Marketing is quite powerful and can impact us so much that we take many decisions based on the biased knowledge we have been imparted with. A recent experience with diet made me find a lot of loopholes exploited by the food industry and how it is the same product that had been there for many years with just some labels and some phrase changes. The biggest one is ‘No added sugar’. I have been believing this label until I found out the truth the hard way by cutting down on refined sugar in the diet. The number of sick days in a year went down considerably when the refined sugar in the diet came down to near zero.
No added sugar test
Take this following test – Try drinking fresh fruit juice without sugar, if you had been accustomed juice with sugar, this is unpalatable. But if you continue doing this for about a week your taste buds gets adjusted (caveat: Cut down sweets as well for that week to make it easily observable). The craving is hard to resist but promise yourselves a cheat treat if you pass one week.
By the end of a week or so the taste buds would have adjusted such that you begin to appreciate the subtle flavours and natural sweetness in the fruit juices. At this point of time, have two fruit juices of the same fruit side by side, one freshly prepared without sugar and another with a popular ‘No added sugar’ brand. Try the difference in the taste between them, see that the ‘No added sugar’ is significantly sweeter.
Why is that even with ‘No added sugar’ the branded drinks appear to be sweet? They have the following marketing tricks up their sleeve to substitute the word sugar.
Dehydrated cane juice – Excuse me, isn’t that sugar. This was the most outrageous disguise I have found. Dehydrated cane juice is apparently not sugar for many people. This helps in adding the same amount of sugar as a sugared juice.
Some juice concentrate – This is pure genius, If you take apple juice, the label will often read ‘apple juice concentrate’ which helps to boost the per ml sugar content in the juice from the natural sugars in the fruit. We end up taking the same amount of sugar dose for a sugared juice which can be as high as two teaspoons for every 100 ml.
While a lot of people are trying to fight lifestyle and overconsumption related diseases there is a group of people who are working hard to trick people into making poor lifestyle choices. By doing so they are getting rewarded big at the expense of a unhealthy greater good. There is no big difference between an adulterer and these marketing gurus in the way they trick people to become wealthy.
There are a lot more, try to find what ‘No added preservatives‘ mean.
It is simple. I go with the rule “Any food that is processed / packaged is bad”. Yes it is less convenient without them but healthy and more convenient in the long term because I don’t need to suffer in hospitals 🙂
Many people don’t have that rule, they try to go by the label.