Welcome to the Good Health. Great Taste. Program at McCaffrey's
McCaffrey’s reputation is built upon recipes that emphasize the freshest ingredients and, whenever possible, in-season and local foods. This starts with healthy, wholesome ingredients. The chefs and staff at McCaffrey’s have taken this effort one step further by establishing the Good Health. Great Taste. program to recognize those prepared and case items that meet certain nutritional criteria.
How was the criteria developed for the Good Health. Great Taste. Program?
The criteria was developed by our Registered Dietitian, Jill Kwasny, after review of nutrition recommendations from leading health organizations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), the American Heart Association, The US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the National Institute of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.
Why not use the same criteria that we see on food labels already on the shelves?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have established specific regulations to ensure that label claims and statements are not misleading to customers. For example, according to the FDA, a food labeled “healthy” means:
The food is low in fat and saturated fat, contains 480mg or less of sodium and 60mg or less of cholesterol per reference amount or labeled serving (whichever is larger), and provides at least 10% Daily Value per reference amount for one of these nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein, or fiber.
Notes and exceptions for “healthy” claims:
- For products with a small serving size, the food must meet the criteria on a 50 gram basis.
- For products that qualify as a main dish or meal, the food must meet the criteria above except that it may contain 600mg or less of sodium and 90 mg or less of cholesterol per labeled serving.
- For single ingredient raw meat, poultry, seafood, or game meat, the food must meet the criteria above except that it may contain less than 5g of fat, 2g of saturated fat, and 95mg of cholesterol per reference amount or 100g (whichever is larger). [Note that the criteria for “healthy” in these foods is the same as “extra lean” for fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.]
- Raw fruits and vegetables, canned or frozen single ingredient fruits and vegetables, mixtures of single ingredient raw, canned, or frozen fruits and vegetables, and enriched cereal grain products that conform to certain standards of identity are exempt from the requirement of providing at least 10% Daily Value for vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein, or fiber.
Basically, to use FDA and USDA labeling terminology, McCaffrey's kitchen would need to turn into a food laboratory and food manufacturing plant! For more information of food labeling, labeling claims and reading labels.
What are the nutrition guidelines for McCaffrey's Good Health. Great Taste. Program?
The nutrition guidelines for the Good Health. Great Taste. program were designed to help our customers identify those foods that promote a healthful, balanced diet. The entrees and sides that bear the Good Health. Great Taste. logo have met a threshold as to how many calories and how much saturated fat and sodium it contains. The exact criteria are outlined below:
Defined as 4 oz of a protein or 6 oz of a mixed dish that would be consumed as a main course. A mixed entrée may include a pasta dish with a source of protein such as chicken, tofu or beans. An entrée will contain:
- Less than or equal to 3 grams of saturated fat
- Less than or equal to 500 mg of sodium
- Less than or equal to 400 calories
Defined as a 4 oz serving or vegetable, pasta or salad or a 6 oz mixed dish that would typically compliment at main course. A side will contain:
- Less than or equal to 2 grams of saturated fat
- Less than or equal to 375 mg of sodium
- Less than or equal to 225 calories
We have tried very hard to be consistent with our placement of items in the entrée and side categories. We realize some foods could fit equally well in to both categories. Regardless of the category, the nutrition information will be available to you. If you have a question about any food, feel free to contact our Registered Dietitan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our dedicated nutrition line at 215-750-7713.
Please note, standard portion sizes in the food industry and within the FDA are typically 100 grams which equates to about 3.5 ounces. We have taken the liberty to “up” our portion sizes to reflect a more realistic serving for our customers. To help people eat in accordance with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate, McCaffrey’s suggested portions are based upon standard serving sizes. For example, suggested servings for meat, poultry and fish are generally 4 ounces, cooked. A recommended portion of a starch-based side dish, such as rice or potatoes, is generally ½ cup. Vegetable side dishes are a minimum of ½ cup. If a dish is mixed with vegetables, the portion size is 6 ounces.
In addition, while some items, such as salads, are easily portioned out to provide 4 or 6 ounces, other items are not. While we can offer you a small or large piece of chicken or fish, we can not guarantee that the piece of chicken or fish will be exactly 4 oz. As the food is sold by weight, you will know exactly how much of an item you are receiving and you can decide on how much of the item you want to consume and when.
Why does McCaffrey’s nutrition criteria only address for calories, saturated fat and sodium?
You may be noticing some changes in the food labels as you push your cart up and down the aisles at McCaffrey’s. Many of the packaged foods have “Nutrition Keys” on the front of the package that the food industry refers to as “Facts Up Front”. The “Nutrition Keys” stress the importance of informing the public of the calories, saturated fats, sodium and sugars that are in a particular product. While the exact format of the “Facts Up Front” have not been decisively determined, the nutrition parameters mentioned previously have been identified by the FDA, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturing Association (GMA) as the “nutrients to watch”. As a direct result of the evolving food labels, our Good Health. Great Taste. program focuses on calories, saturated fats and sodium content. Because our prepared foods do not contain a significant amount of sugar (like you might find in some cereals) this information is not part of our current criteria.
