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The Roles of Food Processing in Translation of Dietary Guidance for Whole Grains, Fruits, and Vegetables.


The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommend the consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables as part of a healthy diet. However, current consumption patterns suggest that most Americans are not meeting these recommendations. The challenge remains to align the DGA guidance with the food environment and consumers' expectations for product quality, availability, and affordability. Currently, processed foods play an increasingly important role in American diets. Often characterized as unhealthy, processed foods are contributors to both food and nutritional security. When the alignment of processing strategies with DGA principles exists, achieving DGA goals is more likely, regardless of processing level. In this review, select processing strategies for whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are described to show how DGA principles can guide processing efforts to create healthier products. Although whole grains, supported by industry-wide innovation and guidance, have had some success with consumers, improving intake of fruit and vegetable products remains a challenge. Closing consumption gaps requires new innovations and products aligned with consumer preferences and DGA principles.