Surely, you’ve read our recent post on how to eat fried foods without guilt. In this post, we’ll teach you how to befriend another of your favourite dishes that have been labelled as a villain by most nutritionists – sweets, our good ol’ desi mithai.
Rasgullas, who doesn’t love them? These fluffy, white instantly-melt-in-your-mouth balls of sweetness! No wonder I can never stop at one rasgulla! And even if I dig into two rasgullas for the next 15 days, I will still not gain a kilo! My genetics or metabolism is not responsible for it. But, my eating habits are. My trick is – I relish sweets with a smile and smartness.
After reading this blog, I am confident that you’ll master this trick too! So, let’s get started!
Craving for halwa in the sweater weather? Go ahead and dig into it!
Seasonal mithais are a good idea. Similar to how aamras soothes your body in the sweltering summers, ghee and nut-based mithais in the winters keep your skin soft and supple. According to our ancient scriptures, there are cooling foods and warming foods. During winters, you need to eat foods that warm your body internally and keep the metabolic rate high. Fats keep you warm and also give you more energy. That’s why, this winter, reap the benefits of healthy fats through peanuts, nuts, sesame seeds and ghee. Dig into peanut chikki, gajak, carrot halwa and an assortment of laddoos – including besan ka laddo, gound ka laddoo, til laddoo and pinni – without any guilt!
And you know what? Seasonal ingredients change the way mithais are prepared. Last week, I prepared gajar ka halwa at home. I took a small portion of it to my father for tasting. After he finished the bowl, he told me that it tasted great but was a little less sweet. That’s when I told him that I haven’t even added any sugar yet. The sweetness came from the all-natural seasonal carrots. Later, I ended up making the gajar halwa with almost 1/3rd the sugar of a traditional recipe. You see, that’s the power of using seasonal fruits and veggies in Indian mithais.
Here’s an interesting fact: Your maa ke “aate ka ladoo” with milk and a handful of nuts is one of the most traditional and nutritious Indian breakfast. This meal can give any breakfast cereal a run for their money.
Let’s say, you’re not into seasonal sweets and prefer grabbing a gulab jamun, rasmalai or a kalakand.
Our advice: savour it as a post-workout meal. Since our bodies require instant energy after a gruelling exercise session, the sugar in the mithai will be used for energy instead of getting converted into fat.
Whoa! That’s an amazing reward for working out, isn’t it?
Alternatively, you can relish a small gulab jamun as a mid-morning snack along with five-six nuts to keep the sugar levels in check.
Some tips to keep in mind while preparing or eating mithais:
- As with fried food, our best advice is to prepare sweets at home, instead of buying it at a nearby mithai shop.
- Your preferred ingredient for sweetness should be jaggery over white sugar since it’s more nutritious. You can opt for dried dates or figs to up the healthy quotient of your mithai. But one thing you must avoid at all costs is artificial sweeteners. They are loaded with chemicals which create havoc with our health, ranging from bone loss to hair loss.
- Adding condiments and spices like cardamom and nutmeg to your mithais boost the metabolic rate. A high metabolic rate lowers fat conversion.
- The thumb rule to avoid weight gain with sweets is to eat sweets as a snack i.e. an hour or two after breakfast or lunch and not with it. That way, you’ll satisfy your taste buds and not dread the weighing scale.
Now, we are sure, a smart eater like you would look beyond the calories and get back the nuts, whole grains and ghee in the mithai. After all, these super-healthy ingredients brim with the goodness of protein, fat, and fibre. All these nutrients keep your stomach full for longer as well as slow down the digestion of sugar. As a result, you keep overeating at bay as well as lower the risk of sugar getting converted into fat. Now, that’s similar to eating two mithais for the calories of one!
Sweets can be a delicious affair if you learn how to eat them the right way. And with our tips, you can give in to your sweet tooth and still lose weight.’
It’s time you became best friends with the much ‘maligned’ mithai!
Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.