Discouraging Empty Calories and Overly Processed Foods, Encouraging Balanced Diets and Nutritionally Rich Ingredients

Feb 07, 2011 Published under Health, KIND Snacks

New nutritional guidelines appropriately focus on encouraging nutritionally dense foods and minimally processed foods, including whole grains instead of refined grains, and a balanced diet that prizes the right proteins, fats, and carbs – ie, the ones that are not empty carbs or calories. This is the philosophy we follow at KIND, including the KIND diet.

WASHINGTON — Recommendations in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans strongly encourage consumers to reduce consumption of “refined grains.” The final guidelines, released Jan. 31, were largely in line with a June 2010 report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

The guidelines are published every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition to offering guidance to the public and the nutrition community, the guidelines establish the scientific and policy basis for all federal nutrition programs. The guidelines have been published since 1980.

Refined grains come under criticism in the guidelines from the outset of the report. In an introductory section offering an overview, the guidelines feature “two overarching concepts” recommended, including maintaining calorie balance over time and focusing on intake of nutrient dense foods and beverages.

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the 2010 version both identified foods and food components that are over-consumed. In 2005, the D.G.A.s highlighted saturated fats, trans fatty acids, cholesterol, added sugars, salt and alcohol. The 2010 version of foods and food components to reduce is basically the same, with “solid fats” encompassing both saturated fats and trans fatty acids, sodium substituted for salt and refined grains added to the list.

Major sources of refined grains in the diets of Americans are yeast breads (26% of total refined grain intake), pizza (11%), grain-based desserts (10%), and tortillas, burritos and tacos (8%), according the report.
The 2010 D.G.A. recommended that refined grains be replaced with products made with whole grains so that at least half of all grains eaten are whole grains.

“Americans currently consume too much sodium and too many calories from solid fats, added sugars and refined grains,” the D.G.A. report said. “These replace nutrient-dense foods and beverage and make it difficult for people to achieve recommended nutrient intake while controlling calorie and sodium intake. A healthy eating pattern limits intake of sodium, solid fats, added sugars and refined grains and emphasizes nutrient-dense foods and beverages — vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds.”

Last year, grain-based foods organizations objected to the use of the term “refined,” noting that the vast majority of non-whole grains were enriched. The group warned that use of the term “refined” would cause confusion. The group also objected to the manner in which the committee lumped flour in a combination with added sugars and fats even though many grain-based foods are low in added sugars and solid fats.


WASHINGTON – Key recommendations included in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include three components, a focus on balancing calories to manage weight, a focus on food and food components consumers should reduce their consumption of, and a focus on foods and nutrients consumers should increase consumption of. Because more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, the 7th edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans places stronger emphasis on reducing calorie consumption and increasing physical activity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

"The 2010 Dietary Guidelines are being released at a time when the majority of adults and one in three children is overweight or obese and this is a crisis that we can no longer ignore," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. "These new and improved dietary recommendations give individuals the information to make thoughtful choices of healthier foods in the right portions and to complement those choices with physical activity. The bottom line is that most Americans need to trim our waistlines to reduce the risk of developing diet-related chronic disease. Improving our eating habits is not only good for every individual and family, but also for our country."

The guidelines encourage consumers to choose foods that provide more potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D, which the guidelines say are "nutrients of concern in American diets." The foods identified in the recommendation include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.

The recommendations also focus broadly on weight management and include recommendations for consumers to improve eating and physical activity behaviors; control calorie intake; increase physical activity; and maintain appropriate calorie balancing during each stage of life.

More important to the food and beverage industry are the recommendations regarding food and nutrients to avoid and increase consumption. The 2010 guidelines generally maintain the less than 2,300 mg sodium intake level from earlier guidance, but note that people over the age of 51and those any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should reduce sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg.

The guidelines also recommend consumers:

• Consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids by replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

• Consume less than 300 mg per day of dietary cholesterol.

• Keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible by limiting foods that contain synthetic forms of trans fatty acids.

• Reduce the intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars.

• Limit the consumption of foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grains that contain solid fats, added sugars and sodium.

• The recommendations also emphasize alcohol consumption should be done in moderation.

The guidelines recommend increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and an increase in the intake of a variety of dark-green, red and orange vegetables, a focus on whole grains and the intake of a variety of proteins.

The whole grains recommendation said consumers should eat at least half of all grains as whole grains, and increase whole grain intake by replacing refined grains with whole grains.

The guidelines also recommend consumers increase their intake of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy beverages.

Other increased intake recommendations in the guidelines include:

• Choose a variety of protein foods, which include seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.

• Increase the amount and variety of seafood consumed by choosing seafood in place of some meat and poultry.

• Replace protein foods that are higher in solid fats with choices that are lower in solid fats and calories and/or are sources of oils.

• Use oils to replace solid fats where possible.

In total, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans feature 23 key recommendations for the general population and six recommendations for specific population groups. Check back to FoodBusinessNews.net throughout the day as we cover reaction of the food and beverage industry to the new guidelines.

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