DGAC 2015 Report – Reducing Refined Grains? That could lead to “nutrient deficiency”

© photospin.com

© photospin.com

We’ve been told the new Dietary Guidelines report is a step in the right direction. What if I told you that refined grains weren’t going anywhere!

Anyone who is interested in nutrition has probably read, or been a part of the discussion, related to the shit-storm that is the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) 2015 Report. This is the “science” that is provided to the government every 5 years. This science report goes to the Government, who is free to utilize various portions of it when the tax-payer provided cleaners don’t come and provide their Ultra-Plush Charmin Ultra toilet paper every Wednesday Morning.

Aside from various aspects of the report that I don’t agree (will reserve for future posts), I came across something that I had to read a few times because I was like “WTF is this!”. Given how favorable the “message” of the new DGAC 2015 report has been with mainstream nutritionists, I had to ensure that I was reading the right report. The PR message is: More veggies, fruits, Whole grains, less refined grains and sugars, cholesterol not a nutrient of concern, healthy fats are cool, etc.

When I actually read portions of the report another picture emerged. This picture ensures that grains (not whole by the way) continue to have a place at our breakfast and dinner tables. Praise National Breakfast Cereal day!

First, let’s begin with the overall conclusion found in Part D. Chapter 2:

…dietary patterns associated with decreased risk of CVD are characterized by higher consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and seafood, and lower consumption of red and processed meat, and lower intakes of refined grains, and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages relative to less healthy patterns.

Sounds like the future. Fat is not being labeled the enemy and sugar and refined grains are being put where they belong. They are being taken out of the base of the “Food Guide Pyramid of Failure” and put into the top, right?

Well, not really. Why? Because it could result in nutrient deficiency… WTF? Yes, not eating my morning bagel serving might put me at risk for nutrient deficiency.

The key finding from the 2010 DGAC modeling report was: “As shown by food pattern modeling, consumption of all grains as whole grains, without including any fortified whole grain products, would lower dietary folate and iron intake levels to less than adequate amounts for individuals in population groups who may be at high risk for inadequate intakes of these nutrients. Individuals are encouraged to consume most of their grains as fiber-rich whole grains, and when doing so, should select some of these fiber-rich whole grains as products that have been fortified with folic acid and possibly other nutrients”.

Hey that was about whole-grain Bill. It sounds OK so far. A little bit further down on this page

In its analysis, the 2005 DGAC reported that non-whole grains contributed important amounts of certain nutrients to the dietary patterns, including folate, iron, calcium, fiber, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. The 2005 DGAC concluded that including only 3 oz eqs of whole grains, with no non-whole grains, in the food patterns would lower intake of many of these key nutrients and perhaps place certain individuals at risk of nutrient inadequacy.


However, the 2010 DGAC found that consuming all grains as whole grains would provide for nutrient adequacy in the patterns if fortified ready to eat (RTE) whole grain breakfast cereals were substituted for RTE refined grain breakfast. The 2015 DGAC concluded that consumption of only whole grains with no replacement or substitution would result in nutrient shortfalls.

And let’s not forget

Refined grains, such as white flour and products made with white flour, white rice, and de-germed cornmeal, are part of the intake recommendation because they are commonly enriched with iron and several B vitamins, including thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin…

So there we have it. I better not consider getting these nutrients from consuming less grains and instead eating more vegetables, dairy, fruits, lean meats or legumes. I should eat more fortified whole or refined grain products! We all know that most of these Ready To Eat (RTE) foods are NEVER fortified with other garbage like sugar and franken-fats.

Let’s look at the actual “tables” in the report which lay out the recommended consumption of the 3 “dietary patterns” being recommended by the DGAC. Let’s see if this whole Refined Grain nonsense I’m dreaming up is real. Obviously, I’m a fanatic and can’t be trusted!

I present Appendix E-3.7 (Table 3). Please note I only pasted up to the Grain portion of the table. It is well worth a look to get the full picture.

