa like a poli and serve hot.

4. Prefer dalia phirni instead of rice phirni: Phirni is made up of grounded rice, milk, sugar, nuts, and spices. Instead of buffalo milk, prefer skimmed milk and instead of rice, prefer dalia (broken wheat). Instead of sugar, prefer an artificial sweetener (like stevia). Amongst nuts, prefer hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts. Also, prefer adding 1 tsp roasted flaxseeds or 1 tsp soaked chia seeds.

5. Go for buttermilk instead of sugar-laden lassi: Avoid sugar and cream (malai) loaded lassi and instead opt for refreshing, healthy, low-calorie buttermilk. Buttermilk can be spiced with mint (pudina) leaves, coriander (dhania), green chillies, rock salt and roasted jeera. Buttermilk is extremely good for the intestines as it contains probiotics (healthy bacteria) that help in improving digestion.


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