The US food and beverage industry is trying to make its case for why its own products should be considered nutritionally superior to other foods.
According to an industry report released on Monday, soy, chickpeas and chickpea flour are “inherently nutrifying,” while whole-wheat flour is more “flexible, nutrient dense and versatile” than other grain products.
But the report also noted that soy flour is “substantially less nutritious” than “wheat, rice, or barley” as well as other grains.
And while soy is not a whole grain, it is an all-grain product and contains less protein and fat than wheat, which is a staple for the US diet.
In recent years, the US has been making moves to reduce its reliance on animal products.
According of the report, soybean oil is the second most used food additive in the US, behind only rice flour, and is used to make a variety of products from tofu to margarine.
But it is also a key component in the country’s beef, pork, and dairy products.
Last year, the USDA released a statement urging the food industry to “consistently promote the health benefits of whole grains.”
The agency urged companies to “support the health and nutritional benefits of healthy, whole grains,” saying the industry is making strides in reducing animal production.
“As a result of the agency’s recent announcement, we have heard from many of you that you would like to continue to be on the path to a more balanced and plant-based diet,” the USDA said.
“We recognize the value of the healthy diet and are committed to ensuring that our nation’s nutrition and dietary practices continue to improve.
But we are also aware of the challenges and opportunities that a healthier, more plant-focused diet presents to our health and well-being.”