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Monday, May 23, 2016
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Healthy intake: Healthy eating patterns include fruits, especially whole fruits. The fruits food group includes whole fruits and 100% fruit juice. Whole fruits include fresh, canned, frozen, and dried forms. The recommended amount of fruits in the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern at the 2,000-calorie level is 2 cup-equivalents per day. One cup of 100% fruit juice counts as 1 cup of fruit. Although fruit juice can be part of healthy eating patterns, it is lower than whole fruit in dietary fiber and when consumed in excess can contribute extra calories. Therefore, at least half of the recommended amount of fruits should come from whole fruits. When juices are consumed, they should be 100% juice, without added sugars. Also, when selecting canned fruit, choose options that are lowest in added sugars. One-half cup of dried fruit counts as one cup-equivalent of fruit. Similar to juice, when consumed in excess, dried fruits can contribute extra calories.
Key nutrient contributions: Among the many nutrients fruits provide are dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.
Considerations: Juices may be partially fruit juice, and only the proportion that is 100% fruit juice counts (e.g., 1 cup of juice that is 50% juice counts as ½ cup of fruit juice). The remainder of the product may contain added sugars. Sweetened juice products with minimal juice content, such as juice drinks, are considered to be sugar-sweetened beverages rather than fruit juice because they are primarily composed of water with added sugars (see the Added Sugars section below). The percent of juice in a beverage may be found on the package label, such as “contains 25% juice” or “100% fruit juice.” The amounts of fruit juice allowed in the USDA Food Patterns for young children align with the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics that young children consume no more than 4 to 6 fluid ounces of 100% fruit juice per day. Fruits with small amounts of added sugars can be accommodated in the diet as long as calories from added sugars do not exceed 10 percent per day and total calorie intake remains within limits.
Healthy Intake: Healthy eating patterns include whole grains and limit the intake of refined grains and products made with refined grains, especially those high in saturated fats, added sugars, and/or sodium, such as cookies, cakes, and some snack foods. The grains food group includes grains as single foods (e.g., rice, oatmeal, and popcorn), as well as products that include grains as an ingredient (e.g., breads, cereals, crackers, and pasta). Grains are either whole or refined. Whole grains (e.g., brown rice, quinoa, and oats) contain the entire kernel, including the endosperm, bran, and germ. Refined grains differ from whole grains in that the grains have been processed to remove the bran and germ, which removes dietary fiber, iron, and other nutrients. The recommended amount of grains in the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern at the 2,000-calorie level is 6 ounce-equivalents per day. At least half of this amount should be whole grains (see the How To Make at Least Half of Grains Whole Grains call-out box).
Key nutrient contributions: Whole grains are a source of nutrients, such as dietary fiber, iron, zinc, manganese, folate, magnesium, copper, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, selenium, riboflavin, and vitamin A. Whole grains vary in their dietary fiber content. Most refined grains are enriched, a process that adds back iron and four B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid). Because of this process, the term “enriched grains” is often used to describe these refined grains.
Considerations: Individuals who eat refined grains should choose enriched grains. Those who consume all of their grains as whole grains should include some grains, such as some whole-grain ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, that have been fortified with folic acid. This is particularly important for women who are or are capable of becoming pregnant, as folic acid fortification in the United States has been successful in reducing the incidence of neural tube defects during fetal development. Although grain products that are high in added sugars and saturated fats, such as cookies, cakes, and some snack foods, should be limited, as discussed in the Added Sugars andSaturated Fats sections below, grains with some added sugars and saturated fats can fit within healthy eating patterns.
How To Make at Least Half of Grains Whole Grains
A food is a 100-percent whole-grain food if the only grains it contains are whole grains. One ounce-equivalent of whole grains has 16 g of whole grains. The recommendation to consume at least half of total grains as whole grains can be met in a number of ways.
The most direct way to meet the whole grain recommendation is to choose 100 percent whole-grain foods for at least half of all grains consumed. The relative amount of whole grain in the food can be inferred by the placement of the grain in the ingredients list. The whole grain should be the first ingredient—or the second ingredient, after water. For foods with multiple whole-grain ingredients, they should appear near the beginning of the ingredients list.
Many grain foods contain both whole grains and refined grains. These foods also can help people meet the whole grain recommendation, especially if a considerable proportion of the grain ingredients is whole grains. Another way to meet the recommendation to make at least half of grains whole grains is to choose products with at least 50 percent of the total weight as whole-grain ingredients., If a food has at least 8 g of whole grains per ounce-equivalent, it is at least half whole grains. Some product labels show the whole grains health claim or the grams of whole grain in the product. This information may help people identify food choices that have a substantial amount of whole grains.