If fast foods and sweets are your diet downfall, it’s been a tough week. It is understandable if you find yourself navigating a grocery store or perusing a restaurant menu with a little more trepidation than usual.
 
The nutrition headlines that greeted you Monday might have undermined your efforts to eat a nutritious lunch: Research suggested dark chocolate consumption shares a correlation with decreased heart disease risk.
 
That seems like the perfect excuse, I know, to get some candy bars or – worse … fudge-infused ice cream – to pair with your strawberry-and-spinach salad, right?  
 
Then the FDA on Tuesday ordered restaurants to abandon within three years the use of trans fats. Trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) can, at times, seem ubiquitous. Food manufacturers use them to prepare everything from pastries to french fries, cookies and other foods. In recent years, certain fast food chains have phased them out of their food production. There was a time – before PHOs were linked to health risks – when their use was seen as favorable.
 
What was once good is now bad. What was bad is now seen as, at least, a little better. Is there at least one constant that can help you make sound food decisions? Yes, there is: The new Maryland WIC Farmers’ Market Cookbook has been released.
 
The cookbook not only features recipes for nutritious meals using Maryland-grown foods – it also includes information to connect Marylanders  to resources to improve their health. For example, it includes information on Maryland QUITLINE, which offers free help to people who want to quit their tobacco habits.