FORT LEE, Va. – American Heart Month in February raises awareness of the importance of heart health. For the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), the national observance echoes the agency’s ongoing efforts to improve the health and wellness of service members and their families by encouraging them to examine their health habits and take an active role in reducing the risk of heart disease.
“One of the most significant strategies to help keep our hearts healthy is the food we eat,” said DeCA Health and Wellness Program Manager Deborah Harris, a registered dietitian, who holds a master of Public Health degree and is a certified diabetes educator.
Selecting nutrient-rich foods that will help protect heart health has never been easier for commissary customers. Using the Dietitian Approved Thumb (DAT) program, they can quickly scan the shelves for products tagged with the “Thumbs Up” DAT logo and, in choosing those, be assured they will be selecting high-nutrition-quality foods to incorporate into a healthy eating pattern.
Commissaries have tools available to help customers navigate their new healthy lifestyle. Harris recommends customers consider the following resources:
• Try some new recipes like Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Topping, Spinach and Prosciutto Crepe Pockets, or any of the other dietitian-approved recipes found on commissaries.com. Look for the dietitian-approved Thinking Outside the Box recipe in each sales flyer which features savings on featured ingredients.
• Use the monthly menu planning resources: the Printable Nutrition Month Dinner Meal Plan or the Tasty. Simple. Nutritious Dinner Meal Plan to add variety to your heart smart choices.
• When using Commissary Click2Go, the commissary’s online ordering service, customers can add the ingredients of their favorite dietitian-approved recipe to their virtual grocery cart by selecting the recipe they would like to add to their meal plan for the week and simply click the “Add to Cart” button beside each of the ingredients needed to prepare the meal.
“Typically, most forms of Heart Disease do not occur overnight, it is often a result of lifelong choices,” Harris said. “DeCA offers customers plenty of opportunities to make better product selections for their heart health while saving money significantly in the process.”
In Hawaii, authorized patrons have four commissaries they can shop at:
- Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe
- Pearl Harbor (at the NEX)
- Schofield Barracks
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.