Nutrition — Providence gets rid of fryer in attempt to promote healthier lifestyle choices

Before getting rid of its fryer, Providence Newberg Medical Center will have one last hurrah, dubbed “Fryday.”

“More than a year ago, Providence Health & Services-Oregon region signed the “Health Care Without Harm” pledge to treat food, including production and distribution, as preventive medicine,” said Karen Holmberg, dietary services manager for Providence. “We are working to create healthier communities by providing healthy food choices in all of our facilities.”

One change includes removing fried food from the menu and replacing those options with healthy alternatives.

“We will be offering healthier choices which will include whole grains, variety of salads, fresh vegetables and fruits,” Holmberg said. “We will use cooking methods that reduce the amount of fat like baking, grilling and roasting.”

In a celebration of sorts, before the change goes into effect March 26, “Fryday” will take place March 21, clearing out the fried food stock.

“Since Friday is the last day we’ll use our deep-fat fryer, and we don’t want to waste the food we’ve already purchased, we thought it would be fun to have a big fried food menu one last time,” she said. “Our goal is to make the transition fun and lighthearted.”

It is a transition, she said, that might be difficult for some, as fried foods are often sources of comfort.

“Many of our caregivers, patients and visitors have told us they are trying to make healthier choices and they have asked for our support,” said Mike Antrim, marketing manager. “As an organization, we are leading by example, working to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

Holmberg said even small changes in lifestyle can have a significant impact on long term health.

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