DR MEGAN ROSSI: How one can have your cake and eat it too!

Cake is a reality of life, a outstanding participant in so a lot of our main milestones and celebrations. There’s Christmas cake, after all; and birthday cake, meeting-a-friend-for-coffee cake, Christening cake, wedding ceremony cake and having-a-celebration-in-the-office cake.

A examine by the College of Chester, within the Worldwide Journal Of Office Well being, discovered 87 per cent of persons are provided cake at work at the least as soon as every week and 68 per cent discover it exhausting to withstand.

And that’s the issue — for as a lot as cake options prominently in lots of social occasions, it’s a type of meals we are likely to really feel dangerous about consuming. It in all probability options excessive up on the ‘food-to-avoid’ record for a lot of considering New Yr resolutions.

Like everybody else, I really like a little bit of cake, however it does pack fairly a punch with its sugar and saturated fats content material, so there may be actually a motive to not overdo it.

Cake is a fact of life, a prominent player in so many of our major milestones and celebrations, writes Dr Megan Rossi (pictured)

Cake is a reality of life, a outstanding participant in so a lot of our main milestones and celebrations, writes Dr Megan Rossi (pictured) 

However in case you all the time really feel responsible about consuming it, that may set off issues.

Analysis reveals that if folks view a specific meals as ‘forbidden fruit’, it makes them crave it extra.

And the extra you attempt to suppress that craving, the tougher it’s to withstand.

As an example, a examine by the College of Canterbury, revealed within the journal Urge for food, discovered that individuals who related chocolate cake with guilt reported decrease ranges of behavioural management over their consuming and had been much less profitable at sustaining a wholesome weight over an 18-month interval, in contrast with those that related chocolate cake with celebration.

This performs out in clinic, too. I usually see ladies, particularly, who’ve spent their lives making an attempt to not give in to their need for meals equivalent to cake, however ultimately the floodgates of craving open. They simply can’t cease and overdo it.

So there are advantages to fostering a can-have perspective to cake — and you may make a sugary deal with equivalent to this much less off-limits. It’s simpler than you would possibly assume.

There¿s Christmas cake, of course; and birthday cake, meeting-a-friend-for-coffee cake, Christening cake, wedding cake and having-a-celebration-in-the-office cake

There’s Christmas cake, after all; and birthday cake, meeting-a-friend-for-coffee cake, Christening cake, wedding ceremony cake and having-a-celebration-in-the-office cake

Let’s first take a look at home-baked cake. Don’t persist with the identical previous flour, fats, sugar combo: the key is to scale back the ratio of nutrient-poor substances, utilizing extra of those who give your intestine microbes one thing to have fun, however that additionally don’t diminish the enjoyment of cake.

My favorite baking swaps embody utilizing floor almonds as a substitute of flour; or half flour, half almonds. This provides fibre, which lowers the blood sugar spikes you’d in any other case have with white flour. If you happen to don’t fancy floor almonds, use wholemeal flour. One other fast fibre-booster is to switch a 3rd of the flour with oats. I additionally bulk up the recipe with a cup of grated veg equivalent to carrot or courgette, which provides sweetness and moisture in addition to fibre and different micronutrients (see my courgette loaf cake, recipe proper).

You possibly can add sweetness with out utilizing desk sugar with dates, banana or apple purée. Whereas sugar is sugar, when you’ve got it in entire fruit, it’s packaged with fibre, which slows down the discharge of the sugar whereas additionally regulating your urge for food hormones, conserving you extra happy for longer. Entire fruit additionally has plant chemical compounds together with polyphenols which can be highly effective antioxidants.

In line with a survey earlier this yr, the nation’s favorite cake is cheesecake. A fast and straightforward method to enhance its dietary profile is to substitute Greek yoghurt and ricotta cheese for the cream to scale back the saturated fats (keep tuned for that recipe in a number of weeks’ time).

As for shop-bought, fruit cake might be a greater guess than carrot cake, for instance. Fruit cake tends to supply far more fibre, whereas carrot cake comes with a thick wad of overly wealthy icing and little precise carrot.

Before you purchase any cake, scan the substances and select these with extra wholesome-sounding contents — wholemeal flour, oats, dates, cinnamon.

Keep away from these with lists that sound just like the contents of a chemistry lab or that are available lurid colors, as this will imply your cake comes with potential intestine microbe-disrupting components.

And go for plain cake over iced. Icing is often pure sugar and butter or cream and, weight for weight, tends to include extra fats and sugar than the cake itself.

In actual fact, the icing can include double the energy of the cake, and one tablespoon can present greater than three teaspoons of sugar. That is probably to supply a speedy spike in blood sugar ranges, which can properly go away you feeling hungry (and even cranky) quickly afterwards.

