With champagne infused lip-gloss ala Marc Jacobs which makes your lips tingle and powders with golden particles ala Chanel, our obsession in looking and feeling fabulous has taken no back turn, even if trends currently dictate that we look to the 90's for fashion inspiration. The 5.2 had it's time but if you take a look at menu's and the new selection of items on our shelves - it's currently all about targeting sugar. The 'no sugar' trend is changing the way our shelves look and the way we're eating, but are we taking things too far?
Target, take aim and eliminate. For those of us who like the occasional smoothie and of course afternoons full of tea :) you would've noticed this in the list of ingredients and choice. Unless your smoothie is a blend of kale and broccoli with almond or soya it really is no longer cutting the mustard. Fruit juice mixtures have finally been showcased in all their fructose glory and not in such a positive light. The orange, strawberry and mango smoothies of yesteryear are now deemed fibreless sweet stuff that's just not 'good' enough. Afternoon tea is well, still afternoon tea but of course minus the sugar in each cup if you really want to be fussy it's going to have to be gluten free and you might even have to skip your jam. If you've not realised it yet just about anyone who's anyone has recently built up an intolerance to gluten and you know, when we say sugar this of course includes any refined carbs. Keep up.
With previous diets highlighting the huge weight loss gains at the helms of a high protein low sugar diet, this is the first time we've paid attention to the actual health benefits of the deal, looking at the detrimental effects high sugar diets have been having on our body. It's a wonder in as to why it's taken so long to recognise this, but right now sugar is right up there in the list of things to cut out. Right from the get go of the year we began to hear noises about ridding ourselves of sugar from our diets and it's translated onto our supermarket shelves, menu's, media marketing and dietary advice. It's no small feat, from being held up as the pinnacle of healthy eating suddenly even fruit juice is just too sweet.
It started as we saw article after article lambasted across the press advising us in as to how and why we cut out sugar. Dieticians followed suit all over the world apologising for getting things wrong and giving us the wrong dietary advice. Coca-Cola appeared on BBC Newsnight and kale became a supermarket fixture, making its away inside our drinks. Determined to find an enemy in sugar, a new wave of dieting has been set and this may just change the very way we all end up eating as a nation. Dietician and nutritionist, Melanie Brown told me "doctors got it wrong for far too long...sugar has always been the enemy."
Fat-free anything is now out of fashion with fruit juices perceived with suspicion. The problem being we now don't know who to trust. The health posters we saw up on the walls of GP surgeries, the ones propagated by health advisors near and afar have been torn to shreds. The pie chart bringing up memories of childhood visits to the nutritionist has in simple terms now been turned on its head. Gone are the days of calorie counting, much more radical than the Atkins, this isn't based upon dieting but much more upon health with brands being forced to adapt.
The sugar-less trend seems like it might have long running implications on the way we sell, shop and eat. Things that were once put onto our health barometer, we're now advised to stay clear of. Yogurt, fruit, cereal and so forth are most certainly off the menu. Advised that cereals were the healthy option to start of our day, the healthiest at present, has to be cartoned egg whites.
Coconut water still within acceptable territory seems the only one bucking the trend, I asked my Go Coco specialist at Whole Foods what she thought about the popularity of coconut water juxtaposed with the unpopularity with all things sugary (natural or not), as expected I heard the line about potassium and how it's all "incredibly good for you"... I thought, like bananas right? The no go fruit for dieters.
I'm not a dieter, I don't like fads, I'm not going to even bother taking an allergy test to tell me I'm gluten intolerant, but I do think we as a generation have lost the plot when it comas to our health. The no-sugar trend might be a bit radical and a few too many steps forward but a radical change is probably what's needed, as one of the fattest nations in the world we really should be considering each cube before it's consumption. It might just be to little too late for the generation of fizzy pop drinking, fake chocolate consuming, sugar filled larders, but if we can change a few habits for the next lot I'd say just for that it'd be worth it.