Hot Diggity Doc – Sugar Coated

Sugar, thy name is

honey, maple syrup, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, fructose, lactose, maltodextrin, sucralose, maltitol, glucose, molasses, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, agave, fruit juice concentrate, invert sugar, barley malt, brown sugar, confectioners’ sugar and numerous other names…

The last in my Hot Diggity Docs series is Sugar Coated.

Photo by Kimberley (c)2015
Photo by Kimberley (c)2015

I first saw it at the annual Toronto Documentary film festival, Hot Docs back in May and recently watched it again on TVO, an Ontario television channel. I found I got more out of the documentary the second time around and was subsequently inspired to finish this post. Perhaps a wee bit of procrastination (?) but better late than never, especially on Sugar Saturday!

View our inaugural post Sugar-free Saturday & Sunday! (just kidding!)

This documentary draws a parallel between the sugar and tobacco industry. In the Q and A session following the screening of this film, the director, Michèle Hozier, even stated something along the lines of “Big Sugar, just like Big Tobacco…” Sugar Coated discusses the detrimental health effects of sugar, the sugar industry’s powerful tactics to deny these claims and the people who try to expose certain sugar facts:

  • Sugar in excess is bad for your health.
  • An increase in diabetes, heart disease and waistlines is directly proportional to the profits of companies that peddle sugar.
  • We are unwittingly being fed excessive amounts of the sweet stuff in the numerous and widely available packaged, processed and refined foods that seem to have become a staple in many people’s diets.
  • The sugar companies dispute the connection between ill-health and sugar consumption while others try to prove that there is indeed a connection.

Even if you are familiar with the subject matter, as I was, it is still worth watching. It is an interesting study of the politics and sociology between the modern-day food industry and our health.

Over the years I have been sugar-free by choice and by chance. I have often vacillated between eating naturally sweetened baked goods to gorging on sugary treats. My baking experiments had me using low sugar and no sugar recipes but no matter how long I went without the sweet stuff, I kept coming back to it. My baby teeth may be all gone now but my sweet tooth remains.

And my conclusion? Life is just sweeter with sugar. Unrefined natural sweeteners consumed in moderate amounts on occasion in an otherwise healthy diet is, in my opinion, the perfect balance or “sweet spot” if you will.

More tips to get the most out of your sugar:

  • Use less sugar and a higher quantity of sweet-enhancing spices like vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Consume foods with a naturally sweet taste for dessert e.g. coconut butter (the meat and oil of the coconut) and cashew butter (simply puréed cashews without added sugar of course!)
  • Buy only fair-trade sugar. These companies tend to operate with more transparency and the fact that they are pricier than highly processed sugars will have you use it sparingly. My personal go-to is the Canadian co-op Camino.
  • For more tips, click here.

I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.
~Mae West~

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