Among the attractions at the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade is the variety of food offered along the route.
Festival-goers are encouraged to sample the sweets, but a spokesperson from the Fraser Health Authority recommends doing so in moderation.
“Definitely enjoy the treats, but in a healthy way,” dietitian Ruby Bassi recently told the Now-Leader.
“There’s a lot of foods which are deep-fried, high in sugar or very salty.”
Noting a high prevalence of heart disease and diabetes in the Indo-Canadian community, Bassi cautions against excessive consumption of the tasty snacks available at Vaisakhi.
She suggested 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates or sugar should be the maximum daily intake, and added “one can of pop is 40 grams in one shot.”
A key is to realize the difference between healthy food and sugary treat. And sharing the treats can reduce the intake.
“Go with your family, and if you have samosa, share it and maybe have just half of it,” Bassi said. “One samosa is four teaspoons of sugar, and they can add up. Tea can also be real sugary, so maybe just have half a cup.”
Overeating is another concern, said Bassi, adding that too much of the sweet stuff can leave you wanting more.
“They will give you a sugar spike, you will feel hungry and go for more food. It’s like a trap.” Eating healthy prior to the parade, or taking your own snacks, is one way to guard against excess sugar.
“Take your own snacks, like nuts, seeds and trail mix. A protein shake is also a good idea,” suggested Bassi. “Fill up on the healthy stuff, or have a meal at home before going to the parade. Sometimes there are healthy foods such as a fruit salad, so try to have more of that kind of food.
“Eat in moderation, share and watch what you eat.”