Bakers seek to preserve grains servings guidance

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee should maintain the current recommended daily level of six grain servings in soon-to-be-published guidelines, according to the American Bakers Association. The positive qualities of enriched and whole grains were emphasized in the associations’ July 8 statement to the committee. Calling grains the “foundation of a healthy lifestyle,” Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A., said in oral testimony, “Grain foods are well-liked by adults and children and provide an excellent vehicle for Americans to obtain good nutrition.” Mr. MacKie extolled the benefits of vitamin enrichment as well as the more recent impact of folic acid fortification in the reduction of neural tube birth defects. He also emphasized baking’s embrace of healthful innovation, introducing 100-calorie packs, reduced trans-fat products and more than 1,300 new whole grain products.

The A.B.A. also described more current advances, such as the addition of omega-3 fatty acids in certain bread varieties and exploration of vitamin D-containing yeast for baked foods.

The suitability of grain-based foods as a vehicle for nutritional delivery was emphasized by Mr. MacKie.

“Consumption of cereal-grain products does not vary greatly by income or geographic region,” he said. “Thus, grain foods greatly enhance the general health of the entire population with their popularity touching all regions and demographic groups.”

The bakers’ statement followed the June 15 release of the Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. The report did not explicitly state how many servings of grains would be recommended in the 2010 guidelines.

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