Make Smart Choices for 2014
Carbs, sugar, salt, fat. Trying to choose a healthy meal on the go can be a challenge. Checking food labels and nutritional information on menus can take too much time when you’re in the middle of a busy day and need to “grab and go.”
As many people try to eat healthier in 2014, they’ll find it much easier to make smart choices in Four Seasons Bistro at The University of Toledo Medical Center. Now it’s as simple as looking for the bright yellow Rocket Wellness Smart Choice label. Any time you see that label, you know you’re making a healthier choice.
What is a Rocket Wellness Smart Choice? Any food or beverage that meets three of these criteria:
- Less than 4 grams of saturated fat per entrée or less than 2 grams of saturated fat per side or snack
- Less than 600 mg of salt per entrée, less than 300 mg per side or less than 150 mg per snack
- Whole grain as the first or second ingredient on the list
- Less than 550 calories per entrée, or less than 150 calories per snack
- No added sugar in the ingredient list for beverages, desserts, yogurt, dairy or fruits
- 21 grams or less of sugar per 8-oz. beverage or 100% fruit juice beverage
To make the choice even easier for you, Four Seasons Bistro also offers a wellness meal Monday through Friday that’s 550 calories or less, with lower salt and fat content for only $3.99. The meal follows American Heart Association nutritional guidelines.
The Rocket Wellness Smart Choice labels are part of a broader campus initiative to promote a healthy environment for patients, visitors and employees on The University of Toledo Health Science Campus (HSC).
Also new in 2014, sugar-sweetened beverages in the form of pop, energy drinks, dairy and dairy-like products will no longer be sold in HSC vending machines, Four Seasons Bistro, the gift shop and Caffeini’s coffee shop. Patient and catering menus will offer sugar-free beverages. Sugar-sweetened beverages can be brought to the Health Science Campus by employees, patients and visitors, they just won’t be provided here.
“The goal is to create an environment that supports healthy choices, reduces the risk of obesity and related chronic diseases and reduces the impact of unhealthy choices,” says UTMC wellness dietitian John Pantel.Staff at UTMC’s Four Seasons
Staff at UTMC’s Four Seasons Bistro conducted a survey and found that 65 % of respondents wanted healthier options. The wellness team says as a health institution, UTMC wants to model the practice guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“It sends a message to patients, staff and visitors that we care about them and want them to be healthier and happier,” says UTMC clinical dietitian Michele Lovett.
There are all kinds of other smart choices you can make while on The University of Toledo Health Science Campus:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. The Toledo Farmers’ Market provides locally grown produce outside the Mulford Library Building from July through October.
- Support the HSC tobacco-free campus.
- Increase physical activity by joining the Morse Center South YMCA.
- Walk your way to wellness Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. at the Morse Center.
To learn more about Rocket Wellness Smart Choice go to utmc.utoledo.edu/rocketwellness or visit the Rocket Wellness Facebook page.