Charlotte Rommereim, Registered Dietitian

By Charlotte Rommereim, pig farmer and registered dietitian

Have you ever stopped at the meat counter looking for inspiration for your dinner, picked up a package of pork and wondered, “Is this a heart-healthy choice?”  To assist you in confidently choosing lean pork for your heart healthy protein, the Pork Checkoff worked with the American Heart Association® to certify select lean pork cuts with the Heart-Check Food certification program.  The boneless pork sirloin roast, with or without a natural solution, and the pork tenderloin are American Heart Association Heart-Check Certified Food Products.

The front of a food label can be confusing with an array of health messages and logos. To make your heart healthy food choices, with confidence, look for the familiar red heart with a white check mark logo and the American Heart Association name.  Boneless pork sirloin roast and pork tenderloin will have the identifiable mark.

When you spot the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark on the boneless pork sirloin roast and pork tenderloin, you’ll instantly know the food has been certified to meet heart healthy nutrition requirements.  As Heart-Check certified pork cuts, they meet specific criteria for total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. In addition to meeting the heart healthy nutritional requirements, certified products also must contribute a beneficial nutrient. For pork that nutrient is protein, and a 3-ounce serving of pork tenderloin or boneless pork sirloin roast provides an excellent source of protein along with thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and phosphorus.

A recent study showed the value of selecting foods with the Heart-Check mark. People who picked foods with the Heart-Check mark were more likely to eat healthy and have fewer heart disease risk factors.  This is important when you consider heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and stroke ranks fourth.  A heart-healthy diet pattern can help significantly reduce the risk for both.  By using the Heart-Check mark to guide your food choices you are taking a step in the direction of a healthier you.

Shoppers rely on food grocers as a trusted ally in meeting their wellness needs. The Heart-Check mark is a clear message of wellness.

“After learning from Adria Huseth RDN, LD, CPT & Manager of Nutrition Communications and Research for Pork Checkoff of the American Heart Association Heart-Check certified pork cuts, I shared the opportunity to add the Heart-Check mark to fresh pork tenderloin with our Price Chopper/Market 32 Meat Team, said Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN, Senior Nutritionist for Price Chopper supermarkets in the northeastern U.S. ”They jumped at the chance to add it to our program. We have a seen continuous growth with other items that earned the designation and were happy to bring it to our shoppers.”

For a heart-healthy diet, eat a variety of foods from all the food groups – fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts and legumes and for your heart-healthy protein choice, boneless pork sirloin roast or pork tenderloin. For a safe, juicy, tender, delicious serving of heart-healthy pork, cook to an internal cooking temperature of 145ᴼ with a three-minute rest.  Check out other healthy pork recipes on pork.org for your next tasty meal. *

*Heart-Check certification does not apply to recipes.