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WASHINGTON - U.S. regulators have said makers of olive oil products can now make the claim that their products might reduce the risk of heart disease.
The Food and Drug Administration said in a statement that it made the decision based on "limited but not conclusive evidence that suggests that consumers may reduce their risk of (heart disease) if they consume monounsaturated fat from olive oil and olive oil-containing foods in place of foods high in saturated fat," without increasing the number of calories consumed.
According to the FDA, labels must state that consumers' intake of olive oil should replace a similar amount of saturated fat, but should not increase the number of calories taken in each day.
The FDA's new "qualified claims" policy for foods allows food companies to make claims about their products' health benefits when the weight of the scientific evidence supports the claim, but not all of the data are in.