FDA allows heart-health claim for walnuts

Julia Rommelfanger

July 16, 2003

Wed, 16 Jul 2003 20:30:00

Washington, DC - Packages of walnuts may from now on advertise a cardiac benefit, the FDA announced on July 15, 2003.

The organization approved the first "qualified health claim" for food items, saying that packets of walnuts may contain the following statement: "Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces per day of walnuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. See nutrition information for fat content."

A handful for a healthy heart

The amount cited equals roughly a handful of nuts. Walnuts are known to contain omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the amount of C-reactive protein, and important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The FDA's approval of the benefit claim was issued in response to a petition filed by the California Walnut Commission citing broad scientific evidence for walnuts being part of a heart-healthy diet. In addition to walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and peanuts are also now allowed to advertise a health benefit.

On July 10, 2003 the FDA proposed fewer restrictions on the amount of scientific proof necessary for health claims on food packages.

Related links

1. [HeartWire > News; Aug 19, 2002]

2. [HeartWire > News; Jul 2, 2002]


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