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!

What the Hell Should We Eat? Natural Fats Should Be Fine!

I recently found myself reading the article “If the Low-Fat Diet Is a Lie, What the Hell Should We Eat?” located on Elle’s website. I thought the author Jane Black did a terrific job illustrating the frustration the average consumer has on this conflicting information. I enjoyed the background information on where we were and where we are today. It was a very informational and well balanced article. 

I placed a comment on Elle’s site to share my thoughts regarding fat and the part of the article about how we knew “low-fat” meant more vegetables and not snack-wells. My comment is at the bottom of this post.

Firstly, the USDA has dropped Total Fat (TF) recommendations in the general verbiage (That lame chart in Appendix E-37 Table 4 leaves much more to be desired though) of the latest Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee (DGAC) report located here. I welcome this because it was ridiculous to limit fat in the first place as fat was not the problem as some have been arguing this for decades. Dr. Katz recommends we focus on “themes of healthy eating: diets that center on minimally processed foods and lots of fruit and vegetables. ‘We need to focus on foods and forget about the nutrients,'”.

I completely agree with him on this. I will take that one step further and say that Natural Fats (NFs), which include Saturated Fatty Acids (SFAs) that are also minimally processed, belong in this healthy eating theme. Let all minimally processed foods be fair game and the let the individual’s situation dictate what they need to do. I’m not the “no-carbs” guy, the “all-carbs”, “no-meat” or “all-meat” guy. We all have different dietary requirements and it is wise to not try and replace one dogma with another. The universal theme across all popular heritage, traditional and modern diets that revolve around real food: more real food (to include minimally processed food) and less (to no) processed refined garbage with added sugars, oils, fats, chemicals, etc. The individual variance in the diet is related to heritage, genes and personal preference; nearly all limit what you’d find beyond the perimeter of the grocery store.

Let the macronutrient ratio of the diet become unimportant so long as it provides the necessary nutriment to the person ingesting the diet. The American Nutritional Forefather W.O. Atwater (Also worked at the USDA) stated “the most healthful food is that which is best fitted to the needs of the user”. Let those who wish to restrict fat, meat, carbs, dairy, wheat, etc. do so as long as they acquire the nutriment they need.

Here is the comment I posted on the Elle website:

A lot of the promotion of foods containing saturated fat is completely aligned with what Katz stated. We are promoting real food. Natural saturated fats (Note that there are many types of Saturated Fat) are real food and fit into a healthy dietary pattern. We are being told, “No, you can’t say that SFA is OK. You need to focus on foods and forget about the nutrients. No, not that real food, that has Saturated Fat, are you insane!”. WTF??? According to the USDA’s Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee (DGAC) report “In the United States, the top sources of foods contributing to saturated fat intake are mixed dishes, particularly burgers and sandwiches, and snacks and sweets”. You can’t blame the impact of the highly refined mixed food on ones health on the Saturated Fat that was present in the product. To me, that is not different than saying vegetables are unhealthy because they are in supreme pizza.

I disagree very strongly that everyone knew that “low-fat” meant less fat and more vegetables. That is BS in my opinion. Look at the bottom of the food pyramid and tell me they (The government) really meant more vegetables. Detach your profession from this and imagine you are the consumer. Luise Light’s recommendations to the USDA meant more vegetables (5-9srv) and less grain (2-3srv), her bosses decided that more grains were needed for all instead (6-11srv). Tell me where the healthy vegetables are in the 6-11 servings of grains we were told to eat per day. Be mindful that we were not told to eat whole grain, we were told to eat grain. Even in the earlier guidelines it was clear that grain should be consumed. The grain recommended was not whole grain. Sure, the professionals that do this for a living might have knew whole grain and more vegetables, but the whole system did a shitty job of communicating that to the consumer. Then again, Cocoa Puffs had the heart check logo and I can’t find that shit on a bag of carrots. The AHA must want us to eat more vegetables too.

Look at this post which outlines the various dietary guideline releases: http://www.dietarydogma.com/historical-view-obesity-dietary-guidelines/

Thanks for your time and have a nice day.

So, what are your thoughts?

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

Your Assignment!

Our current Dietary Guidelines need to be completely overhauled. Due to the influence of big business, our guidelines have become vague and ambiguous instead of providing the straight answers we need in order to make informed dietary decisions.

The USDA subsidizes and promotes our agricultural products and should not also be responsible for providing our dietary recommendations. They also should not host the Nutrition Evidence Library (NEL) used to provide the research to the panel that provides the USDA/HHS dietary guideline recommendations.

Our recommendations should come from an agency (or a non-governmental panel of scientific experts) rooted in the scientific community, human biochemistry, clinical research and evidence. Our recommendations should not come from deep-rooted industry ties and campaign contributions.

Your ASSIGNMENT is to Share this, Tweet this, Digg, this Pin this, Plus this or whatever other “this” there is to do socially!

Most importantly, please take 2 minutes to register on the White House website and sign both of the petitions below! We really need everyone’s help in order to reach 100K signatures on these petitions by next month (03-11-2014 and 03-20-2014).

You can, and will, help us make a difference! Thank you.



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