National Park Service Brings Healthy Food to Concession Stands

healthy foodOne of the hardest things about travel (and especially road trips) is that when you’re stopping for a quick bite on the road, there aren’t a lot of healthy choices. Even if you pull off an exit and look for a restaurant, chance are you’d have a hard time finding healthy fare like fresh fruits and vegetables or lean meats on the menu. While I have noticed that the airports of New York City tend to carry health conscious options like chopped fruit and yogurt, many other places I visit there is a choice between slim jims, taquitos or soft serve. Now national parks, places dedicated to sustaining nature and being active among our country’s beauty, are taking a first step to fix all of that. On June 5th, the National Park Service released an announcement that they would roll out healthy concession items across the country as part of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program. Parks will still have hot dogs, but will have bison hot dogs as a leaner option available. They’ll carry things like black bean and grass-fed beef burgers, vegetable based soups, and produce gathered from local farms. The menu is priced affordably, and tries to use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, with the main goal of keeping a healthy vacation – walking around a national park- chock full of healthy benefits.

13% of Adult Calories= Added Sugar


A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report (that I read about on The Huffington Post) found that between the years of 2005 and 2010, adults in the United States consumed 13% of their total daily calories through added sugars. While this is technically within the recommended 5-15% range recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, this span is supposed to include all sugar and all solid fat. If 13%, already near the top margin, is solely sugar than it seems most adults are getting out of the healthy zone and into the danger zone with their diets.

The report breaks it down, and nearly 70% of the sugar came from food sources with only around 30% attributed to beverages, with the majority coming from food consumed within the home rather than from eating out. So, it seems that Mayor Bloomberg may be able to knock it off with his war on soda. This new data may explain NYC’s shift from anti-soda campaign to the subway packaged/processed food ads. Additionally, men tend to consume more sugar calories than women, and there is an association apparent in which people of lower income brackets consume more sugar.  It’s important to note how much sugar you are consuming, and if you’re in a higher risk group, because eating too much can lead to diseases like Type 2 diabetes, or increase the risk of obesity. Key an eye out for the sugar content of foods in your pantry, checking labels and watching out for processed or pre-packaged foods.