News>Dietary awareness system keeps Airmen on point
Airman 1st Class Jemodric Brown, 31st Force Support Squadron services journeyman, hands a plate of food to an Airman at the La Dolce Vita Dining Facility at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Oct. 24. The menu at the dining facilities is not changing, but the way food is prepared and cooked is. Green food items are cooked in a healthier manner, such as grilling chicken instead of frying it. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Lotz)
An Airman prepares a salad at the La Dolce Vita Dining Facility at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Oct. 24. "Go for Green" is a new color-coded system that shows Airmen the calorie count intake of each item on the menu and what foods should be consumed less often than others. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Lotz)
by Airman 1st Class Matthew Lotz
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
10/26/2012 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- A new dietary awareness system geared toward changing the way Airmen eat went into effect at the Aviano Air Base dining facilities Oct. 24.
"Go for Green" is a new color-coded system that shows Airmen the calorie count intake of each item on the menu and what foods should be consumed less often than others.
"The 'Go for Green' dietary awareness system is based off of how foods affect your body" explains Airman 1st Class Mitchell Adkins, 31st Force Support Squadron services journeyman. "The system is designed to help Airmen eat healthier and give them nutrients the body needs to do physical training."
The three-color system labels foods in three colors: green, yellow and red, and Adkins said this simple to understand information helps Airmen choose healthier food items.
Foods labeled green contain less than 300 calories and 10 grams of fat. He said Airmen should eat these often. An example of an all-green meal is a chicken breast with rice and a cup of broccoli, and added that if someone wants a dessert, to pick items like fruits or yogurt.
Airmen looking to cheat a little and add some color to their all-green eating plan can sprinkle on some yellow.
For those who choose yellow-labeled foods, these contain 300-500 calories and 10-15 grams of fat, and Airmen should eat these occasionally, Adkins added. An example of this choice in the dining facility is a chicken sandwich with cheese and a side of rice and beans.
While yellow foods are eaten less frequent because they don't provide Airmen the optimum physical performance, he said items labeled red should be consumed very rarely. They hinder Airmen's PT performance and most energy drinks are in this category.
Base Airmen should also know that foods labeled red contain more than 500 calories and 15 grams of fat in a single sitting. Adkins said an example of these types of choices is a double bacon cheeseburger with a side of fries stating foods like these do not help an Airman's physical performance as they provide Airmen less energy and could potentially affect PT scores.
"Proper nutrition in our diet is just as important as physical fitness, sleep and happiness," explains Senior Airman Lane Franklin, a diet therapist from the Health and Wellness Center 31st Aerospace Medicine Squadron. "A healthy lifestyle is a beautiful balance of all these components and, eating a variety of healthy food choices helps the body function better and results in a better quality of life."