I grew up in an age when cough syrup was unsweetened and the only varieties were NyQuil and Vics 44, both of which tasted vile. Then, along came Robutussin and Triaminic which had a variety of flavors for a variety of coughs. Unfortunately, I'd always get the kind of cold or flu that would require I receive the medicine with the most horrid flavor.
Or was this such a bad thing? One way that my parents could tell for sure that I was good and truly sick would be that I was willing to drink this stuff.
My kids, on the other hand, have an explosion of flavor when it comes to medicinal choices: strawberry, bubble gum, fruit punch and grape seem to be the current choices. There's even vitamins that come in bubble gum form. Bubble gum vitamins? I mean, really, do we even need that. Vitamins have always tasted good, heck, as far back as I can recall, vitamins not only tasted good, their shapes were kid-friendly as well. How can you improve on comic characters? Who was the "genius" that came up with this ploy?
It gets worse though, because, as has been for a while, even adults are getting suckered into this scheme. Well, except for a few varieties like "honey lemon" and the multiple flavors of cough drops that do little more than "mentholate" a sore throat (sounds fancy, but when it comes right down to it, a peppermint will soothe a sore throat just as well as these overpriced cough drops), medicine still tastes just as nasty for adults as it ever has.
No, what I'm talking about here has to do with the substitues for carbs, fats, calories, etc. Low-fat cookies? I'm there! Say the masses (pitchfork-wielding for the most part), without realizing that one group of "bad for you" stuff will often compensate for the other, currently trendy "bad for you" stuff.
Take for example, a current frozen dinner fare that I found in the supermarket: turkey with stuffing and potatoes that claims to be low carb. How in the world do they even do that? Frankly, I don't know and I don't care. However, I purchased it, not because of the low-carb claim (I'm not one to believe front package labelling anyway), but because the side dish consisted of green beans with cranberries. Yes, it tasted delicious (especially the aforementioned green beans), but at what cost?
Out of curiousity, I compared the labels of this item with another of the same weight and comparable foods (couldn't find one with the cranberries in the green beans though...bummer) and this is what I discovered. Yes, the carb count was considerably lower, especially when you took into consideration the proportion of stuffing and potatoes in each package: the low-carb meal was even higher in what would ordinarily be high-carb ingredients. So, where'd all that flavor come from? Fat, sugar, and salt of course. Even taking into account the sugar needed to make cranberries palatable plus the natural sugar involved, I'm guessing the other main ingredient in this low-carb plate was butter, and a lot of it.
Butter can cover up a multitude of sins (flavor wise), but don't be surprised if a low-carb dish doesn't give you the weight loss you were depending on.