Hordes of people are currently on a New Year health kick or doing FebFast and have opted to "quit sugar". Every time I see one of these posts or articles, I roll my eyes so hard I see the back of my skull. In most cases, they're not quitting sugar at all, they're just being scammed by clever marketing.
Swapping ordinary old white refined sugar for some funky substitute from the health food aisle isn't quitting sugar. Your body doesn't care if you're eating cane sugar or nectar of Himalayan moon-orchids; it treats all kinds of sugar the same way. It gets converted to glucose, used as energy, or stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen until it's needed. And as I keep saying (over and over like a broken bloody record, I know), if you over-consume calories, no matter where they come from, you will also store fat.
Do you eat fruit and veggies? You're eating sugar. Fruit or veggie juice or "healthy" smoothies? Sugar. Starchy carbohydrates? The starch gets converted to sugar. (Side note: have you ever chewed a piece of bread for a bit longer than usual and noticed it becomes sweet? That's your saliva turning starch to sugar. You can thank my Year 7 science teacher for that bit of knowledge.)
My Pinterest feed is full of "sugar-free" desserts and treats. Now and then I'm bored enough to click through to the recipe and ...you guessed it: the ingredients list invariably includes some kind of expensive sugar disguised as a healthy alternative.
I was in Coles this morning and discovered that these
Coconut blossom sugar, unrefined sugar and agave sugar, $4.50 for a measly 250g. That's a horrifying $1.80 per 100g:
Plain old refined white sugar, $3.90 for a big 2kg bag, or 0.20c per 100g:
I don't know who's buying this stuff, but come ON, people! That's a whopping $1.60 per kg price difference. For zero nutritional benefit. ARE YOU BARKING MAD?
Look, I know that there is a taste difference. Coconut sugar gives a lovely caramel flavour to your baking - but so does brown sugar, at a much lower cost. Last I checked, it was about 28c per 100g. Marketing that makes people fear food is not a good thing. Sugar won't kill you, if you eat it in moderation. Yes, I said the M-word. Food is just food, not something to be feared.
Someone's getting rich selling this shit to an increasingly food-phobic public. I'm taking a stand and saying no to fear-based food marketing. I'm boycotting products that have no advantage over regular food items and that are frankly, just a huge rip-off.
What food marketing annoys you most?