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What is sugar stacking? And why you need to steer clear.

By Pettina Stanghon |


I Quit Sugar - What is sugar stacking? And why you need to steer clear.

Has anyone else noticed that the sweet treats and desserts appearing in their Insta feeds have morphed into something far fancier lately?

I’m talking about “sugar stacking” – AKA the way sweet foods are being blended to produce one mega-sweet concoction. Yes, freakshakes, smashcakes and choc-injected donuts – I’m looking at you!

These “treats” are not only overwhelming in terms of their physical proportions, but the mountains of indulgent toppings that overflow onto the plate below mean that a simple dessert isn’t considered enough anymore, without these sugary add-ons.

Sugar stacking is all around us, and I don’t like it one bit.

By glorifying these sugar bombs, they become the norm.

It’s no secret that sugar stacking desserts have been designed in the hopes they will become a social media phenomenon.

Trouble is, these desserts are addictive (literally) and worse still, when pics of these freaky desserts are shared on a mass scale, sugar stacking becomes something trendy and aspirational. The question has changed from how we ice a cake, to what shall we load on top of the icing?

As people consume these foods more regularly, we lose sight of the associated health risks.

Is this really what celebrations should look like?

Sugar stacking also takes the idea of a sweet treat to the extreme. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in the occasional dessert. But rather than enjoying some good quality dark chocolate or a dessert made with wholesome ingredients, these sugar stacked treats are in a category all of their own. They spike blood sugar levels and drive a hormonal spike that sets off the pleasure centre in the brain, just like a drug. And, our bodies simply aren’t designed to cope.

As we begin to associate these addictive desserts with emotions too, it becomes all too easy to start “treating” yourself when you’re happy, sad, stressed or feeling guilty. Before you know it, you’re sugar stacking left, right and centre – and feeling like you’ve lost control. There’s a reason sugar is the most common addiction we treat through our programs at Noosa Confidential.

Case in point.

Recently, I saw a recipe for a Triple-Choc Nutella Celebration cake which contained NINE cups of sugar, a cup of Nutella, 100 grams of white chocolate and chocolate eggs to decorate. How are we supposed to keep track of how much sugar we’re baking with when we add processed lollies and chocolates to the mix?

The solution.

The key is to focus on these simple facts – firstly, these desserts get their hooks into you and will always leave you wanting more. And secondly, eating these foods regularly will make you more vulnerable to obesity, mental health issues and hormonal problems. This isn’t what a fun ritual looks like – it’s poison. And the more people who call out sugar stacking for what it is, the better.

Where have you spotted sugar stacking? Let us know in the comments below.

Please be respectful of other participants in the conversation. We'd love you to keep your comments respectful, friendly and relevant. Differences of opinion are welcome, but trolling and abuse of other commentators and the IQS editorial team is not and will result in blacklisting.

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