The anti-sugar anarchist: In the last month, every office, gym and social occasion has seemingly acquired a particular kind of dietary zealot ready to demonise sweet treats, including the humble banana, at the first sign of fun.
In short, researchers have warned that our bodies may struggle to convert excess fructose into energy, sometimes triggering a resistance to insulin and increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other health conditions as a result. With this in mind, it's thought that we should be reducing our consumption of both naturally-occurring and artificial sweeteners. Simple enough.
The problem comes of course, when you consider the slightly dubious tips out there for how to do so, one of which came in a text from my friend, P on Tuesday: "Lemons and limes contain far less sugar than tangerines," she wrote. They do, but I don't know anyone who fancies snacking on a lime, unless they have come across a piece languishing at the bottom of an (empty) G&T glass.
There are better ways to live well. The principle of the Alkaline diet is that our body functions better and utilises minerals such as calcium more effectively, when we eat a high proportion of alkaline-producing foods such as green vegetables, nuts and brown rice . Sugar is on its hit list as acid-forming, but home-made chocolate brownies are possible (when including raw cacao powder, coconut oil and an obligatory mention of chia seeds). It's all very 'LA'.
For those like P, who won't eat anything unless it's been prepared by Tom Aikens, preferably in the presence of a choir, convenience comes courtesy of Honestly Healthy, a company successfully pioneering the alkaline-based eating concept. As part of its meal delivery service, a professional team will whip up pancakes with pesto and goats cheese, smoothies and salads that look like they come straight from Santorini and bring them to you for diva-style dining at its best. The benefits include increased energy and radiance and not having to google the name of every seed and pulse on meal plan with waning enthusiasm: A friend of mine once asked if chickweed - "was used to help the characters in Harry Potter swim underwater..."
For social kudos, if you do want to obtain all manner of exotic and organic treats, Creative Nature is a good place to start, offering vegan-free, lactose-free, GM-free, soya-free snacks as well as their raw constituents. Note: A game of 'guess what is actually in them,' proves surprisingly less challenging than you'd expect when you factor in cranberries, oats and cacao butter.
Of course, the thought of a stray hemp seed anywhere near an Alexander McQueen tote has since proved enough for P to scale down her low sugar crusade, just in time for the weekend sun. She's opted for lunch at The Abbeville and a glass or two of Moet & Chandon and I'm firmly on board. An extra Brut variety, the Grand Vintage 2004 has less than six grams of residual sugar per litre...