Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


Sugar by any other name is still as sweet


I love sweet potatoes. They’re delicious, versatile, and packed full of nutrients like fibre, potassium, and vitamin A. However, when I came across an article extolling a new line of sweet potato ingredients for their ability to create a “clean ingredient deck” I was a little skeptical.

While the company website doesn’t provide the nutritional breakdown for the sweet potato ingredients they’re touting, I think that it’s safe to say that they’re not going to be far off from similar products already available on the market. As they themselves state, “Sweet potato ingredients can thus be expected to add a “health halo” to any product featuring them”. Has nobody told them that a “health halo” is actually a bad thing. It’s the creation of the appearance of health for food products that aren’t actually all that healthy. I suppose that as long as they’re marketing to food manufacturers that it makes sense to use that sort of language, but when consumers such as myself can see it on their website it becomes less desirable. It’s like saying, “hey, we know you’re dumb and just want to be able to fool yourself into thinking that your sugary snacks are healthy, lol.”

What are the sweet potato ingredients that they’re selling? A number of sweet potato juice concentrates, sweet potato juice, dehydrated sweet potato granules, and sweet potato flour. While I’ll admit to being intrigued by the flour, let’s face it, the others are simply sugar by other names. Sweet potato juice concentrate is unlikely to have a nutrient profile differing significantly from any other syrup on the market, likewise the juice from any other juice, and the granules from any other granular sugar. It truly is a health halo to imply that one form of sugar is healthier than another simply because it’s derived from another source.

I’ll be sticking with my whole sweet potatoes so that I can get all of the nutrients and not just the sugar and a health halo.