DGAC Report Appendix E-3.7 Table 3

DGAC Report Appendix E-3.7 Table 3

Ok 6-6.5 servings of grain, half of which is refined. And this is for 2,000 cal per day. So what about the all calorie levels?

The Mediterranean-Style Pattern servings for Grains:

Appendix E-3.7.A2. USDA Food Patterns: Healthy Mediterranean-Style Patterns recommended intake amounts

Appendix E-3.7.A2. USDA Food Patterns: Healthy Mediterranean-Style Patterns recommended intake amounts

Do you see the “Food Guide Pyramid of Failure” emerging from the sand like a sci-fi movie about alien invasion? The Vegetarian pattern must be lower, right?

Appendix E-3.7.A1. USDA Food Patterns: Healthy Vegetarian Patterns—recommended intake amounts

Appendix E-3.7.A1. USDA Food Patterns: Healthy Vegetarian Patterns—recommended intake amounts

Wrong, slightly higher. What about the USDA Healthy US Pattern? Same as Med. Pattern with 6-10 (2000cal-3200cal respectively) servings. Our current agricultural ecosystem of supporting wheat as a top subsidy looks to be intact. To be fair, recommendations have gone up for veggies by about one serving and grains have gone down by about one serving. The split of whole and refined grain by half means that “Other Grains” are going to be recommended to be consumed more than fruits and vegetables in all of the dietary patterns. That is clearly not how real Vegetarians and Mediterranean people eat. It is also clearly not in the PR “message” for the DGAC report.

Say hello to the DGAC 2015 report and welcome to more of the same. The saddest part is that this is the “science”. Now it is in the hands of the politicians. Stay skeptical, and thirsty, my friends! Mahalo!

AHA and USDA Websites Have A Few Fatty Surprises

The past few nights I’ve been conducting targeted search queries on Google aimed against specific websites looking for topics of interest related to the Great Fat Debate.

One of the things I stumbled on was a presentation titled an “Overview of the food science behind fatty acid technology” which is found on heart.org at the following location.

I found the brief extremely informative, yet disturbing. The brief is attached at the bottom of this if you would like to take a gander.

From the functions of Palmitic Acid (palm oil, tallow, butter, cheese, milk) slide, it is labeled as a saturated fat which is very stable in storage and frying. It lists the functions which it provides to foods and then states “BUT, ↑ LDL-cholesterol, ↑ heart disease”. It decides to make no mention of the fact that this fatty acid also raises HDL cholesterol. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, saturated fatty acids (SFAs) raise both, HDL and LDL. Of particular importance is the fact that the SFA results in an increased LDL particle size. Research has shown that the small dense LDL particles are the ones which are atherogenic and contribute most to atherosclerosis.

The next slide discusses the saturated fat Stearic Acid (tallow, cocoa butter, animal fats, etc. ). The functions include very stable storage and frying, cooking uses (form margarines and shortenings, spreads, creaming for baked products) and then lists “Neutral health benefits”. That is right, no increase in heart disease, merely “Neutral health benefits”. It is worth mentioning again that this slide-deck is present on the American Heart Association’s website. I observed the same thing for Stearic Acid on the USDA’s site last night. During a review of the 2013 Annual Report for Research Project “MACRO- AND MICRONUTRIENT MODULATION OF BIOMARKERS OF CHRONIC DISEASE AND INDICATORS OF NUTRITIONAL ADEQUACY”, it stated the following:

Evidence suggests that stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid, effects LDL cholesterol differently than other saturated fatty acids – consumption of stearic acid does not increase LDL cholesterol whereas consumption of other saturated fatty acids typically raises LDL cholesterol. Since stearic acid does not raise LDL cholesterol, its use as an alternative for trans fatty acids in foods is possible since stearic acid can provide some of the same functional properties as trans fatty acids without the negative effect on LDL cholesterol.

Of course they are off-base a tad by not addressing LDL particles and putting so much into the impact on LDL being so important. On the other hand, the food-makers need to find a way to show that this is “healthy” so they can use it in food production. Without a solid fat, a lot of the products today would be a mess or an even worse freak of nature.

