Diabetes & Holi

Holi, the festival of colours is surely a difficult time for diabetics. More so because one can really gorge on sweets especially gujiya and Puranpoli. So, if you don’t want to give up your fitness goals try to atleast avoid giving into sweet temptations. We will help you not to make this festival an excuse to binge on unhealthy calories and accumulate health risks. Don’t worry, here are some of the tips that can help you to eat right on this Holi while enjoying the real spirit of the festival.

Five best ways to enjoy holi and maintain your normal blood glucose levels:

  • Eat right and combat overeating
  • On an average a healthy adult requires around 2,000 calories a day but constant snacking in between regular meals during festivals season results in intake of 1,500 extra calories.
  • This doesn’t imply that you kill your desire to enjoy special dishes rather feed you taste buds with a bite or two.
  • Gujjia, papri and kanji ke vade among dozen other dishes are must but you must maintain the calorie consumption, for instance, take a spoonful instead of a full serving for dinner.
  • If you want to have sweets cut down a carbohydrate-containing food from the meal, as it may add extra calories and carbohydrates in your diet.
  • Eat protein rich food item with each meal such as dal, paneer, curds or buttermilk which helps to reduce sweet craving
  • Avoid simple sugars: Puran poli is a traditional recipe which can be prepared in a healthier way by replacing jaggery with sugar free substitute
  • Eat slowly: Eating slowly helps the brain to register and one or two bites give you the sweet indulgence without adding extra calories

Drink lots of water

  • You can increase water intake and salads to curb your appetite.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water for keeping your body hydrated.
  • Try to stay away from drinks such as thandai and other alcoholic beverages.

Try to be active

  • Try to keep your body active and compensate for the extra calories that are consumed
  • Don’t neglect your exercise routine in the festive celebrations.
  • Dancing can be one of the ways of losing extra calories post festival.

The United Nations General Assembly designated today, 22nd March 1993 as the first World Water Day. March 22nd is observed as World Water Day which comes a day before holi. On this holi you can get involved and contribute to the cause by practicing water conservation. Play with colors, don’t waste water. Encourage others to do the same.

Diabetic Puranpoli

This classic sweet is a favourite across the country, called by different names and made with minor variations. If a month goes by without any special occasions, then people still go ahead and make it just for a Sunday treat! For those of you who are so fond of this traditional delicacy, here is a diabetic-friendly version made with sugar substitute and minimal ghee.

Chana dal, with its low glycemic index, is always a good food for diabetics to have, as is fibre-laden whole wheat flour.

  • Soaking time: 2 hours
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Makes 4 puranpolis


Whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta) for rolling

  • 1 tsp ghee for cooking

For the dough

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
  • 2 tbsp low-fat milk, 99.7% fat-free

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup chana dal (split bengal gram)
  • 1 tbsp sugar substitute
  • 2 1/2 tsp ready-made milk masala powder


For the dough
Combine all the ingredients and knead them into a soft dough using enough water.
Cover the dough with a lid and keep it aside for 15 minutes.

For the filling

  • Clean, wash and soak the chana dal in hot water for 2 hours
  • Drain the soaked chana dal, add ½ cup of water and cook in a pressure cooker for 2
  • Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid
  • Lightly mash the cooked dal, add the sugar substitute , milk masala powder and mix well
  • Divide the stuffing into 4 equal portions and keep aside

How to proceed

  • Divide the dough into 8 equal portions
  • Roll 2 portions into a 100 mm. (4″) diameter circle using a little whole wheat flour for rolling
  • Place 1 circle on a clean, dry surface and place a portion of the filling on top of the circle, in the centre.
  • Cover it with another rolled circle and remove the edges with the help of a pizza cutter. Roll again into a 100 mm. (4″) diameter circle using a little whole wheat flour for rolling.
  • Heat a non-stick tava (griddle) and cook it on a medium flame, using ¼ tsp of ghee, till it turns light brown in colour on both sides
  • Repeat to make 3 more puranpolis