The future of recommendations on grain foods in dietary guidance.J Nutr. 2013 Sep; 143(9):1527S-1532S.JN
Grain foods serve as an important source of energy, essential nutrients, and sometimes fiber. Recognizing that fiber continues to be identified as a nutrient of public health priority, there is an urgent need to address the ongoing fiber intake deficit. The focus in dietary guidance on whole grains as a source of fiber from the grains food group has not improved levels of fiber consumption. Consumer confusion around whole grains and fiber, combined with the wide range of fiber amounts found in whole-grain-labeled products, suggests that the current recommendation to "make half your grains whole" may be oversimplified in its intent to support increased fiber intakes. Nutrition educators and policy makers need to bring the conversation back to balancing all grain food choices, including enriched grains, whole grains, bran-based grain foods, and other grain-based foods with fiber, with greater emphasis on differentiating grain foods by the fiber they deliver. Changes in labeling, policy recommendations, and consumer messages are needed to help make this happen.