Heart-Check Mark: Non-Certifiable Foods

Updated:Nov 12,2013

The American Heart Association does not certify desserts because we advocate limiting the amount of discretionary calories in the diet that come from added sugars. Therefore, the dessert category is closed to certification.

For the Heart-Check Food Certification Program, desserts are defined as:

  • All cakes (including angel food, chiffon and sponge cakes; cheesecake; pineapple upside-down cake; fruit, nut and vegetable cakes; Boston cream pie; and cupcakes)
  • Brownies
  • Candied fruit
  • Coffee cakes
  • Cookies
  • Crumb cakes
  • Custard, pudding, gelatin
  • Doughnuts, Danishes, sweet rolls, toaster pastries
  • Eclairs and cream puffs
  • Grain-based dessert bars, such as fig bars
  • Ice cream, ice milk, frozen yogurt and sherbet; frozen flavored ice and pops; frozen fruit juice bars; gelato 
  • Pie filling
  • Pies, cobblers, fruit crisps, turnovers and other pastries
The food and beverage categories below are also closed to certification for one of three reasons:

  1. They do not align with American Heart Association nutrition recommendations.
  2. Government regulatory requirements limit the use of a heart symbol within the product category.
  3. Program nutritional guidelines have not been developed for this category. 
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Candy or confections
  • Dietary supplements
  • Grain-based/cereal bars
  • Liquid vegetable oils, margarines, cooking sprays, dressings for salads, mayonnaise, sandwich spreads, mayonnaise-type dressings and spray types
  • Medical foods
  • Meal replacements
  • Snacks (except unsweetened popcorn)
  • Stanol or sterol-containing products
View an up-to-date list of heart-healthy Heart-Check certified foods.