The Heart-Check Food Certification Program’s nutrition requirements for certification are based on the sound science of the American Heart Association regarding healthy dietary recommendations including food categories, specific product ingredients and nutrient values.
To be certified, a product must meet specific nutrition requirements. The Heart-Check program has six different categories of certification, and each category has a different set of nutrition requirements. All products must also meet government regulatory requirements for making a coronary heart disease health claim. When a product is close to exceeding the limits for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat or sodium, independent third-party lab testing is conducted to verify that it meets our nutrition requirements.
Most nutrient requirements are per FDA/USDA RACC amounts (RACC = Reference Amount Customarily Consumed or “standardized serving size”). Some are per additional or other measurement amounts as noted with an asterisk below. Main Dish and Meal Products do not have RACC amounts.
*Measurement amounts in addition to or instead of RACC.
- See these nutrition requirements in a PDF chart.
- See the Sodium Limits by Category.
- See the list of Heart-Check certified foods.
The American Heart Association Heart-Check Food Certification Program is designed to help consumers make informed choices about the foods they purchase. The nutrition requirements are food-based and intended for healthy people over age two. The Heart-Check program is not a dietary solution for any particular condition or disease. People with medical conditions or dietary restrictions should follow the advice of their healthcare professionals.
Food manufacturers participating in the program pay administrative fees to the American Heart Association to cover program operating expenses. No donations are used to support the program.