The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
Stroll through any department at your local Heinen’s and you’ll notice the Club Fx Top 100 button affixed to certain products. This stamp indicates that it meets our Fx (food as medicine) criteria as a whole food, whole food derivative or smart alternative to more traditional products.
At Heinen’s we’ve taken great care to ensure those foods wearing a button are the healthiest options available to you. Here are the five rules we use to determine whether a product qualifies as Fx-approved.
1. Whole Food or Whole Food Derivative
Whole food is defined as: a natural food and especially an unprocessed one (such as vegetable or fruit).
Another definition to consider is a food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances.
These are the foods falling under the Fx Pillars, which are seven eating guidelines to help you achieve optimal health. They include greens, fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, fermented foods, nuts and seeds, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry and grass-fed beef. A list of these foods can be found on our website, or by visiting your local Heinen’s Wellness Department.
To meet our customer’s desires for healthier alternatives to more traditional products like chips, cookies and salad dressings, we’ve developed these additional four criteria.
2. Smarter Sweeteners
If you’re going to sweeten your food, we’d prefer you use lower glycemic sweeteners like raw honey, pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut nectar, dates or molasses. These forms of sugar tend to be a bit gentler on blood sugar; however, you still want to take caution and use them only sparingly. Also included in this list are more natural zero-calorie sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit and allulose.
Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners like aspartame, Sucralose and saccharine are forbidden ingredients in Fx-approved foods.
3. Minimal Added Sugar
The American Heart Association developed these daily guidelines for added sugar:
- Women: no more than 25 grams
- Men: no more than 36 grams
To help you meet this goal, Fx-approved foods can have no more than 10 grams of added sugar per serving.
4. Healthier Oils
Fx-approved fats and oils contain more anti-inflammatory omega-3 and monounsaturated fats and less omega-6 fats. They include avocado oil, almond oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, grass-fed butter/ghee, palm oil (sustainably sourced), sesame oil, expeller-pressed high oleic sunflower/safflower oil and walnut oil.
Examples of unhealthy oils you won’t find in Fx-approved foods are corn oil, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, soybean oil and vegetable oil.
5. No Artificial Colors or Preservatives
Sodium nitrite, BHA and BHT are a few of the many preservatives not allowed in Fx-approved foods. Artificial food dyes Blue #1, Blue #2, Red #3, Red #40, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 are also prohibited.
Our goal at Heinen’s is to make your shopping experience a healthy and enjoyable one. Just look for the Club Fx Top 100 buttons and you’ll feel more confident stocking your kitchen with foods to support your new Fx lifestyle.
For a personal tour to be introduced to the many Fx-approved products, schedule a free Club Fx In-Store Nutrition Consultation with your local Heinen’s Wellness Consultant.