What the New 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines Mean for U.S.-Grown Rice

2020-25 DGA cover art shows people of various ages eating, drinking, preparing food
Make every bite count
Jan 05, 2021
ARLINGTON, VA -- Last week, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) published the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), and, consistent with the case made by USA Rice with submitted expert comments, Rice Foundation research, and oral testimonies, they are generally positive for rice with grains recommended at all life stages.  

The DGA is published every five years and serves as the foundation for all federal nutrition policy and nutrition education guidelines, and provides official science-based recommendations on what Americans should eat and drink to promote health, help reduce risk of chronic disease, and meet nutrient needs.  

For rice and grains, most of the 2020-2025 recommendations either remained consistent with the 2015-2020 recommendations or enhanced and updated them.  

Significant new recommendations include the recognition of whole grains as “one of the three food groups that are fundamental constituents of a healthy dietary pattern,” and, for the first time, dietary recommendations that advocate for infant rice cereal consumption and enriched grain consumption for women who are pregnant and/or lactating.  The DGA also maintained the existing recommendation of six one-ounce servings of grain foods daily, with half of those servings coming from whole grains.

The DGA touted the key role both enriched and whole grain rice plays in healthy dietary patterns and diet quality, and identified whole grains as a significant contributor to dietary fiber (considered an under-consumed nutrient among Americans).  The report emphasized that grains are a delicious, versatile, affordable, and sustainable plant-based food, and that enrichment and fortification of grains are key contributors to positive public health.

“We are pleased that the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans clearly advocates for the importance of both enriched and whole grain rice in maintaining healthy dietary patterns at all life stages,” said USA Rice Nutrition Subcommittee Chair Bryon Holmes.  “The recognition of whole grains as a fundamental cornerstone of a health dietary pattern, inclusion in the new recommendations for pregnant women and infants, and preservation of the existing consumer grain requirement all bode positively for rice for future federal nutrition policy and school foodservice guidelines.”

USA Rice has scheduled outreach to the new Biden Administration USDA/HHS staff to educate them on the value of grain foods, explore opportunities to partner on messaging on the value of enriched and whole grain rice, and highlight the industry coalition, the Grain Chain, as a trusted and science-based resource.

Go here to view the complete 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.