Getting back to the subject at hand though, the next slide goes into the awesomeness that is monounsaturated fats (oleic acid). It is stable (not very stable like saturated fats) has very limited function in foods as it is liquid at room temperature and says it has neutral to positive effect on health “↑ HDL cholesterol (good), ↓ LDL-cholesterol”. Notice in this case how monounsaturated is specifically mentioned as raising “good” HDL though several SFAs raise HDL cholesterol even more.

The last slide I will cover more in depth is the Polyunsaturated Fat slide. Here is the fat they tout as the one that will save us all, yet its functions in food are minimal (liquid at room temperature) and they admit it is “unstable in storage and frying”. Linoleic is listed as a small amount being OK for flavor and Linolenic being the main source for off-flavors and rancidity. Yum, it sounds like we should be eating more of that. It also states that it lowers, total and LDL cholesterol while raising HDL which jives with current dietary guidance.

The brief is very interesting and goes into Trans Fats, Interesterification (The chemical version is scary shit) and the targets for different food products (salad, cooking oil, frying, margarines and shortening).

Bottom line, we produce too much oil not to use it. That is the reason that adulteration of lard starting occurring back in the late 1800’s. It lowered the price of lard and gave us something to do with the cottonseed oil we were producing. Another slide-show on the American Heart Association website titled “Processing and Stable Oils” from 2006, shows the following chart:

U.S. Usage of Edible Vegetable Oils 2004-2005

U.S. Usage of Edible Vegetable Oils 2004-2005

As long as we continue to produce this much vegetable oil, we will always be told that polyunsaturated fat is “healthy” for us because it not being good for us equates to an “unhealthy” economy.

Overview of the food science behind fatty acid technology
Processing and Stable Oils – 2006
Interesterification – Scary Shit Slide from Processing and Stable Oils brief

The American Cycle of Health and Diet – The Insanity Cycle

Below is a diagram I put together demonstrating the effect of the current Dietary Guidelines on the average American. Yes, it is simplified, but I use it as a demonstration of how our dietary guidelines influence our entire lives. They affect what we eat, how we gain weight, how we get sick, the “experts” we turn to for advice and ultimately how we pay our medical institutions for the same dietary advice being given by the government – perpetuating the “insanity cycle”.

All of these different industries have something thing in common; they drain us of our money and our taxpayer dollars. They have sustained or increased gross profit as we get sicker, more obese and poorer. We become unable to pay for the food, the expert advice and the medical bills associated with our prescribed way of living. It is so sad. It needs to change. Only we, the people footing the bills, can do this! If this had a cute kitty or a snazzy meme associated with it perhaps it would be more popular or get people to care. The somber fact remains is that you, your friends and loved ones are being screwed and will die younger and before your time if things do not change. You may already have issues or may have relatives that have suffered due to this advice. Only you, waking up, can help us make a difference.

Sign the petitions and help make your voice heard. Spread the word and help the petitions go viral, we can only be successful it others know and help us do this. People need to know about the petitions and understand why the Dietary Guidelines are Broken. Help us stop the InsanityCycle by those that don’t really give two shits about you, your friends and your loved ones.

Petitions (Hash Tag: #USDAPetitions):

Cycle of Diet and Health v2

Why Our Dietary Guidelines Are Broken

Our Dietary Guidelines are broken and below are a few reasons why. After you finish reading this and realize that you were also duped into believing a crock, you can help us change things by spreading the word (see the right hand column for graphics and links) and signing the White House petitions here and here.

1.) The Guidelines Are Not Working
The guidelines were introduced in 1980 and since then rates of obesity and other related illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes have skyrocketed. We are told that one of the major reasons we are getting so fat is because we exercise too little and eat too much. Aside from the fact that exercise alone will not lead to much weight loss (link), the statement itself cannot explain the worldwide pandemic affecting us and the biochemistry of human metabolism.

