Dietary Guidelines preview: six grain servings

by Jeff Gelski
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The “Grain Chain” coalition, which is made up of grain industry groups such as the American Bakers Association, wants the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to continue recommending six servings of grains per day, including at least three servings of whole grains.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, when meeting for the seventh and final time on Dec. 15, did not provide any specifics on the issue of six servings per day, said Lee Sanders, senior vice-president of government relations and public affairs for the Washington-based A.B. A.

“We just heard more about whole grains, and one thing we learned through this process is the scientific term refined grains also encaptures enriched grains,” she said.

The D.G.A.C. said across all age and sex groups, the vast majority of the U.S. population does not meet recommended intakes for fruit, vegetables, whole grains and dairy food groups.

“The good news is that throughout the day (on Dec. 15) there was a discussion on how Americans need to eat more whole grains,” Ms. Sanders said.

Ms. Sanders said the D.G.A.C. on Dec. 15 recognized the importance of folic acid, which is found in enriched grains, and how it helps reduce neural tube birth defects. The folic acid recognition should be welcome news for “Grain Chain” coalition as it seeks to keep grain servings at six per day.

Next, the D.G.A.C. will issue a final report to the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Servings. Throughout the winter, spring and summer of 2015, the U.S.D.A. and the H.H.S. will consider the D.G.A.C.’s recommendations along with public comments and agency comments. The H.H.S. and the U.S.D.A. jointly should publish the eighth edition of the dietary guidelines by the end of 2015.
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