Dietary Guidelines pleases 'Grain Chain'

by Jeff Gelski
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The guidelines recommend six daily servings of grain foods and emphasizes both whole grains and enriched grains.

WASHINGTON – Keeping the recommendation of six 1-oz servings of grain foods per day in the new Dietary Guidelines pleased the “U.S. Grain Chain,” a grains industry coalition, as did the emphasis on both whole grains and enriched grains. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services incorporated recommendations for grain foods that are in keeping with the “overwhelming” body of current science when compiling the 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines for Americans released Jan. 7, the coalition said.

“Furthermore, the recommendation for the average healthy American adult to consume six 1-oz servings of grain foods daily, with half of those servings coming from whole grains and the remainder from enriched grains, is consistent with recommendations from major leading health organizations,” the “Grain Chain” said.

The guidelines recognizing the nutritional value of both whole grains and enriched grains also pleased the Washington-based American Bakers Association.

“The recommendations emphasize grains’ vital role at every meal in improving the health of all Americans and combating obesity,” said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A., a member of the “Grain Chain.” “The reliance on actual dietary patterns and solutions also should assist consumers. The accompanying MyPlate icon’s promotion of ‘My Wins’ highlights grain foods continued essential role in a balanced diet and the foundation of healthy lifestyles. Complex carbohydrates provide essential fuel the body needs.”

Other “Grain Chain” members praised the guidelines as well.

“The Grain Foods Foundation appreciates the D.G.A.’s acknowledgement of the vital role both whole and enriched grains play in a balanced, healthful eating pattern,” said Christine Cochran, executive director of the Grain Foods Foundation.

Carol Freysinger, executive director of the Washington-based National Pasta Association, pointed out pasta is a component of the Mediterranean Diet, which the new Dietary Guidelines recognizes as a model healthy diet pattern.

“Grains like pasta, whether whole grain or enriched varieties, provide an ideal foundation for healthy and satisfying meals, as pasta is generally eaten with nutrient-dense food partners, such as vegetables and beans, heart-healthy fish and monounsaturated oils, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce and protein-packed cheese, poultry and lean meats,” Ms. Freysinger said.

Three other “Grain Chain” members, the North American Millers’ Association, the Wheat Foods Council and the National Association of Wheat Growers, also offered positive views.

“The milling industry is pleased the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognizes the importance of both whole and enriched grains in the diet and looks forward to working with ‘Grain Chain,’ U.S.D.A. and H.H.S. on spreading the message about the health benefits of both to consumers,” said James McCarthy, president and c.e.o. of Washington-based NAMA.

Tim O’Connor, president of the Wheat Foods Council, Ridgway, Colo., said, “Wheat and wheat foods, as the guidelines recognize, are an essential part of healthful dietary patterns, contributing not only valuable nutrients but also offering consumers versatility, value and good taste.”

Jim Palmer, c.e.o. of the Washington-based National Association of Wheat Growers, said, “U.S. wheat farmers are pleased the U.S.D.A. and H.H.S. recognizes whole grains as a vital part of a healthy American diet.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S.D.A. jointly publish the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years. The Dietary Guidelines provides evidence-based food and beverage recommendations for Americans ages 2 and older. The recommendations aim to promote health, prevent chronic disease and help people reach and maintain a healthy weight.
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