Cleveland Clinic Go! Foods Criteria


Cleveland Clinic dietitians and wellness experts developed Go! Foods to give you the green light so you’re sure you’re making the healthiest food selections. Cleveland Clinic nutrition experts certify that foods carrying the Go! Foods label meet national nutritional guidelines. Cleveland Clinic’s Go! Foods program makes it easier to find the most healthy food choices.

Scientific evidence that links eating habits to increased risk of certain diseases and conditions proves that “you are what you eat”.

All Go! Foods meet these nutritional criteria

Minimal Saturated Fat
Less than 4 grams for main dishes; less than 2 grams for side dishes, soups and desserts
Reason: Saturated fats turn on genes that cause inflammation and hardening of arteries, and are associated with higher bad LDL cholesterol levels. This increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and some cancers. Foods high in saturated fats include full-fat dairy products, red meat, coconut oils and palm oils.

No Trans Fat
Reason: Trans fat has no redeeming qualities! It increases bad LDL cholesterol and decreases good HDL cholesterol, raising the risk of heart attack and stroke. Although trans fat is found in small amounts in some meats and dairy products, most is consumed in the form of hydrogenated oils, which are added to stabilize products and lengthen shelf life. Products that claim to be “trans fat free” have less than 0.5 grams per serving. The Cleveland Clinic, believes that no amount of trans fat is acceptable and have eliminated trans fat altogether.

Minimal Added Sugars and Syrups
Less than 4 grams for main dishes and desserts; less than 2 grams for side dishes and soups
Reason: Adding sugar translates to empty calories and causes blood sugar to fluctuate. High blood sugar increases your risks of kidney disease and all arterial aging diseases, including skin wrinkling, impotence, stroke and heart attack.

100% Whole Grain
Reason: Whole grains are a vital source of fiber. Fiber has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke and certain cancers, maintain blood sugar and insulin levels, assist with regular bowel movements and keep you feeling fuller longer. Women need about 25 grams and men generally need 35 grams of fiber per day. This is hard to achieve by eating refined breads, pastas and rice, from which the fiber has been removed.

Minimal Sodium
No more than 600 mg in entrees; 480 mg in sides and desserts
Reason: High sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke and worsening of kidney disease, heart failure and other conditions. The general recommendation is that no more than 2,300 mg of sodium should be consumed per day – about the amount in one teaspoon of salt.