LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today is the launch of “The Exceptional Cranberry” campaign to educate regulators, consumers and health influencers about the whole body health benefits of the cranberry, and to urge them to help make cranberry the exception in sugar policy recommendations targeted at the consumption of soda and other high sugar snack foods with little to no nutritive value.
Among the goals of “The Exceptional Cranberry” campaign is to educate various audiences that calling cranberry products “unhealthy” based only on their sugar content ignores the fruit’s dense nutrients. One of only three fruits cultivated in the U.S., cranberries contribute to whole body health, particularly urinary tract health, and are rich in antioxidants. Unlike grapes, apples and oranges, cranberries are naturally low in sugar and require sweetening to enjoy their great taste. Cranberry products such as cranberry juice cocktail and dried cranberries are often sweetened with natural cane or beet sugar or other fruit juices – and generally have the same amount of total sugar and calories as other fruit products. Sweetening does not diminish their many health benefits.
“Lately there’s been a lot of noise about added sugar, particularly in beverages like cranberry juice cocktail and products like dried cranberries,” said Randy Papadellis, president and CEO of Ocean Spray. “On behalf of thousands of cranberry growers, we’re setting the record straight: Cranberry is an exception in the realm of sugar policy recommendations that mislabel cranberry products.”
A new health portal, www.cranberryhealth.com, powered by Ocean Spray, will educate consumers and health influencers about cranberry health. The site contains a wealth of information and scientific studies on the cranberry’s well-documented health benefits as well as an online petition. Individuals who agree that the cranberry is an exception in the realm of sugar sweetened beverages and added sugar are encouraged to sign and share the petition to give cranberry parity with other fruits.
In addition to the website, consumers and health professionals can learn more about cranberry health and join the conversation at Facebook.com/CranberryHealth or @CranberryHealth.
“The current debate over added sugars and efforts to create policies that will help Americans consume fewer sodas, candies and other sugary snack foods is commendable, but it’s important to make the distinction between nutrient-dense cranberry products and others that offer empty calories,” said Terry Humfeld, executive director of the Cranberry Institute. “U.S. nutritional guidelines should not overlook the health benefits of cranberry products or minimize their role in a healthy diet.”
Cranberry Health Facts:
- Cranberries have well documented properties in maintaining urinary tract health.
Urinary tract health presents a public health challenge.
- There are more than 15 million Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) cases in the U.S. each year, and their treatment contributes to antibiotic resistance.
- Several studies indicate that cranberry may also maintain urinary tract health in children.
- UTIs account for more than $5.8 billion in healthcare costs.
- UTIs account for 15 percent of all community-prescribed antibiotics at a cost of $500 million in prescription drug costs each year.
- Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and have more naturally occurring antioxidants per gram than other common fruit.
- Cranberries contain proanthocyanadins (PACs) that may help keep certain bacteria from adhering to linings inside the body.
- Certain compounds in cranberries may also have a positive effect on cardiovascular health and digestive health.
- A growing number of new studies point to the cranberry’s exceptional ability to bolster immunity.
- For a cranberry health fact sheet, go to www.cranberryhealth.com
About Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as 35 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed over 80 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976. Ocean Spray is North America's leading producer of bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in the bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted fiscal 2011 gross sales of $2.1 billion and net proceeds of $321 million.
About Cranberry Institute
The Cranberry Institute is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1951 to further the success of cranberry growers and the industry in the Americas through health, agricultural and environmental stewardship research as well as cranberry promotion and education. The Cranberry Institute is funded voluntarily by Supporting Members that handle, process, and sell cranberries. Members are represented in national and international regulatory matters and research efforts are done on their behalf. All growers who have contracts with Supporting Members are automatically represented by the Cranberry Institute.
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