We have been told that a reduction in fat and cholesterol is required to prevent us from getting fat and or getting heart disease. This is also not supported by clinical studies.

Bottom Line: We are exercising more than ever and eating less fat, yet we are getting sicker and more obese. Is it us or is it the advice?

2.) USDA Conflict of Interest
The USDA currently promotes agriculture, subsidizes crops and jointly (with the HHS) issues our Dietary Guidelines every 5 years. This is problematic because the very same companies that utilize the subsidized crops to make heavily processed “unhealthy” foods are also successful at influencing the USDA to weaken the language or change the guidelines so they do not single out any particular “bad” food. An example of this is the lack of a “recommendation” for added sugar consumption. The food industry currently gets a free pass which is required with the promotion of low-fat foods. Without sugar, the current marketplace would taste like cardboard. The USDA has a vested interest in the food industry being profitable and successful using its subsidized agricultural crops. The food industry has found novel ways to produce cheap food additives from the subsidized crops. Examples include HCFS, hydrogenated oil, vegetable seed oils, MSG, Caramel color, etc.

Bottom Line: The USDA cannot have it both ways. It allows those with deep pockets to influence what we are supposed to eat to be healthy and recommends what it helps to subsidize. See this article for another example.

3.) Not Based On Science
The first Dietary Guidelines had their roots in a Senate Committee hearing led by George McGovern in 1977. McGovern, a politician, believed that saturated fat and cholesterol caused heart disease and the “findings” and subsequent recommendations of the committee just so happened to support those beliefs (Increase in carbohydrate intake, reduction in fat intake, cholesterol, sugar and salt).

The problem with the recommendations and the Dietary Guidelines that followed in 1980 is that they were based on politics, observational studies and personal beliefs, not hard science.

A paper titled “A call for higher standards of evidence for dietary guidelines” available on nih.gov goes on to say  “… National dietary guidelines have been promulgated based on scientific reasoning and indirect evidence.  In general, weak evidentiary support has been accepted as adequate justification for these guidelines. This low standard of evidence is based on several misconceptions, most importantly the belief that such guidelines could not cause harm…”

Bottom Line: Our Dietary Guidelines are not based on science that is honest and current. The science is cherry-picked and chosen to support ideas that were perpetuated in the late 1970’s.

4.) The Food Industry Has Too Much Influence
With the wave of some moola and a few well place campaign contributions, our dietary guidelines have become vague and ambiguous. The rules of ethics and conflict of interest appear to be a little lax where it comes to government and the food industry. Even organizations that American’s look to for honest advice based on science are influenced by the Food Industry. Americans do not expect organizations like the ADA or AHA to partner with companies that promote products whose food is unhealthy and has exacerbated our issues. Coco Puffs used to have a “Heart Healthy” logo on them. Really? Food companies help train Registered Dieticians (RDs) and organizations like the ADA partner with corporate sponsors to provide continuing education to them. These sponsors include Coca-Cola, ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft, Nestle, and Pepsi. They are all considered “accredited providers” of continuing professional education for dietitians.

Bottom Line: The organizations we look to for trustworthy and informed information are influenced heavily by the food companies. All continue to pass on the same message that is not based on science and has been causing us harm for 30 years.

5.) USDA Nutritional Evidence Library?
The Nutritional Evidence Library (NEL) was established by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion to support “systematic review of the current science on nutrition and health. The NEL specializes in conducting systematic reviews to inform Federal nutrition policies and programs”. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) uses the NEL to review current evidence in support of its recommendations.

Bottom Line: The USDA also controls the “evidence” used by the committee to provide our dietary recommendations.

Historical View of Obesity and Dietary Guidelines

I put this handy graphic together to show the increased recommendation of grain and decreased recommendation of fat vs. the overall increase of obesity in this country. The guideline graphics are from the USDA site and the graph is from the CDC website.

To sign the #USDAPetition you can go here: http://wh.gov/lnK4u

Obesity and Dietary Guidelines

Historical view of rise in obesity and changes to USDA dietary guidelines