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Welcome to another episode of Nutritious Entrees with Peter, and that’s me.

History repeats itself.            In our food and diet culture there always are cycles.

Today I want to highlight how something that starts off as a healthy focus, jumps passed the point of common sense and becomes an abused marketing strategy.

Looking back 20 years ago our culture deemed fat in food as the obvious cause of too much fat in us.

I can see their point – fat does have 38kJ per gram, whereas carbs and protein only have 17kJ. 

Anyways, food companies took advantage of the pop culture trend and pushed products that claimed to be low fat and us consumers happily consumed these products thinking as long as they are low fat, we are good to go. This wasn’t our best logic.

So this brings us to 2023 where fat is no longer the demonised nutrient but now carbs and sugars are problem.

The World Health Organisation among other organisations recommends humans eat <12 teaspoons of added sugar a day.  Interestingly, The average Australian consumes just over this target.  Yes, without a doubt, added sugars are a factor contributing to poor health. But so too are many other factors such as excessive screen time, reduced physical activity, not eating enough vegies and fruit, stress, the list goes on.

Just like the ‘low fat’ trend, products marketed as low in sugar does not necessarily equate to a healthier product.  And it certainly doesn’t justify being able to eat more.

Let’s have a look one at one of our family favourites: the arnott’s shortbread cream. 

Straight up – this is a treat food, we should all know this and it should be small part of our diet.

1 x biscuit will give me:     Energy 361kJ and 4.8g of sugar

(Well that’s 86calories, and about a teaspoon sugar – fair treat in my books) – compared to an apple – which has same calories but up to 3 tspn sugar.

So they’ve put out a new package promoting 50% less sugar.  Wow 50% – that’s half the sugar that’s HUGE – well is it?

So 1 x new biscuit will actually give me 364kJ (which is more calories) and only 2.2g sugar.

Amazing, this wonderful new biscuit is saving me 2.6g of sugar, which is like half a teaspoon.

Well no sorry, no huge difference.         Here are my take home messages:     please

  • Don’t be fooled by the latest slick marketing spin on foods riding on the back of pop culture diet trends.
  • Save yourself the $1.20 and stick to the original packet
  • Stick to the right treat portion
  • And Eat slow!, Savour the treat, enjoy with family and friends and don’t feel guilty for the brief pleasure it brings in your day.


Original Biscuit

Energy 361kJ

Fat 4.4g

Saturated Fat 2.2g

Total Carbs: 10.8g

Sugar: 4.8g

50% less Sugar Biscuit

Energy 364kJ

Fat 4.7g

Saturated Fat 2.3

Total Carbs 8.9g

Sugar 2.2g  ( and maltitol 1.6g)

Also, on a side note: Swapping the sugar to maltitol – well maltitol provides 13kJ/g compared to sugar 17kJ/g – not as amazing as we would like.  Remember too much gives you gut issues anyways!

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