October comes and Indians are already in Diwali mood. One of the major parts of the celebrations involves consumption of sweets accompanied by rich fried snacks. These are an essential part of socializing. However, here are a few things you need to note:
Buy sweets with quality certifications
We all indulge in commercial sweets occasionally but remember they are high in calories, may contain trans fat, harmful artificial colours, stabilisers, emulsifiers and unhealthy bulking agents. Sometimes synthetic milk is also used. They can cause allergies and affect your kidneys and liver as well as trigger asthma attacks. Make sure you buy your sweets from reputed outlets preferably having quality certification.
Watch the calories
Be aware of the calorie content of Indian sweets. The following may help you chose the most suitable sweet:
Name of the sweet – Calorie content
- One boondi ladoo – 185
- One plain burfi – 125
- One rasmalai – 180
- One rasgulla – 170
- One gulabjamun – 143-150
- One piece sandesh – 143
- One besan ladoo – 140
- One kaju barfi – 90
- One jalebi – 140-150
An American news website has featured “Jalebi” as one of the eight most fattening and unhealthy snacks in the world. Remember that no one eats only one “jalebi”. The count goes up to 3-4. So we are looking at a total calorie count of at least 420.
Other things to watch out for
- Some sweets like barfi have silver coatings. This may be adulterated with Aluminum, which is hazardous, accumulates in bone tissues, may enter the brain and can cause dementia.
- Toxic synthetic milk: Beware that a high percentage of milk solids used for making sweets are adulterated with synthetic milk made with urea and detergents which may cause liver and kidney failure
- The trans fat used in sweets are partially hydrogenated cheap vegetable oils known to cause lifestyle problems like hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, cancer and more.
- Switch to the healthy homemade options: If you have a choice, go in for healthy homemade sweets which would definitely be more healthy, lesser in calories and at the same time satisfy your sweet cravings:
- You may use any of the ingredients like atta, oats, whole wheat flour, ragi (finger millet), jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet) and a few nuts, dried coconut, figs, dates, thickened skimmed milk, a little ghee, combined with organic jaggery and honey. These may be used to churn out an assortment of sweets like ladoos, cookies etc. There is no need for added sugar.
- Another very healthy option is serving fruit slices dipped in melted dark chocolate or a fresh sweet salad made with anar (pomegranate), apples, figs, dried apricots, cranberries and raisins with a honey dressing.