Heart-Check Meal Certification Program (Foodservice)

women choosing from menu board in restaurant

In today’s hectic lifestyle, it’s tempting to hit the drive through or dash into a diner.

But the sad truth is that a lot of restaurant menu items are loaded with calories, sodium, saturated fat, and other things that can really do a number on your health--especially, when the convenience of restaurant food brings us to the table several times a week; it’s even more important to pick spots with healthy choices.

That’s why the American Heart Association is making it easy to find better options when eating away from home with the Heart-Check mark certification for heart-healthy meals.

Heart-Check Meal Certification 3.12.13

Simply look for the Heart-Check mark on the menu—it’s similar to the one you may recognize from heart-healthy foods in the grocery store.

When you see the Heart-Check mark on the menu, you’ll know right away that the meal has been certified to meet our nutritional standards.

Questions about Heart-Check Meal Certification

Are all red hearts on menus from the American Heart Association?

No, only the red heart with the white check mark is from the American Heart Association and meets our standards for heart-healthy meals

How is the Heart-Check mark on menus different from the one on food labels in the grocery store?

  • Certified meals will be identified on menus and menu boards in participating restaurants by a variation of the familiar Heart-Check mark currently used to certify packaged goods products.
  • We offer this guidance both in the grocery store and in restaurants because the AHA wants to make it easy to spot heart-healthy choices anywhere Americans find food. The design indicates “Meets Criteria For Heart-Healthy Meal” as pictured below.

    Heart-Check mark Certification seal

Are the nutritional criteria for both the meal and food certification programs the same?

  • Both types of American Heart Association certification are designed to point out heart-healthy options, but the criteria are not identical. There are minimal differences in the criteria that account for the differences between prepared meals and individual food items.
  • See the nutritional criteria for foods in the grocery store.
  • See the nutritional criteria for restaurant meals.