So my little diet book, The Marie Antoinette Diet: Eat Cake and Still Lose Weight, is now available as a paperback, expanded with new recipes.
The reason that I took a year-long detour to research and write this book – which is not just about weight loss but eating for better health – is that the subject matter is something I feel very passionately about.
Modern food production has become something of a dark art, with manufacturers using cheap and questionable ingredients in order to cut down their production costs.
One of the controversial ingredients that I flagged up when The Marie Antoinette Diet was launched as an e-book in June last year, was high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or glucose-fructose syrup.
It's increasingly difficult to find a manufactured food or drink product that isn't pumped full of this cheap sugary gloop, which has been linked with dangerous weight gain in rats.
In one experiment, at Princeton University in 2010, rats that were fed high-fructose corn syrup, gained fat 300 per cent more quickly than those fed an equal dose of table sugar or sucrose.
To put it bluntly: once you start eating something containing this syrup, it's difficult to stop.
Yet, you'll find this ingredient in everything from confectionery to ketchup, pizzas to breakfast cereals.
So I am delighted to see that sugar, and in particular HFCS, has suddenly become a hot news topic.
What I'm not so sure about is the rush to suggest that sugar should be eradicated from the diet completely, as suggested by a number of books that have just been published on the subject.
The alternative view – and the one that I subscribe to – is that not only is this unrealistic for most people, but also that sugar per se is not the problem.
It has, after all, been around for over two centuries without causing the tsunami of obesity and health problems that are now being attributed to it.
Rather it is the quantity that we are eating, and the aforementioned HFCS, that are cause for concern.
Sugar is now routinely shovelled into foods that just don't need it – including, as I recently discovered, organic stock cubes, canned tomatoes and tinned crabmeat.
Yes, we definitely should be eating less of it, not least because it contains lots of calories and it's not great for your teeth. But banning it completely?
Good luck to those who are prepared to try, but for most of us, this is just not do-able as a long-term strategy – not least because life without sugar would be so joyless.
Never baking a cake again? No chocolate or wine? No almond croissant with your coffee in the morning. Once again, good luck with that.
The better strategy in my view, is to have it in moderation and in a way that causes least harm. (For example, one of the worst things you can do is drink your sugar, either by adding it to tea or coffee, or as a fruit juice or worse, carbonated drink.)
Despite its frivolous title, The Marie Antoinette Diet draws together a lot of nutritional science and research in, what I hope, is a readable way.
It also contains some delicious recipes for soups and cakes, for my argument is that, if you are going to eat cake, you should:
a) bake it yourself as that way you will know what is in it;
b) make it count nutritionally, rather than just scarfing empty, additive-packed calories.
But should you be eating cake at all if you want to lose weight?
As registered dietician and nutritionist Dr Mabel Blades, who acted as the consultant for The Marie Antoinette Diet says: 'One of the reasons why diets fail is that people start to feel deprived and the biscuit tin starts to sing even more loudly.'
'Allowing a small portion [50-75g] of deliciousness each day, will help to keep people on their diet.'
Mabel has more to say on the subject of sugar, on her own blog.
For this reason, my book contains recipes for lovely, homemade cakes, along with delicious soups; and lots of advice on the benefits of old-fashioned foods and cooking methods.
In the meantime – and apologies if I'm preaching to the converted – if you care about your health, scrutinize labels and do not buy anything containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats, glucose-fructose syrup or high-fructose corn syrup.
As Mabel says, 'everything in balance'.
And now I'm going to climb down off my soap box and get on with Tout 4, aka (appropriately) Sweet Encore.