A research on Fairprice On line for “100 per cent juice” discovered that out of the 70 listings of Nutri-Grade beverages offered, 61 of them had possibly a C or D grade.
This sites them in the same classes as regular isotonic beverages, which usually have a C grade or comfortable drinks like Coca-Cola Basic which has a D grade.
In contrast, some flavoured smooth drinks this sort of as F&N’s Sarsi and Fanta Orange had been stamped with a B quality.
But does this signify that they are healthier than clean milk and pure fruit juice?
This is what we know.
What do the different grades signify?
The grading system is based on the sugar and saturated unwanted fat written content in the consume, both of those of which are linked to the threat of diabetic issues.
Consider F&N Magnolia New Milk, for instance.
In accordance to its diet data label, it has a full of 4.0g of body fat and 4.3g of sugar for every 100ml. Having said that, the label also states that all the sugar arrives in a natural way from the milk.
Under existing Nutri-Grade recommendations, lactose (sugar found in milk and milk items) or galactose (typically located in lactose) declared on the nourishment data panel is subtracted from the amount of whole sugar for the intent of grading.
That’s why, based mostly on the established of thresholds employed for the Nutri-Quality process, this clarifies why F&N Magnolia Fresh Milk – which has a saturated fat articles of much more than 2.8g for every 100ml but no extra sugar – would get a C rating.
On the other hand, F&N’s Sarsi has a sugar articles of 4.9g for each 100ml, which is just less than the Quality C threshold of extra than 5g per 100ml. Therefore, it has a B quality.
Does a larger quality necessarily mean that a drink is healthier?
Not always, in accordance to dietitians and nutritionists CNA spoke to.
“The Nutri-Grade program performs with a extremely narrow bandwidth of nutrients – only fat and sugar – this skews the grading, earning even normally healthful foodstuff and drinks to be rated a C, which is truly not the case from a holistic standpoint,” mentioned nutritionist Sheeba Majmudar.
Temasek Polytechnic’s Kalpana Bhaskaran, who heads the Glycemic Index Analysis Unit at the University of Used Science, reported the concept powering like only saturated excess fat and sugar on the NutriGrade label is to supply a basic way for shoppers to determine food items that are superior in these two nutrition.
“There is evidence-primarily based investigation on the link amongst lousy diet regime top quality, specifically the excess intake of sugar and saturated extra fat, to the epidemic of non-communicable illnesses,” she reported, adding this contains diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
In accordance to the Health Advertising Board (HPB), Singaporeans consume 12 teaspoons or 60g of sugar day-to-day on ordinary. Additional than half of their each day sugar consumption arrives from beverages, of which pre-packed drinks add 64 per cent.
“(The Nutri-Quality initiative) may possibly be like initially-amount screening,” claimed Dr Bhaskaran.
“However, it can be important to be aware that several other vitamins and minerals, these as fibre, vitamins, and minerals, also engage in a critical purpose in all round health and need to not be overlooked,” she additional.
In the meantime, Ms Jaclyn Reutens, a dietitian at Aptima Diet, explained some teams of individuals, this sort of as underweight children and the elderly may perhaps also want to consume clean milk as an alternative of lower-unwanted fat milk.
“(Fresh milk and pure juice) are surely not much less balanced than gentle beverages,” she reported.
“Soft beverages are empty energy, that means that they offer energy with zero nutrition.”
“Fresh milk, albeit better in saturated body fat, is an outstanding source of protein and calcium. 100 for each cent fruit juice, inspite of currently being larger in (pure) sugar, is made up of nutritional vitamins A and C, potassium and a host of phytochemicals,” she added.
Dr Bhaskaran stated it would be far more practical to compare beverages within the exact same class.
“For example, if you are preparing to consume gentle drinks, go for B quality relatively than selecting C or D, which incorporates a increased quantity of sugar that provides only ‘empty’ energy and not any vitamins and minerals,” she claimed.
In their response to such issues lifted for the duration of a general public consultation on the grading scheme in 2020, MOH and HPB emphasised that the scheme is centered on sugar and saturated excess fat articles, and that the scheme will perform with each other with general public education and learning efforts to market more healthy diet plans.
“MOH and HPB recognise the nutritional advantages of total-extra fat milk and 100 for each cent juices, and intend to highlight these as aspect of our community educational attempts,” they said.
On the healthcare platform Healthhub, it states that basic total product milk is graded C owing to its bigger saturated unwanted fat written content compared to small-excess fat milk.
“For just one- to two-yr-olds, simple complete product milk however meets the nutritional needs of suitable excess fat, protein, natural vitamins and minerals which are crucial for their growth and progress,” the web-site claimed.