American Heart Association Heart Health Now Includes Pork

When I was growing up, pork chops were a regular feature on our dinner menu. Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t like food. And she doesn’t really like to cook. Those poor pork chops were flavorless and burned to a crisp each and every time. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that as an adult I avoided pork in all forms for years. The ads talking about the relative health benefits of pork intrigued me as I grew older and realized how little the food my mom cooked resembled what it was supposed too.

Pork is lower in saturated fat than it was twenty-one years ago. It’s naturally low in sodium – something those with heart problems have to watch out for in their diets. Pork tenderloin, in particular, is an excellent source of protein, thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorous, and niacin, according to the USDA database. Knowing that my mom has heart issues and is now on a reduced-sodium diet, and that my gram and so many others have struggled with their health as they grew older, I decided that it was time for me to grow up and get over my notions of the hockey puck pork chop my mom used to serve.

 This year, the Pork Association is participating in the ninth annual Women’s Day Red Dress Awards in celebration of having the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check icon added to its labels. When I was approached to receive a kit of goodies from the Pork and American Heart Association, I jumped on it to prove to myself that there’s more to pork than my mom showed me growing up. I’ve made pork tenderloin in my crock pot that came out wonderfully juicy and flavorful, which gave me hope that I can create delicious and healthy pork meals with just a little more of a push. And I was right. The American Heart Association cookbook that was included in the kit had a number of delicious pork recipes in it. It was hard to choose just one to start, but I went with the Pork with Salsa Verde, something that met a number of my needs last night.

First, it was cooked in a crock pot, saving me a ton of time. Second, it had primarily ingredients I keep in my pantry – I had to purchase only the pork and the tomatillos. Third, it was something I had hopes that Mister Man would enjoy. Fourth, it looked healthy to me – something to cook from scratch that didn’t have heavy sauces or ingredients with tons of calories and fat.

As it turns out, this is not the pork my mom used to make. While you still have to be careful not to overcook pork or it will become tough, I had no issues with this in the crock pot. The pork was easy to prepare, and it cooked beautifully, making a tasty but not too spicy sauce to accompany it. Mister Man, my child who insists everything is too spicy, loved it. He ate all of his and almost half of mine. And he ate the tomatillos because they were yummy, too. I love having meals that everyone in the house enjoys, and my husband loved that he could use the extra salsa verde as a dip for some tortilla chips. The true proof, however, was when the wee ones begged to have some of the leftovers in their lunch today. They were crushed when I told them it was all gone and only promising to make it again soon brought the smiles back to their faces.

Now my dilemma is which recipe to make next. Do I do a new pork recipe to try something else, or do I stick with what is apparently becoming a new family favorite? Either way, I know there’s pork on the menu again this week – and I feel good about it knowing that pork now contains the American Heart Association’s iconic Heart-Check mark. It’s a perfect way to celebrate the end of national Heart Health month, but one of you can continue to celebrate with the same kit of goodies I received.

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In the interest of full disclosure, I received a kit of goodies as described above. I was also compensated to write this post. That said, all opinions expressed remain my own.

Written by 5Minutes4Mom contributor Michelle, who is thrilled to report that Mister Man ate – and loved – cumin for the first time in his life. She’s now searching for more heart healthy recipes that contain spices he might find palatable. Some of those recipes may appear in the future on her blog Honest & Truly! You can also see what she’s cooking up by following her on Twitter where she tweets as @HonestAndTruly.



  1. AnnaZed says

    I make a roast pork loin that I have seared in a bit olive oil, anointed with thyme herb and pepper then laid a layer of thinly sliced granny smith apple all along its length (I paint the apple with a little olive oil too) then roasted in the oven. It comes out really juicy and nice. I discard the apples, but I prepare apple sauce (apples, water no sugar) to eat with this.