What are "Facts Up Front" and "Nutrition Keys"
“Facts Up Front” summarizes key nutrition information from the Nutrition Facts Panel on the front of food and beverage packages. The labels aim to help busy consumers make better nutrition decisions while shopping.
Facts up Front were developed in response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s request that the food and beverage industry improve efforts to help consumers eat more healthfully. Facts Up Front, is being led by the health and medical experts along with the Grocery Manufacturing Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). The number of items bearing Facts Up Front icons in the marketplace continues to rise.
The front of the nutrition label will include:
- Calories per serving
- Amount and percentage of saturated fat
- Amount and percentage of sodium
- Amount of total sugars
The label also includes up to 2 values for nutrients to encourage such as potassium, fiber, and some vitamins.
But why focus on saturated fats and not all fats?
As much as we deny it, we do require some fat in our diets! However, different fats affect our health differently. The “better” fats which include the monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, can help lower blood cholesterol levels when they replace saturated and trans fats in the diet and may lower your risk of developing heart disease when they are consumed in moderation.
The “bad” fats, include saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats and trans fats can raise LDL (low-density lipoproteins or “bad” cholesterol) levels in your blood and increase your risk of developing heart disease.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of saturated fats you eat to less than 7 percent of total daily calories. That means if you need about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 140 of them should come from saturated fats. That’s about 16 grams of saturated fats a day. Remember, this 7 percent target applies to an entire day’s intake and is not a limit for each individual food item. By limiting the saturated fats in the Good Health. Great Taste. criteria, we hope to make it easier for our customers to meet those dietary recommendations.
Why not provide trans fat information in the Good Health. Great Taste. nutrition criteria?
Trans fats are typically found in processed foods. The foods in the Good Health. Great Taste. program and at McCaffrey’s prepared foods counter are made from fresh, wholesome ingredients. We do not add or use any trans fats in the preparation of our food. There may be some trans fats found in some items that are used to prepare some foods, such as the pie crust used in quiches or pot pies. In general, our chefs avoid using products that contain trans fats whenever possible.
For more information on fats and heart disease, visit the American Heart Association website at www.heart.org
Why include sodium information?
The typical American diet contains excessive amounts of sodium. The health consequences of excessive sodium include high blood pressure and its consequences, such as heart disease and stroke. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Institute of Medicine) include limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg/day and limiting even further if you have hypertension and other risk factors.
FYI – 2,300 mg of sodium is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt. Don’t forget, you may not be adding any salt on your food, but the sodium in the food you eat can easily exceed this amount if you are not careful. The average American consumes more that 3,400mg of sodium a day (about 1 ½ teaspoons of salt).
The Good Health. Great Taste. program will help our customers limit their sodium intake by identifying those items lower in sodium. Our chefs ar always creating new recipes with less sodium in mind. They are also trying to reduce or eliminate the amount of salt in other recipes. Human taste buds are not sensitive enough to notice the reduction in salt of about 10 percent - and for many types of foods, up to 25 percent. That means home cooks, professional chefs, and the food industry can easily make "silent" - yet still meaningful - cuts in salt. Remember, you can always add salt at the table, but you can't remove it!
You may not be aware, but there is a National Salt Reduction Inititiative (NSRI), which includes the American Medical Association (AMA), American Heart Association (AHA), American Public Health Association (APHA), along with 45 national health organziations, cities, and states. This initiative is intended to promote gradual, achievable, substantive, and measureable reductions in the sodium content of packaged and restaurant foods. The NSRI goal is to reduce sodium intake by 20 percent over 5 years!
For more information on salt and salt reduction, click on: www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt.
How did you determine calorie parameters?
Everyone has different calorie requirements. It depends on you sex, your age, your activity level and your health, among other factors. While the calorie limits are set at 400 for an entrée and 225 calories for a side, the calorie amounts are often much lower. The FDA food labels identify 2,000 calories a day as the appropriate level for the average person trying to maintain a healthy weight. With the Good Health. Great Taste. program, you can select an entrée and two sides that provide 1/3 of your calorie needs, depending on the items you choose and the amount that you consume. Remember, when we talk about calories is it crucial to relate to portion size: 2,000 calories of carrots are still 2,000 calories!
How are nutritional values calculated?
The recipes used by our Commissary are entered into our computer system: the CBORD Food Service Suite. CBORD does nutrition analysis calculations based upon the USDA food nutrition database. The McCaffrey’s Registered Dietitian reviews the recipes and determines if it meets the criteria for the Good Health. Great Taste. program. If a recipe is adjusted for sodium or fat, a second analysis is completed on the FoodWorks system to determine if the revisions meet the nutrition criteria for the Good Health. Great Taste. program. The original calculations are done per pound and per 100 grams, and then recalculated on 4 or 6 oz portions, depending on the individual product.
How can people get more information or give feedback?
We have a dedicated phone line that people can call to ask questions or leave comments. The number is: 215-750-7713. Please leave your contact information and your call will be returned within 48 hours. They can also email Jill Kwasny at email@example.com.