Lower your risk: Commissaries help focus attention on maintaining good health, eating right, exercising, preventing heart disease
FORT LEE, Va. – A quarter of the deaths in the United States are caused by heart disease, making it the No. 1 killer in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
With February being Heart Health Month, the Defense Commissary Agency wants to help educate its customers about foods that can help lower their risks for heart attack and stroke.
“We are committed to helping our customers make the best shopping decisions possible to prevent heart disease,” said DeCA Health and Wellness Program Manager Deborah Harris, MPH, RD, CDE (Masters of Public Health, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator). “So for their ultimate heart health, it matters what they put in their shopping cart.
“Commissaries are good sources for products that support heart health – products featuring whole grain, leafy green vegetables, certain berries, lean protein foods, good sources of omega-3 fatty acids via fish and nuts, green tea and dark chocolates – at significant savings compared to commercial retail stores.”
For help to plan weekly menus, customers can find dietitian-approved recipes on the DeCA website, commissaries.com, that help weekly meal planning. The site’s sales flyer also includes Thinking Outside the Box recipes that offer healthy, economical choices for cooking at home.
Commissaries also feature the nutrition guide program (NGP), a point of sale information system that highlights key nutrient attributes of store products. The NGP, with its color-coded shelf tags, serves as an easy-to-use guide for grocery shopping choices highlighting the nutrition attributes of low sodium, low fat, whole grain, no added sugar and great source of fiber.
“We want our customers to be aware of the measures they can take to lower their risk of heart disease and protect their heart health,” Harris said. “These include meeting the recommendations for physical activity, knowing your numbers (total cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and body weight) and following the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”
As DeCA delivers the commissary benefit, the agency wants to help fuel service members to perform optimally to meet readiness needs while in uniform, and as they age help them continue living their best life as it relates to health and wellness, Harris added.
“Preventing heart disease just doesn’t happen from one day to the next; it’s a lifetime of choices one makes while young adults and into their 30s, which may impact them later in life,” Harris said. “At DeCA, we have an obligation to our troops and their families, through our dietitian-approved recipes and our nutrition guide program, to help them fit protective eating behaviors into their lifestyles.”
For more information about preventing heart disease, check out the CDC website.
Photo caption: Commissaries are good sources for products that support heart health – products featuring leafy green vegetables, certain berries, whole grain, lean protein foods, good sources of omega-3 fatty acids via fish and nuts, green tea and dark chocolates – at significant savings compared to commercial retail stores. (DeCA photo)
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.