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And now for a treat (in moderation)

Catherine Burns recommends each adult take in no more than 26g of sugar a day (file photograph)

Earlier this week I did a little piece with Bermuda Broadcasting on sugar. It might now seem odd to give you a sweet recipe but here’s the thing. Sugar isn’t going anywhere so we need to learn to live with it – the key is moderation of course! But what is moderation? In general, I recommend that adults keep their sugar intake at or under 26g a day. That’s six and a half teaspoons and it’s pretty difficult. Have a look at the grams of sugar on your yoghurt, cookies, cereal or granola bar. You can easily surpass it with one sweet thing and the tricky part is stopping at one serving. How many of you have started with two cookies but ended up with six? It is completely normal (but not good) to overdo it.

Some people are genetically more inclined to have a sweet tooth than others (and we can test for that in the clinic). But even if you don’t have the gene, it is easy to end up sugar addicted anyway. That is because most of us are raised in a way that means we associate sugar with success, comfort and the relief of boredom. Think about it – did you celebrate good grades with ice cream or soothe a grazed knee with candy? How often were you kept busy as a child with raisins or cookies? These steps all mean that when we, as adults, want to celebrate or relieve pain, stress or boredom, we often turn to sugar. And as sugar stimulates the feel-good pathways in our brain, it works. Then because it feels so good, it is easy for sugar to become an every day habit.

What do we do about that? You could ditch all refined sugar and avoid it for ever. Some people are successful at that. But I see more prolific success with clients who gradually adjust their sweet tooth. If sugar is a problem for you, reduce the amount you have over time. And when you do have sugar, make sure it’s with a solid dose of protein to help steady sugar release. For example, if you want a little dark chocolate, have it with nuts. If you want to choose dessert for a special occasion, then ditch the carbs with dinner. If you have protein and veggies to start with and ditch the potatoes, rice or pasta, then this keeps your carb portion moderate, because dessert is carbs, after all.

Now if you are going to make dessert, this is the one! It is gluten free but incredibly moist, a rarity, and dairy free too. It does include sugar, but has a mega dose of almond flour for extra protein. Just have a small slice with some antioxidant rich berries – and enjoy!

Clementine cake with fresh berries and mint


4 – 5 Clementines (375g in total)

6 Eggs

225g granulated sugar + extra

250g ground almonds / almond flour

1 heaped tsp baking powder

1 tub strawberries, chopped

1 tub blueberries

Fresh mint


Wash the clementines well to remove pesticides.

Add the clementines (peel and all) to boiling water and simmer in a pan for an hour OR put in a pressure cooker with some water and cook at high pressure for about 20 minutes. When cooked, cool, cut in half width ways and remove pips. Blend in food processor, blender or bullet into a pulp.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Greases and line a 21cm springform tin.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, add the sugar, add the almond flour, add the baking powder. Mix them all well and then add the clementine pulp. Pour cake mix into prepared tin and bake for an hour until the top is firm but bouncy. Cover with foil or paper after 30 minutes to prevent the top being too toasty.

When cooked, cool in the tin on a rack.

Meanwhile, prep the berries and toss with some fresh torn mint leaves in a bowl.

When everything is ready, serve the cake with the berries and mint. Enjoy in moderation!

Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram

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Published August 26, 2022 at 7:59 am (Updated August 26, 2022 at 7:42 am)

And now for a treat (in moderation)

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