Heinen’s looks to change healthy eating with nutrition center

The grocery chain has opened a new center at its Mayfield Village location to help shoppers change diets according to personal health stats.

Mayfield, Ohio – It’s a new concept looking for a better way to connect health and wellness to the food you buy every day.

“We are a food store, and we always want to educate our employees about food,” says Jeff Heinen, co-owner of Heinen’s Fine Foods.

For more than 90 years, Heinen has been the local staple for all foods, but now they hope to add customized health in the form of a customized nutrition center within their Mayfield Village grocery store.

Why isn’t a grocery store the pharmacy of the future? Heinen asks. “So we set out to go down this path of trying to educate our customers about food and health and how they communicate.”

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Shoppers can go to a designated nutrition center and get a panel that tests blood and urine. The results are broken down into three pathways for health, digestive, immune and cardiovascular. Then, shoppers will meet with a doctor and nutritionist in Heinen to find out where they are and what they should eat to improve. They’ll have this information the next time they get a shopping cart.

“We worked to develop both a food and supplement plan to help move that needle in the right direction,” said Heinen registered dietitian Melanie Jaczyk.

“We think this is the future of medicine for a lot of different reasons,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Todd Pesek added. “That’s why we’re going this way.”

So how far does this path lead? For now, the dedicated feeding center is open and ready for shoppers in Mayfield Village, but Heinen hopes this is just the beginning. Depending on success, they would like to expand to other locations in the future.

“I think when people understand that ‘I can eat healthy food, it doesn’t cost me more, and by the way, it tastes good,’ it becomes easier,” Heinen said.

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