The United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) announced that the first eight restaurants in San Diego have completed REAL Certification. The announcement was made at the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s (ACLM) conference, which is utilizing REAL Certified foodservice for all of the conference meals. The annual ACLM conference attracts over 500 physicians and other healthcare professionals including notables such as physicians Dean Ornish, Joel Fuhrman, and David Katz.

“Diabetes and obesity continue to be the fastest growing chronic diseases, but the good news is that they can be treated and frequently reversed through lifestyle changes,” says Susan Benigas, ACLM executive director. “As Americans increasingly rely on food prepared by others, it’s critical that wholesome, healthful options become widely accessible, which is why we are working with REAL Certified.”

REAL Certified, or Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership, is a holistic nutrition and sustainability certification program. The first restaurants in San Diego to be REAL Certified are: NINE-TEN, Allure, Cowboy Star, Moncai, Sea & Smoke, Solace and the Moonlight Lounge, The WineSellar and Brasserie, and Urban Solace. Each of these foodservice establishments satisfied prerequisites and earned sufficient points in the areas of nutrition, preparation, sourcing, and leadership.

“We have a growing generation of Americans where cooking—instead of eating out—has become the special occasion,” says Lawrence Williams, CEO of the USHFC. “But it’s critical to recognize that when you outsource your food, you give up control over decisions that have long-term health consequences.”

Developed by the United States Healthful Food Council, REAL Certified is the emerging national standard for nutrition and sustainability best practices in the foodservice industry.