Your Guide To Eating Healthy This Festive Season

 By Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian Dharini Krishnan

 India is soon going to be the global capital for Diabetes and Cardiac Disease and at the same time, India also celebrates the maximum number of festivals and occasions.  With Diwali, Ramzan, Christmas and New Year, people are in a celebrating mood. The celebration includes sweets and goodies.

Can a Diabetic eat sweets? The answer is NO.

Indian sweets are not only a store house of sugar but also ghee or hydrogenated fats which are used in sweets. The total calories will shoot up tremendously. Let us take the example of Mysore pak. This sweet contains one portion of Bengal gram flour, but has two portions of ghee and one portion of sugar. It is more apt to call this as GHEE pak rather than Mysore Pak!

Diabetes (uncontrolled) for more than two years can call for other parameters in the blood to shoot up and one of them maybe the Lipids of different kinds, changing the cardiac picture. Hence Diabetics should not take any sweets. The probable alternatives could be as follows:

  1. Green gram payasam made with jaggery – 50 ml. (more green gram and less jaggery)
  2. Sprouts whole gram payasam (same as above)
  3. Sambha wheat payasam
  4. Mixture made with more of roasted items. Corn flakes and crispies can be used as alternatives for fried items used in mixture.
  5. Porivalangai urundai used to be made in olden days with all whole grains and very little ghee.
  6. Pori urundai’s can be made as plain pori with small amount of jaggery.
  7. Sambha wheat pongal with less jaggery.


Cardiac Disease is mainly stemming from an increase in calories, which leads to obesity and then increased lipids in the blood, which then leads to blockage in the blood vessels. People with high lipids should not only reduce high-fat foods and fried foods, but also cut down on simple carbohydrates such as sugar, jaggery, maida products.

What you can do instead:

  • Include a lot of fresh fruits in the diet, eat sweets very lightly if not diabetic. Makeless amount of sweets or fried items. Use for a day or two and then give it away to a healthier population to consume.
  • Do not use the festival as a reason to change one’s dietary pattern for more than a week to finish the extra sweets and savouries prepared.
  • Those on low calorie diets to lose weight can use a small amount of dried fruits as alternatives for sweets. Sprouted grams can be used by steaming lightly and adding jaggery to make the filling of kozhukottai rather than the usual coconut and jaggery fillings.


Have a great festive season!