Why do they make our healthy food so unhealthy?

This is more a moan than a real question...

Today I bought a soup kit from Aldi - you know the sort; veg already prepped, a sachet of stock/spices, a little pot of creme fraiche to garnish. I prepped it for lunch, and my first mouthful was "wowee this is sweet!"

Looking at the ingredients, the spice sachet of stock is apparently mostly sugar, which I felt was totally unnecessary. To add insult, I bought the kit to show a diabetic friend how easy it is to eat fresh and healthy! As someone who largely cooks from scratch, the added sugar sticks out for me, but to someone who reheats ready meals but who's trying to eat better, this sugar is far less noticeable. How many people are unwittingly buying this sort of thing thinking it's healthy?

But why do they add so much sugar and sweetener to everything? It's just not necessary. We can make lovely bolognese sauces with just tomatoes and seasoning, and soup tastes just fine with the right veg combination. Can't we relegate sugar to things that are *supposed* to have sugar? Make it a choice to eat it, rather than a mistake?

8 Replies

  • What bugged me the most was that I didn't think I needed to read the ingredients on the back. The soup was curried carrot and parsnip, and from what I could see, the pack contained carrot, parsnip, onion and a sachet of curry powder (which shouldn't normally contain sugar). The only real giveaway I could find was that the calorie content appeared a bit high for plain old veg soup.

    I know the psychology behind making food sweeter, but I just don't understand the how they can do it and still call it healthy.

    I do agree with you on the traffic light system - i think a red light is useful for salt content, and that's about it...

  • Food companies have gotton away with for years adding sugar and other unnecessary ingredients to our food.The writing is so small on the ingredient list that you would need a magnifying glass to read it.Maybe it would help to shop at the Nutrition store.

  • I think the answer is don't buy ready prepared stuff. It must be way more expensive and all the added salt and sugar is totally unnecessary.

    Soup is so easy to make with just about anything. Having a blender is good for incorporating Greens if you don't like chewing on them.

    I'd suggest Marigold boullion powder particularly the low salt version for stock . No sugar at all.

    You are right Cooper but I'd ditch the ' kits' . Switch on a radio and chop the vegetables. Very satisfying.


  • As I say, I do prepare for myself, but I bought the kit to show a diabetic that they have healthier options out there. I agree it's cheaper to prepare ourselves, but some choose not to, and it seems ridiculous that food companies catch them out at every turn.

    I'm probably more annoyed than I ought to be, but these things just bug me...

  • I agree

  • I don't blame you for being bugged... I'm trying to lose weight and I am having to start from scratch with raw ingredients every time, checking as I go, because I've realised to my horror that there is hidden sugar everywhere. No wonder it's hard to lose weight - even foods that you think are healthy can be loaded with sugar! Really, it's disgraceful. Undoubtedly they're appealing to our sweet tooth, or would say 'people want things that sweet so we have to do it'. No, we don't and no, they don't...

  • Yogurt is another to be avoided. They took a perfectly good food (assuming you can eat dairy) and turned it into junk food with sugar. It's marketed as "healthy" but it certainly isn't. You mentioned you'd bought the soup kit at Aldi- that is where I've found yogurt that's just cultured milk and nothing else. It's their Friendly Farms Greek plain yogurt in a big container. If you go LCHF, you can add cream or half and half to get the fat back into it. I bought a copy of a book called Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss several years ago. That will put you off processed food in a flash!

    I don't think there is any easy answer for someone who doesn't have the time or inclination to prepare their own food. You just can't shop the processed food aisles and get anything that's healthy. That's just the sad state of things, in my opinion. And those green "healthy food" boxes are particularly bad! Like Bigleg said, they have just swapped out the fat for more sugar to keep their junk edible.

  • OOO, I forgot my favorite- there is sugar in peanut butter!!! I've only found one brand that is only peanuts and salt- Smucker's Natural. Even the so-called "natural" peanut butters, almost all of them, have sugar added. As far as I'm concerned, that's misleading advertising and essentially lying. How do they get away with that???