WASHINGTON — Urging the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to take a rigorously scientific approach, the grain-based foods industry said the 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans should retain its recommendation of a diet rich in whole and enriched grains and should resist pressures to promote excessively restrictive guidance when it comes to intake of added sugar or sodium.
A six-page letter with an additional six pages of scientific references was submitted May 8 to representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. The letter was submitted in response to a preliminary report of the D.G.A.C., published in February. The letter was jointly submitted by the American Bakers Association, the AIB International, the Grain Foods Foundation, the Grains for Health Foundation, the Independent Bakers Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Pasta Association, the North American Millers’ Association, the Retail Bakers of America, the National Pasta Association, the USA Rice Federation, the Wheat Foods Council, the Independent Bakers Association, the National Pasta Association and the Tortilla Industry Association.
The letter contained the following five specific recommendations:
1. “Retain the D.G.A.C. 2010 recommendation for six servings of grains with balance between whole and enriched (refined);
2. “Use the term ‘enriched grains’ when referring to refined grains, since more than 95% of the refined grains in the U.S. are enriched and fortified;
3. “Reject the D.G.A.C. 2015 recommendation to limit added sugar to no more than 10% of total calories;
4. “Reject the D.G.A.C. 2015 recommendation to restrict dietary sodium to less than 2300 mg per day;
5. “Acknowledge the emerging evidence of the beneficial effects of whole grains on maintaining a healthy microbiome.”