The Dietary Guidelines for Americans: 2005 Update

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The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the cornerstone of Federal nutrition policy and nutrition education activities. They are jointly issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services and updated every 5 years. Among the proposed changes are a recommended daily folic acid intake (the USDA has not had one) of 400 micrograms for a 2,000-calorie diet, whole grain consumption (also new for the USDA) of at least 50% of all grain consumption and daily fiber intake of at least 28 grams per 2,000 calories (up from 25). With the guidelines coming out in January of 2005, there is already a rumble in the marketplace to anticipate their arrival.

Sara Lee has launched five fresh breads to 60% of the stores in the United States.

• Honey White • Classic Wheat – made with 100% whole-wheat flour • Classic White • Honey Wheat • Homestyle Wheat – made with 100% whole-wheat flour

And now Sara Lee is coming out with 100% whole grain Extra Fiber Earth Grains Breads that are fortified with calcium, vitamin D, folate and fiber.

Two slices will provide: • 10 grams of fiber • 300 mg calcium • 20% DV vitamin D • 20% DV folate Flavors include Whole Wheat, 100% Whole Wheat Made with Honey and 100% Multi-Grain.

The Extra Fiber Earth Grains Breads are the first whole-grain bread to be fortified with folate – usually only the white flour products are fortified. Also, they are the first bread product to be fortified with vitamin D. Their fiber content is certainly impressive. Our major concern is the sodium content at 180 mg per slice. Additionally, the grams per slice are lower than the calories per slice which illustrates that bread is a calorie dense food.

Cooked whole grains, without added sodium are a better bet. We would suggest using these for a label reading class. The regular Honey Wheat shows that just because the package says wheat it doesn’t mean it is whole wheat. The whole grain label is shown above.

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