The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020 DGA) maintains recommendations for increased consumption of whole grains while limiting intake of enriched/refined grains. A variety of enriched grains are sources of several shortfall nutrients identified by 2015-2020 DGA, including dietary fiber, folate, iron, and magnesium. The purpose of this study was to determine food sources of energy and nutrients for free-living U.S. adults using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2012. Analyses of grain food sources were conducted using a single 24-h recall collected in adults ≥19 years of age (n
= 10,697). Sources of nutrients contained in all grain foods were determined using United States Department of Agriculture nutrient composition databases and the food grouping scheme for grains (excluding mixed dishes). Mean energy and nutrient intakes from the total diet and from various grain food groups were adjusted for the sample design using appropriate weights. All grains provided 285 ± 5 kcal/day or 14 ± 0.2% kcal/day in the total diet in adult ≥19 years of age. In the total daily diet, the grain category provided 7.2 ± 0.2% (4.9 ± 0.1 g/day) total fat, 5.4 ± 0.2% (1.1 ± 0.03 g/day) saturated fat, 14.6 ± 0.3% (486 ± 9 mg/day) sodium, 7.9 ± 0.2% (7.6 ± 0.2 g/day) total sugar, 22.8 ± 0.4% (3.9 ± 0.1 g/day) dietary fiber, 13.2 ± 0.3% (122 ± 3 mg/day) calcium, 33.6 ± 0.5% (219 ± 4 mcg dietary folate equivalents (DFE)/day) folate, 29.7 ± 0.4% (5.3 ± 0.1 mg/day) iron, and 13.9 ± 0.3% (43.7 ± 1.1 mg/day) magnesium. Individual grain category analyses showed that breads, rolls and tortillas and ready-to-eat cereals provided minimal kcal/day in the total diet in men and women ≥19 years of age. Similarly, breads, rolls and tortillas, and ready-to-eat cereals supplied meaningful contributions of shortfall nutrients, including dietary fiber, folate and iron, while concurrently providing minimal amounts of nutrients to limit. Cumulatively, a variety of grain food groups consumed by American adults contribute to nutrient density in the total diet and have the potential to increase consumption of shortfall nutrients as identified by 2015–2020 DGA, particularly dietary fiber, folate, and iron.
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