Since last year, there has been some awareness raised on added sugars in growing up milk. I’ve shared many times on how much added sugars in our children’s growing up milk, and how to choose the right one that is without added sugars.
At first, I had been having hope that the awareness will drive milk companies to provide better products, removing all the added sugars and give us good quality milk. Nope. Instead of making that move, many milk companies has stood firmly in claiming that their products are also ‘no added sugars’, which is misleading!
Most of the claims are focusing only on one type of sugar, e.g. sucrose. But there are so many types of sugars apart from sucrose in their products.
In May’s issue of HealthToday, Dr. Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin said that:
“… The only type of sugar that should be present in milk is lactose…”
Anything apart from lactose is ADDED. And it also listed down the different types of hidden sugars:
• Dextrose/ Dextrin/ Maltodextrin
• Corn/ Maize syrup
• Corn syrup solids
• Glucose syrup
• Raw/ brown sugar
• Hydrolyzed/ modified starch
• Concentrated fruit juice
If you read the label of most of these growing up milk (GUM), you will find that many actually contains sucrose, corn syrup solids, glucose syrup solids, Dextrin or Maltodextrin.
So, how can we be well informed on this? How do we make the right choice? It goes back to the guide I shared before, and if you have a copy of HealthToday, you can check out, it is written the same fact:
“… A standard serving of lactose in milk is 39g per 100g of powder, or about 10-12g per serving. Anything higher than this signifies the presence of added sugars…”
If it is still confusing, there is another way of looking at this. Check out the GI News online newsletter from the University of Sydney. GI stands for Glycaemic Index, which is a measure of the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. The higher it is, the worse impact on individual as it signifies a sudden high spike in blood sugars. We often look for low GI food for my mom, who is at risk of diabetes. But very often, researchers also look at GL (Glycaemic Load), which tells not just the immediate impact of carbohydrate on blood sugar, but also the total content of carbohydrates in a food or drink.
It is interesting that in April, there were 2 articles published by GI News. The first one is a detail account on their experiments on GUMP (growing up milk powders), which they did a test on 7 GUMP brands on the GI and GL. This is what they concluded:
“… You see many GUMPS are formulated with added carbohydrate ingredients (up to 25% by weight) such as maltodextrins, glucose syrups, fructose and sucrose…
… Compared to cow’s milk with a low GI of 30 many of the GUMPS tested had a relatively high GI and GL, therefore potentially placing a high insulin demand on little bodies…”
The second article listed the brands and the detail GI and GL readings for all the 7 brands. This really confirms that I’ve been sharing all this while:
“Sydney University GI Research Services recently tested a range of GUMPS from Malaysia and Indonesia. The range in GI and GL values (per serve, or 1 cup) was surprisingly large:
• Anmum Essential 1+ – GI 23; GL per serving 3
• Enfagrow A+ – GI 43; GL per serving 10
• Nutrilon Royal – GI 51; GL per serving 15.5
• Enfakid A+ Step 3 – GI 55; GL per serving 14
• S-26 Procal Gold Step 3 – GI 55; GL per serving 15
• Dumex Mamil Gold 3 – GI 66; GL per serving 19
• Dutch Lady 1,2,3 – GI 68; GL per serving 16″
Standard milk with no added sugars has a GL of approximately 3, so you can see the Anmum Essential is very similar because it to has absolutely no added sugars. The other brands tested… Their GLs were much higher which means a lot of added sugars in their formulations. I really don’t know how these milk companies able to make those misleading claims. I wonder if they also feed their children with the same products they produce. Not here to judge them, but if you are wise parents, you know the truth now that you see the same claim from independent third parties. Make the right choice, parents!!
If you are still not convinced, check out this Australasian Medical Journal (AMJ) 2011. Check out the right article on 3rd page titled “Added carbohydrates in children’s milk products increase dietary glycaemic load”. In that journal, a total of 24 products from Malaysia and 32 from Indonesia were checked, and here is the conclusion:
“Growing up milk products targeted at young children may contain excessive levels of added carbohydrates. Irrespective of chain length, they may increase the risk of overweight, obesity and diabetes.”
Similar story also has been covered in editorial articles in Harian Metro and Sin Chew in June. These were good write-ups on GI and GL and the research studies. Have you seen them?
Let’s not to be deceived by the misleading claims given by these milk companies. Parents I urge you to make an informed choice about the milk to buy for your children.