Heart Healthy

New to our stores in 2020 are Nutrition Pathways. Nutrition Pathways are the icons printed on the shelf tags in-store and can be found when shopping online via the Fastlane at shopthefastlane.com. Due to limited space, up to four pathways can be printed on the shelf tags in-store, but all pathways that a product qualifies for can be found on Fastlane.

Heart Healthy on store tag example.
Nutrition Pathways highlight the most nutritious foods as well as popular lifestyle choices throughout our store. Whether managing a health condition, following a food lifestyle, or just wanting to make healthier choices, we will help you find the better-for-you and lifestyle items that you are looking for.

Since February just celebrated Heart Health Month and March is National Nutrition Month, we are excited to highlight our first nutrition pathway, ‘Heart Healthy’. Heart Healthy is one of our favorite pathways since it is appropriate for most of the population including those with heart disease and/or diabetes. The diet to treat heart disease and/or diabetes is the same diet that should be followed to prevent developing heart disease and/or diabetes. A heart healthy diet consists of plenty of fruits and veggies along with whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.  

Foods within the Heart Healthy pathway are considered a ‘heart healthy’ food by the American Heart Association (AHA). According to the AHA, a heart healthy food meets the following guidelines:

  • Contains less than 6.5 g of Total Fat
  • Contains 1 g or less of Saturated Fat and 15% or less calories from saturated fat
  • Contains less than 0.5 g of Trans Fat
  •  Contains 20 mg or less of Cholesterol 
  • Meets the sodium limits for the particular food category the item is in; either up to 140 mg, 240 mg or 360 mg per label serving*, or 480 mg per label serving and per RACC*. 140 mg or less of sodium is considered ‘low sodium’. The daily sodium recommendation is less than 2,300 mg per day or less than 1,500 mg per day depending on age and health conditions
  • Contains naturally occurring Beneficial Nutrients such as 10% or more of the Daily Value for 1 of the 6 nutrients (vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein, or dietary fiber)

Heart Healthy Pathway Icons
To learn more about the AHA Heart Healthy Guidelines, please visit:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/HeartSmartShopping/Heart-Check-Food-Certification-Program-Nutrition-Requirements_UCM_300914_Article.jsp#.XihvLyRMGEe

In the interest of health, we took the AHA Heart Healthy Guidelines a step further. In addition to the requirements listed above, all foods in the Heart Healthy pathway will contain less than 10 grams of added sugar per serving. Consumption of excess added sugar, such as in sodas and processed snack foods, often replace healthy, nutritious foods and puts us at risk for weight gain which in turn increases our risk for chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes. Since we have customized this pathway to count for added sugar, you will only find it at our stores and on Fastlane! Stop in our store today and look for the Heart Healthy Pathway or shop the Heart Healthy Pathway on Fastlane.

As a partner on your wellness journey, we are here to help! Email our Registered Dietitian at [email protected] with any questions on Nutrition Pathways, Kids Crew, or nutrition & health.  

This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Stephanie Edson Wellness Specialist SpartanNash Company


Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.