The festive season is almost here and sweets and snacks definitely accompany it. We look forward to this season for its festive spirit and wide range of delicacies. Healthy snacking might not seem an option when the likes of gujiyas, gulab jamun, and barfi are served.

In order to ensure that you consume such mouth-watering dishes without having to worry about their effect on your health, here are some tips to swap those unhealthy calories with something nutritious:

1. Use sugar substitutes- An important festive tradition is exchanging sweets with your relatives, friends, and neighbours. Unfortunately, sweets contain high levels of sugar, which make you susceptible to weight gain and even diabetes. Switch regular sugar with natural sweeteners such as dates, cardamom, anjeer, which also add a unique flavour to the dishes. 

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2. Switch to natural juices- If you enjoy beverages such as sweet syrups, or sweetened carbonated beverages, try to replace them with more natural beverages such as fruit juices or lime water. It can reduce your calorie consumption as well as sugar intake. 

3. Roast instead of fry- Fried dishes are a staple in the Diwali season, but not a very healthy option. Try roasting the food items that you might usually fry. Roasted food contains promising health benefits, and it also enhances the texture of food. 

4. Prepare natural dips- You might enjoy dipping pakoras in ketchup and other sauces with added preservatives. This season, enjoy more natural versions of dips. Make your own chutneys with fresh ingredients, which will save you from unnecessary preservatives and sweeteners. 

5. Use dark chocolate- Chocolates are an essential sweet, be it the festive season or not. Though milk and white chocolates might not be the healthiest options out there, as they contain excessive amounts of sugar and little to no cocoa. Try gifting dark chocolates to your friends and relatives, which contain cocoa. Cocoa has antioxidant properties, which can prevent excess weight gain. 

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6.  Switch to healthy tea options- Chai is another food item almost consumed on a daily basis in Indian households. To cut your sugar consumption from chai, switch to green tea, cinnamon tea, or other healthy tea options. Other than reducing your sugar intake, they have multiple beneficial properties. 

7. Ditch salted nuts- Nuts are a healthy source of nutrients, but when coated with salt, unfortunately, do not remain so. To cut the salt, consuming raw nuts which are packed with fibre, healthy fats, and proteins is also cheaper, so you can snack healthy without breaking the bank. 

8.  Eat fresh fruits- Fruits are naturally sweet and full of vitamins. Instead of snacking on artificially sweet snacks, swap them with fresh fruits which provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well. Additionally, they are low in calories and high in fibre. 

9.  Eat homemade sweets- You can make sweets at home. You can personalise them according to your liking, decrease unhealthy elements and make healthy additions and they will taste even better than the store-bought ones.