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Healthy at Work

 

Get the full flavor and convenience of dining without sacrificing good nutrition. Working with registered dietitians, many San Antonio dining locations have identified menu items that meet general standards for good nutrition. From drive-throughs to sit-downs, from the adult entrées to kids meals, you and your family now have a variety of delicious choices.

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio Restaurant Association and the Texas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics joined forces to create the Healthy Restaurants Coalition to promote healthy food choices in restaurants and good nutrition within the community.


The ¡Por Vida! Meal Standards Are No More Than:
700 Calories
8 grams Saturated Fat
12 grams Added Sugars
750 mg Sodium (salt)
No Fried Foods
No Hydrogenated or Partially-Hydrogenated Oils

The ¡Por Vida! Single Entrée Standards Are No More Than:
300 Calories
3.5 grams Saturated Fat
5 grams Added Sugars
325 mg Sodium (salt)
No Fried Foods
No Hydrogenated or Partially-Hydrogenated Oils
 
The ¡Por Vida! Side Item Standards Are No More Than:
200 Calories
2 grams Saturated Fat
3.5 grams Added Sugars
215 mg Sodium (salt)
No Fried Foods
No Hydrogenated or Partially-Hydrogenated Oils


The Evolution of the ¡Por Vida! Nutrition Standards

The Por Vida Nutrition Standards were created in 2009 and are based off the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a publication of the nutrition recommendations for our nation and are updated every 5 years based on the most current nutrition research and knowledge of the time.

In March 2016, an advisory group of 14 local registered dietitians and public health professionals met after the release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines and compared the new guidelines to the ¡Por Vida! nutrition standards. The advisory group made recommendations on how to adapt the ¡Por Vida! nutrition standards to be consistent with the new guidelines and changes were approved then by Metro Health staff.

As of April 1, 2016 all new ¡Por Vida! restaurant and business partners will be held to the new nutrition standards and within 6 months all existing partners will also be in compliance.


The Changes to the ¡Por Vida! Nutrition Standards from 2009 to 2016

Removals
Total fat has been removed from the nutrition criteria due to a greater understanding of and appreciation for the health benefits of plant oils and whole food sources of fats including avocados, seeds, & nuts. Keeping the calorie and saturated fat limits will naturally keep the total fat in check.

Reductions
All ¡Por Vida! approved items are currently trans-fat free and health professionals agree that trans-fat intake should be zero or near zero from hydrogenated oil sources. Changing from 0.5 grams to zero grams is in line with the current industry and health standards.

Additions
The new dietary guidelines emphasize decreasing added sugar intake for obesity, heart disease, & and diabetes prevention. Added sugars do NOT include naturally occurring sugars in fruit, dairy, and starch foods but refer to the sugar added during cooking or processing. Foods currently being offered as part of ¡Por Vida! meals affected by this are mostly yogurts, smoothies, & parfaits. The addition of no hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils closes the loophole of being able to call a food trans-fat free even if there is a small amount of hydrogenated oils.

 

Let ¡Por Vida! recognize your restaurant! 

This free program promotes restaurants and food service by identifying the healthy food choices on their menus and labeling them with the logo. The ¡Por Vida! program is proudly supported by: The San Antonio Restaurant Association, The Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Food Distributors, government and non-profit health agencies.  

To join this free local initiative call the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District 210.207.2722 or send us an Email: Contact the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

The ¡Por Vida! program started in San Antonio in 2009 and has been a successful model for collaborating with restaurant owners and chefs to label and market healthy menu options. Since then, the program has grown to include more communities in Texas. 

Check out the participating communities so that you can find healthy ¡Por Vida! options on your next vacation or business trip! 

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