For generations, people have relied on red-and-white Campbell Soup Company cans for a quick meal or snack. Now these cans claims the soup they contain is heart-healthy but a lawsuit is challenging that statement. A lawsuit filed this week is checking out the validity of the “Heart-Check” certification by the American Heart Association.
Taking the Claims to Heart
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. People are concerned about their heart health and want to eat the right foods. The Campbell Soup Company has cans with a “Heart Check” certification by the American Heart Association. The lawsuit filed on Thursday claims this statement is false. According to the lawsuit, this seal of approval is misleading people. They think the products have “some cardiovascular benefit not enjoyed by products that have not been certified by the AHA.” While Campbell's soup might be “mmm, mmm good,” the question seems to be whether it is actually good for you.
Apparently the Campbell Soup Company pays to get this health-healthy certification. A nonprofit group permits them and other companies to use this “Heart Check” label – for a fee. ABC News reports the lawsuit indicates, “The AHA, for a fee, abandons its general, non-commercial dietary and nutritional guidelines.” However, there is an established criteria to use this certification. The product must contain no more than 480 milligrams of sodium in a serving.
The Actual Size of a Serving
This brings into mind the actual size of a serving. Often people eat an entire can of soup. Consider a can of Campbell's “Healthy Request” condensed Chicken Noodle Soup, an all-time favorite. Each half cup serving has 410 milligrams. There are actually two or more servings in a can. This turns into a whopping 820 milligrams of sodium. According to the AHA, people should try to eat 1,500 milligrams of sodium or less per day. Low sodium foods are supposed to have 140 milligrams or sodium or less per serving. People have to read the labels on food products carefully to reduce their sodium intake.
The named plaintiff in the lawsuit is Kerry O'Shea, a California resident. She and her attorneys are hoping to expand the suit into a class action. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey on Tuesday but the Campbell Soup Company claims it has not been served yet. O'Shea's attorney, Adam Levitt, says they are hoping to get compensation for O'Shea and other class members and send a message to corporate American about mislabeling and misrepresenting the qualities of certain products. Another pending labeling situation involves Budweiser and Coors. Anheuser Busch is questioning lofty claims made about the Coors can.
A heart healthy diet starts with whole foods. Often canned goods contain more sodium that people expect. It is essential to read labels and do the math before making a final choice. Fresh fruits and vegetables along with low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean meats are an easy way to establish a heart-healthy diet. Buying fruits and vegetables in-season is affordable and an excellent way to diversify your diet without compromising your health.
Image Source: Morgue File