By Ajita Rijal Kathmandu, Oct. 27: With people immersing themselves in Tihar merrymaking, one thing that strikes the mind of everyone celebrating Tihar is the mouthwatering food, which adds more delight to the festival. Most of the food items meant for Tihar are deep fried or prepared with excessive use of sugar. Health experts suggest taking care while preparing and eating sweets and delicious dishes in Tihar, to prevent from unnecessary health problems. They advise exercising utmost care while eating sweets and oily food items, and suggest not over eating and taking only balanced diet. While preparing the delicious foods for Tihar, cooking oil is used excessively. According to the research, reusing oil creates free radicals, a type of molecule, that attach themselves to healthy cells and may cause diseases, including cancer. Consuming food prepared using reused oil over long period also has a risk of causing acidity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and irritable throat, according to various studies. Buying sweets from the shops is popular because it is seen as an easy solution to consumers’ busy schedules and limited food preparation time at home. In the past, several households in the nation used to be busy in preparing various sweet items including sel roti, fini roti, anarsa, arsa and other items during Tihar, but now everything can be found in market and people do not like to mess up at home, said Sulochana Lamsal of Baneshwor. “But we cannot guarantee on the hygiene of foods available in the market,” she added. The home-cooked sweet items and other varieties of food would be most fresh and healthiest food you can eat during the festival season. Preparing sweets at home allows you to decide what ingredients go in your food, said a Public Health Expert, Dr Aruna Upreti. In your own kitchen you have choices from cooking oil to adding carbohydrates, protein, fats and fibre, to make the perfect balanced diet, she added. According to health experts, patients with Alzheimer's, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or any other disease should avoid food prepared by reheating cooking oil. “We need to be cautious while eating the sweets during the festival. In the name of festival if we eat only for taste then it may massively hamper health,” said a nutritionist Dr. Uma Koirala. Most food items in Tihar include deep fried foods in oil but it’s very harmful to reheat the same oil time and again, said Dr Koirala. It may have poisonous effect in our health, she added. One must supplement the diet with lots of green vegetables and fruits in Tihar platter. Enrich with the fiber the seasonal citrus fruits are good for our health, said Dr. Koirala. Tihar is also the festival of presenting delicious food items to the brothers. One can provide dry foods and fruits instead of sweets and oily food items, suggested Dr Koirala. “We can replace sweet items like laddo, sel roti, anarsa, with dry fruits cashew, almond, coconut, dates, walnuts and peanuts as a supplement food items to brothers and sisters,” added Dr.Koirala. Chandra Mani Adhikari, Consultant Cardiologist at Sahid Gangalal National Heart Centre, said patients who have blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol, diabetes and obesity problems are more vulnerable as a result of eating more sweets and oily foods during the Tihar celebration. Health experts also suggest avoiding sugary items, alcoholic drinks which most people are craving to consume in the name of festival celebration.