So in case you’re served a slice with an amazing provide of icing, don’t really feel obliged to eat all of it.

One icing various is to make use of a thick yoghurt as a substitute of the cream or butter.

Do you know? 

Avocado can improve your physique’s absorption of carotenoids, which have potent antioxidant results (carotenoids are present in crimson, vivid yellow and orange vegetation equivalent to peppers and carrots). They’re additionally excessive in fibre: one medium avocado offers round a 3rd of your each day wants. 

That protein hit will assist gradual the speed at which the sugar is absorbed and can make it extra filling, serving to to curb the need for a second slice.

Let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting consuming cake each day is a superb concept — however a celebratory slice, whether or not that’s weekly or month-to-month, is completely acceptable.

So listed here are my high baking swaps that may assist you’ve got your cake and eat it, too:

Fat: Substitute butter with olive oil in a 1:1 ratio, or change half the butter with thick, full-fat Greek yoghurt to chop your consumption of saturated fats.

Brownies: Substitute a 3rd of the flour with cooked black beans (I exploit tinned), rinsed and drained so as to add fibre and polyphenols — when these are damaged down within the intestine it produces chemical compounds thought to guard in opposition to illness, even most cancers.

Cheesecake: Substitute half the cream (1:1) with thick, full-fat Greek yoghurt so as to add protein and different helpful compounds produced when the micro organism ferment milk to make yoghurt.

Chocolate cake: Substitute half the oil or butter with the identical quantity of silken tofu (puréed), which can add a filling hit of protein in addition to hormone-balancing phytoestrogens, nutritional vitamins and minerals.

Sweetness: Swap half a cup of sugar for eight medjool dates (blended with 1/3 cup of boiling water) — your intestine microbes will feast on the fibre.

Or use three ripe bananas instead of half a cup of sugar and half a cup of oil or butter — bananas are one other favorite with intestine microbes and in addition present fibre and potassium (to assist regulate your blood stress).


I’ve been feeling unwell for the previous few years. I’ve had a lot of medical exams however these revealed nothing — till lately, once I acquired my analysis of bile acid malabsorption. No person has defined what that basically means. I even have a white tongue — is that linked?

Maria Majcherczyk.

Bile acid malabsorption (BAM) causes continual diarrhoea — it’s estimated that round one individual in 100 has it, so you’re actually not alone.

Bile acid is launched out of your gallbladder into the small gut to assist fats absorption. However some folks have an infected small gut, which implies their physique is unable to reabsorb bile acid as soon as it has executed its job. Others develop BAM after having their gallbladder eliminated and the bile acid finds its method into the intestine, even when it’s not wanted, overwhelming the intestine’s skill to cope with it. There’s additionally ‘main’ bile acid diarrhoea, the place your physique merely produces an excessive amount of bile acid.

The excellent news is that most individuals dwell pleased and wholesome lives with BAM; it doesn’t essentially imply your well being is declining.

The situation is presently not curable however medicine and controlling the quantity of fats you eat is one of the best ways to deal with it.

Though BAM doesn’t straight trigger a white tongue, it may well result in dehydration, which might worsen a white tongue. As soon as your diarrhoea resolves, and with brushing your tongue twice a day with a gentle toothbrush, it’s possible you’ll discover it turns into much less obvious.

Contact Dr Megan Rossi

Electronic mail [email protected] or write to Good Well being, Each day Mail, 9 Derry Road, London, W8 5HY — please embody contact particulars. Dr Megan Rossi can not enter into private correspondence. Replies ought to be taken in a common context; all the time seek the advice of your GP with well being worries.

Do this: Lemon and courgette loaf cake 

The gut-loving technique to fulfill these cake cravings, this recipe delivers additional fibre from the greens and wholesome fat from the almonds, plus prebiotics (to nourish your good intestine micro organism) from the dates — your intestine microbes can be asking for seconds.

Serves 12

  • 7 medjool dates (pitted) or 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp floor cardamom
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated courgette
  • 190 g floor almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

If utilizing dates as a sweetener, mix collectively the dates and half a cup of boiling water — add extra water till a easy paste kinds.

In a big bowl, whisk eggs and olive oil collectively till properly mixed and creamy. Whisk within the sweetener of alternative, cardamom, lemon zest and vanilla extract.

As soon as mixed, stir within the grated courgette, including floor almonds, baking powder and salt.

Pour combination right into a greased or lined loaf tin and bake at 180c/160c fan/gasoline 4 for roughly 35 minutes.

Examine the loaf is cooked by way of by inserting a clear knife. Depart to chill earlier than serving.

In associated information: 

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Is human hibernation the important thing to a manned mission to Mars? Newly found fossils recommend early man could have ‘slept’ by way of winter 

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