Subway has announced that it is the first and only quick-service restaurant chain to apply and meet the American Heart Association's Heart-Check Meal Certification Program nutritional criteria.

This meal certification comes after a nearly 12-year relationship between the chain and the American Heart Association.

Subway's meal offerings that meet the American Heart Association's Heart-Check Meal Certification Program requirements will be indicated by a Heart-Check logo.

The Heart-Check appears on all Subway Fresh Fit meals featuring a variety of 6-inch subs served with apple slices and water, and Subway Fresh Fit for Kids meals served with apple slices and 12-ounce low-fat milk, along with a selection of salads served with apple slices, water and sweet onion dressing. These meals meet the Heart-Check's nutritional criteria for levels of sodium, calories, cholesterol, saturated fat and trans-fats. All of the Heart-Check items must be prepared using the recipes approved and certified to meet American Heart Association nutritional standards.

"Being the first restaurant to meet the stringent nutritional standards required for the American Heart Association's Heart-Check Certification program is another health milestone for Subway Restaurants," said Tony Pace, senior vice president, global chief marketing officer. "The Heart-Check reinforces our leadership as a healthy food option for the many Americans who want a simple way to enjoy eating better."

The American Heart Association's Heart-Check Meal Certification for restaurants was launched this week. The heart-check mark has appeared on heart-healthy products in grocery stores for 17 years.

"With Americans increasingly relying on fast, convenient, prepared food, caloric intake is up and nutrition value is down," said Gordon Tomaselli, M.D., president of the American Heart Association. "In fact, Americans have lost touch with what is in the foods they eat. That's why we are making it easy for consumers to make smart choices that are heart-healthy when eating outside the home, knowing they often don't have the benefit of reviewing the nutrition facts."

Subway also is a national supporter of the American Heart Association's My Heart My Life healthy living initiative, specifically sponsoring Jump Rope for Heart, Hoops for Heart and Heart Walks.

"From providing better-for-you options, such as the Fresh Fit Meals, to our continued efforts to identify areas to improve our products, like reducing sodium, our commitment to providing great tasting foods, which can be incorporated into a healthier lifestyle, is steadfast," said Lanette Kovachi, corporate dietitian for Subway. "We know we stand apart from others in the QSR industry for our leadership in these areas and we look to keep this momentum going as we move forward and push the nutritional profiles of our food further."

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