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Oakhurst Dairy Improves Flavored Milk Products

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PORTLAND, MAINE — September 25, 2012 — Across New England, kids are back in school and parents expect that healthy meal options are provided during the day in addition to a positive learning environment. Milk is always a healthy part of the school breakfast and lunch programs. This year, schools serving Oakhurst milk will now offer their students an even healthier option than before. Over the summer, Oakhurst Dairy improved its flavored milks — Chocolate, Strawberry and Coffee — by lowering sugar content by 10%, reducing calories by approximately 15% and eliminating High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). With this change, Oakhurst no longer makes any products containing HFCS. Additionally, the improved flavored milks provided to schools are now fat free. For grocery stores, Oakhurst will supply a reformulated 1% Chocolate Milk, a new fat free Strawberry Milk and a new fat free Coffee Milk.

Despite the important nutrient contributions of flavored milk, questions have been raised about the role of flavored milk in a healthy diet, especially in schools, due to concerns pertaining to the added sugar. Milk — flavored and unflavored — is a nutrient-rich beverage, which provides nine essential nutrients including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, and niacin. Additionally, milk provides four of the five nutrients that fall short in children’s diets (calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin D). To build strong bones and maintain them, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends 2 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk daily for children aged 2 to 8 years, and 3 cups for those 9 years of age and older.

“Studies have shown that children who drink flavored milk consume more total milk and fewer soft drinks and fruit drinks compared to children who do not drink flavored milk,” said Pam Stuppy, Oakhurst Dairy Dietitian. “We need to help our children add more nutrient-rich foods and beverages, including dairy, to their diets and flavored milks in moderation can be part of the mix.”

Numerous studies have been conducted to examine the possible connection between High Fructose Corn Syrup, and the growing obesity epidemic in the United States. However, the findings have been contradictory. A few researchers have found a link between HFCS and obesity, but the majority indicates that HFCS does not contribute any more to obesity than other caloric sweeteners in foods and beverages.

Nutritional Information for Oakhurst Dairy’s Fat Free Chocolate Milk for School Lunch Programs (serving size 1 cup) include: Calories: 130. Total fat 0g. Cholesterol 5mg. Sodium 190 mg. Total Carbohydrates 24g. Sugars 22g. Protein 8g.

About Oakhurst Dairy

Oakhurst is northern New England’s truly local brand of milk. As the region’s largest independent family-owned dairy company, Oakhurst is committed to the health and wellbeing of the community and the environment. For 90 years and three generations, the Bennett family has stood behind every glass of Oakhurst milk, while contributing 10% of profits to local organizations through their Living Natural Goodness program to support healthy kids and a healthy environment – just another reason to choose Oakhurst, The Natural Goodness of Maine. For more information, visit www.oakhurstdairy.com.

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