What’s the deal with sugar?

March 5th, 2013 by Live Well Omaha Kids

This blog is guest authored by Caryn Kusleika, RD, LMNT, Health & Wellness Program Manager of Midwest Dairy Association

There are two types of sugar, naturally occurring and added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruit or milk. The natural sugar in fruit is known as fructose and the natural sugar in milk is known as lactose.

Many foods also have sugar that has been added during processing or preparation. Added sugar has no nutritional benefit, only extra calories and health professionals recommend cutting back on foods that contain added sugars only, such as regular soda and candy. They also recommend limiting intake of foods that are high in calories due to added sugars and fats, like desserts, cookies, cakes and candy.

A small amount of added sugar is found in some nutrient rich foods to increase palatability. An example of this is low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk, which contains a small amount of added sugar and also contains nine essential nutrients. To put it in perspective, an 8 oz container of flavored milk contains approximately 10 grams of added sugar in comparison to 40 grams of added sugar in a 12 oz can of regular soda. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), milk, flavored or white, is the number one food source of three of the four nutrients that both children and adults are lacking and need to consume more of – Vitamin D, calcium, and potassium and recommends two to three servings per day depending on your age. The added sugars in flavored milk help may help to increase intake of nutrients, especially for children, which are necessary for good health and helps meet DGA recommendations.

For more information on Flavored Milk and added sugars, please visit  http://www.midwestdairy.com/0t213p221/flavored-milk/. For more information on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, please visit http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm.

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