  2. Nadia says

    My favorite pork chop recipe is to simply fry the chops with a little bit of canola oil on both sides until they are golden. Then place them in a baking dish with one can of cream of mushrooms and some onions and broccoli. Then bake the whole thing for 30 minutes. The veggies will release their water and mix with the cream of mushrooms, creating a yummy sauce the chops with sit in.

  3. Melissa P. says

    We are actually have boneless pork for dinner tomorrow night. I usually use shake and bake. But for tomorrow night I plan to search out a recipe of a different kind. LOL

  4. says

    I use a lot of pork because it is lean, versatile, and pork chops and pork tenderloin can be prepared very quickly. Our current favorite is stuffed pork chops and a sweet potato hash with eggs that I developed for the National Pork Board. My husband has heart disease and the recipes on my website are heart healthy using spices, herbs, infused oils and vinegars instead of salt for added flavor.

  5. says

    love pulled pork in the crockpot. If i am cooking them in a pan, then my fav recipe is cooking them in olive oil, then adding shallots, cream, and wine for a yummy sauce. it’s my favorite!

  6. Denise K says

    We love pork in this household. Our favorite is my Mother’s recipe, of bread pork chops. We have this at least once a week at our house.

  7. Richard Morris says

    I’m not sure of the details but my mom makes a Sweet and Sour Rotisserie Pork Roast that rocks. I look forward to having it every holiday

  8. Margaret Smith says

    My favorite is breaded pork chops. We add a little caraway seeds to the breading mix and it tastes so delicious.
    Thanks so much.

  9. Maureen says

    My husband and I crush up Corn Flakes and put seasoning into the crushed up cereal and then coat pork chops with those dry ingredients. I then serve it with applesauce (for my husband)

  10. randi says

    I love to put a pork roast in the crock pot, slice an onion over & pour a can of sauerkraut over it & cook all day. I serve it with mashed potatoes & it’s so good!

  11. Theresa Shafer says

    Pork / Chicken adobo. Water / vinegar / garlic and the meat. Boil until done. Let sit in the frig, it gets yummier over time.

  12. elizabeth p says

    My husband does this amazing thing with apple butter (Jelly from Vermont Country Store) and pork. It is so good, he sits it overnight and slow cooks it oven, crock or grill, they all come out wonderful.

  13. ACMommy3 says

    I love making a Stuffed Pork Tenderloin — just slice open a tenderloin and pound flat. Then spread with a bit of olive oil, thinly sliced ham, lots of fresh baby spinach, and shredded mozzarella cheese (can also add sauteed mushrooms & onions if desired). Roll up and tie. Great grilled or in the oven, comes out soooo juicy and amazing! :-)

  14. Dara Nix says

    I don’t really HAVE a favorite pork recipe per se, but one of my all-time favorite comfort foods is Shake & Bake pork chops with mashed potatoes & gravy and green beans!

  15. Pauline M says

    I have a slow cooker recipe for sweet pork…. it uses brown sugar and coke marinade and we all love it!

  16. says

    I put pork chops or pork roast in a slow cooker, then cover with Vidalia Onion Dressing, or just cream of mushroom soup. Then cook for a few hours until it falls apart and melts in your mouth! Yum!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  17. Debbie C says

    My favorite is Fried Pork Chops, with just a light breading, like my Mom always made. I also love Smoker Pulled Pork and BBQ ribs and so many more dishes with pork.


  18. Danielle says

    I make a summer corn salad with pork cubed up. It is really good with spinach and cilantro, corn and red peppers. I found the recipe on Eat Better America

  19. RENE D says

    I love pouring Italian dressing on pork and cooking in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes. So good and tasty!

  20. says

    I like to put a pork loin roast in the roaster with salt, pepper, onion, bell pepper, and a little Cajun seasoning. I cook it on low all night, then the next morning I add potatoes and carrots and turn it up to high. My meal is ready by lunch.

  21. Laurie Emerson says

    I love making stuffed pork chops using the cranberry, raisin and orange stuffing my grandmother passed down to me.
    lauraemerson17 at yahoo dot com

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