Added Sugar Vs. Naturally Occurring: A Difference

Food For Thought Monday January 23, 2017

Added Sugar Vs. Naturally Occurring: A Difference

By: Karen McDermott - Director of Digital and Social Media

Upcoming changes to the FDA Nutrition Facts Panel are creating a stir within the food industry. Here at Maple Hill Creamery, we’re looking forward to the changes, specifically the requirement that breaks down exactly how much sugar is added to food products versus how much is naturally occurring.

When you opt for foods with naturally occurring sugars as opposed to added sugars, like fruit or milk, you benefit from the other nutrients and health promoting properties found within the whole food.”

Milk has natural sugars (including lactose) that increase the overall gram total of our sugar content, sometimes giving the misleading message that our product is high in added sugars. McKenzie Hall Jones, RDN, a Los Angeles-based Registered Dietician Nutritionist explains, “When you opt for foods with naturally occurring sugars as opposed to added sugars, like fruit or milk, you benefit from the other nutrients and health promoting properties found within the whole food. For example, when you eat an apple, you benefit from antioxidants, vitamin C, both soluble and insoluble fibers, etc. With grass-fed dairy products, you benefit from calcium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and so on. The fiber from the apple, the fat and protein in the yogurt, help to slow the rate of absorption of sugar into the blood stream (rather than giving you that sugar rush followed by a crash we often feel after having a sugary dessert). Research seems to indicate that the synergistic impact of these nutrients within whole foods including, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber, helps to prevent disease.”

While other brands are responding to the FDA’s new requirements by reformulating their products to have less added sugar, we’re proud to say that we’ve been aiming for low added sugar from the start and the new nutrition labels will only highlight that promise further.

In fact, our plain Cream On Top, Whole Milk Greek, and Whole Milk Kefir have no added sugar whatsoever, and our flavored yogurts have some of lowest amounts of added sugar among national brands. Once the new nutrition labels go into effect, you’ll be able to see exactly how much sugar comes from natural milk sugars versus added organic sugar cane. The FDA states, “scientific data shows that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar.” Here’s a breakdown of the sugar content in our Cream on Top yogurt:

Added Sugar Graphic

 

Our decision to keep added sugar at a minimum is part of our long-term commitment to enjoying yogurt in its more traditional form. We take pride in the unique qualities of our 100% grass-fed milk and believe that adding too much sugar or “natural flavor” would cover up the earthy flavor our farmers work hard to preserve. While other brands are responding to the FDA’s new requirements by reformulating their products to have less added sugar, we’re proud to say that we’ve been aiming for low added sugar from the start and the new nutrition labels will only highlight that promise further.