Tags: food | diet | health

Color-Coding Foods Promotes Healthy Eating

plate of food
(AP)

By    |   Friday, 20 September 2019 05:44 PM

The U.S. military has adopted a unique service to enhance both performance and nutrition in their revolutionary Go for Green (G4G) program, which is now being used in army cafeterias to help the troops choose the best foods for fueling their bodies.

By labeling foods according to their nutritional status, the Army is helping troops and trainees to improve not only their health but also their professional performance through nutrition.

The G4G diet — which is version of the Stoplight Diet that was fashionable in 2011 — was adapted for the military by Gen. Mark C. Hartley, M.D., of the Center for Initial Military Training as part of the Soldier Fueling Initiative.

According to Well + Good, Army nutritionist Maj. Brenda Bustillos, Ph.D., says: “What he saw was that recruits were really struggling in initial military training just based on their physical fitness status and their nutrition status.”

By labeling the prepared foods according to their nutritional hierarchy — denoted in red, yellow, and green — and redesigning the cafeteria to make healthier choices more accessible, the Army was able to encourage recruits to make better selections.

Even the salad bars and grill stations have placards indicating the preferred nutritional choices at each station.

According to Commissaries.com, green foods include fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats and oil. These foods obviously get the green light to eat as much as you like.

The yellow-labelled foods are more processed. They include canned fruit in syrup, white rice, pasta and white potatoes, chicken and turkey with skin, and hamburger meat. These should be eaten only on occasion and in moderate portions.

And people should choose very small portions of the red-labelled foods, says the Army. These include fried or breaded veggies, doughnuts, cream sauces, fried meat, hot dogs and cheeseburgers, whole milk, and full-fat cream cheese.

The troops and trainees are asked to make the green-labeled foods the largest portion on their plates, with the yellow foods eaten in moderation, and the red ones sparingly.

Bustillos says that red, which is the stop sign color, is a visual signal for troops to recognize that lack the nutrition in these foods won’t support them in combat because the foods are high in sugar and saturated fats.

The green foods represent the ideal fuel that will enhance their performance — and maybe save their lives.

Experts say you can copy the Army’s innovate technique by redesigning and restocking your refrigerator into red, yellow, and green zones. In the green zone — which should be in easy view and reach — keep the high-fiber, low-fat foods. Fresh fruit, greens, fresh fish, veggie sticks, and whole grain breads are ideal items for the top shelf.

According to the Army’s protocol, yellow zone foods have protein but may also contain saturated fat — like hamburgers and cheeses. These foods, along with commercial dips, sauces, and salad dressings should be enjoyed only a few times weekly.

Finally, keep your red zone foods out of sight. These include sugary snacks, fried foods, and desserts. Give these foods the least amount of space in your refrigerator, and enjoy them only now and then.

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The U.S. military has adopted a unique service to enhance both performance and nutrition in their revolutionary Go for Green (G4G) program, which is now being used in army cafeterias to help the troops choose the best foods for fueling their bodies.By labeling foods...
food, diet, health
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2019-44-20
Friday, 20 September 2019 05:44 PM
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