U.S. Grain Chain Testifies on Health Benefits of Increased Grain Servings
Excerpts reprinted with permission from the American Bakers Association; Read the original release here.
The “Grain Chain”, a farm to fork coalition of stakeholders in the U.S. grain industry chaired by the American Bakers Association (ABA), testified July 11, 2019, on the nutritional benefits of bread and grain-based products at the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) meeting. The recommendations in the Committee’s scientific report, due next year, will form the basis of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). The DGAs are the cornerstone of U.S. federal nutrition policy and nutrition education guidelines, shaping consumer health decisions and doctor recommendations.
“The Grain Chain endorses maintaining the 2015 DGAs recommendation of carbohydrate intakes between 45-65% of calories and at a minimum, the recommended six servings daily of traditional grains with at least half as whole grains,” testified Kathy Wiemer, MS, RD, speaking on behalf of the Grain Chain. “Further, given that Americans continue to under consume whole grains, we support an increase in daily recommended Whole Grain servings, while maintaining at least three servings of enriched grains.”
The testimony and written comments highlighted key recommendations:
- Both whole and enriched grains play a leading role in diet quality
- Enrichment, fortification of grain foods have made lasting contributions to health
- Total grain consumption results in positive health outcomes
- Grains are important to growth and development in infants and children
- The current body of scientific evidence does not support a recommendation of low-carbohydrate dietary patterns to the U.S. population
- Grain food manufacturers are constantly innovating to improve the nutritional profile of their products and deliver more health benefits to consumers
A 1990 law requires the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, and Health and Human Services, to publish nutritional and dietary guidelines for the public every five years. Members of the U.S. Grain Chain provide information to these agencies as guidelines are developed to help ensure that recommendations on grain foods consumption reflect current grain science research and data.
There is strong evidence that both whole and enriched grains are important sources of valuable nutrition and both the domestic and global baking industries continue to offer innovative, healthy grain products to meet consumer needs. Overseas, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) works on behalf of U.S. wheat producers to help bakers and wheat food processors understand the quality and value of all six classes of U.S. wheat. USW provides technical assistance and training in baking, snack food and pasta production, and sponsors participation in technical courses, workshops and seminars to help strengthen these industries.