WASHINGTON, DC — 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans released today by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and of Health and Human Services reaffirms pasta’s role in a healthy diet as an essential grain-based food and a beneficial way to incorporate healthy foods into the diet. The Dietary Guidelines, based on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, are reviewed and released every five years as a means of providing guidance to help individuals and families consume a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet.
The Dietary Guidelines report recommends that consumers make half their grains whole grains and when eating refined grain products, choose those made from enriched grains. Whole grains are noted as a source of nutrients, such as dietary fiber, iron, zinc, manganese, folate, magnesium, copper, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, selenium, riboflavin, and vitamin A. Enriched refined grains have iron and four B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid added after the grain has been processed. Pasta products are made from both whole grains and from enriched refined grains.
“The guidelines emphasize that adequate nutrition should be based in healthful eating patterns rather than the intake of specific nutrients, because people eat food and meals – not individual nutrients,” explained Diane Welland, a registered dietitian with the National Pasta Association.
Welland explained that the report recommends three eating patterns, all favorable
to pasta and other whole and enriched refined grains: The Healthy US Style Eating Pattern, the Healthy Mediterranean Style Eating Pattern and the Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern .
“The guidelines point out that mixed dishes, such as those made with pasta, present a ‘realistic option’ for consumers to increase their consumption of vegetables,” Welland noted. “This is an important message, as three-quarters of Americans don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits. ”
The National Pasta Association promotes healthful eating through its Pasta Fits consumer education program, website and social media channels. The website offers nutrition information, healthy recipes, videos and pasta facts. For more information visit, www.pastafits.org or connect with the program on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube.