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The American Heart Association (AHA) has certified almonds with its signature Heart-Check mark to signify that they are a heart-healthy food.
According to the 2009 AHA Quantitative Study, more than half of shoppers use the check mark as a deciding factor when choosing a new product.
"Nutrition research has long supported the heart health benefits of almonds," said Jenny Heap, health professional marketing manager, Almond Board of California. "Now consumers will be able to more easily identify almonds in the supermarket as a heart-smart food, helping take the guess work out of shopping."
According to the FDA, scientific evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
In each one-ounce serving, almonds provide 6 grams of protein, 13 grams of good unsaturated fat, only 1 gram of saturated fat, are naturally cholesterol-free, and contain fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin, all of which contribute to a healthy heart.
In related news, the Almond Board of California has launched a series of commercials highlighting the heart-healthy attributes of almonds. The commercials, which are airing on ESPN and the Discovery Channel, can be seen on You Tube.
Based in Modesto, Calif., the Almond Board of California promotes almonds on behalf of the more than 6,000 California Almond growers and processors.
The AHA established the Heart-Check mark in 1995 to give consumers a system for identifying heart-healthy foods. Nearly 900 products that bear the Heart-Check mark have been screened and verified by the association to meet criteria for heart-healthy foods. A complete list of certified products and participating companies is available online.