The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently affirmed a qualified health claim to let people know that peanuts and some other nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease when consumed regularly. A large number of studies found a 25 to 50 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease when one and a half ounces of peanuts or nuts were eaten five or more times a week. Some labels will soon carry the government-approved message “Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts, such as peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. See nutrition information for fat content.”
Planters, a major sponsor of the Plains Peanut Festival for the past four years, plans to place the heart health claim on their peanut jars as early as October. Planters also has new products that provide convenience and help consumers control portions. Look for the 1.75-ounce and 1-ounce packages of peanuts, which are becoming more widely available. Visit the Planters booth in the Planters Peanut Pavilion to pick up your free sample and peanut information.
Over half of the nuts eaten in the U.S. are peanuts. Peanuts are one of Mother Nature’s original health foods. In addition to containing over 75 percent of the heart-healthy unsaturated fat, peanuts contain protein and fiber that helps satisfy hunger for two to three hours. They are very rich in arginine, which helps to improve the flow of blood through the blood vessels. Peanuts are a fine source of fiber as well as of antioxidants, vitamin E, folate, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and phytosterols, all of which are thought to be important to health.
Two interesting web sites with fun facts, recipes and nutrition research information are www.peanut-institute.org and www.planters.com.
Studies suggest a small handful or packet of peanuts a day can keep the heart doctor away, so don’t delay: visit the Planters Peanut Pavilion on September 27, 2003.
The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization that supports nutrition research and develops educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles.