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AHA: Almonds good for heart

  |   Feb. 29, 2012 at 8:57 AM
MODESTO, Calif., Feb. 29 (UPI) -- The American Heart Association certified almonds with its Heart-Check mark to signify to U.S. consumers they are a heart-healthy food, a trade group said.

"Nutrition research has long supported the heart health benefits of almonds," Jenny Heap of the Almond Board of California said in a statement. "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."

Two decades of almond research was recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration showing that the nut's nutrient profile supports healthy heart functions, Heap said.

"Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove 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," the FDA said. "One serving of almonds (28 grams) has 13 grams of unsaturated fat and only 1 gram of saturated fat."

In each one-ounce serving, or about a handful, 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.

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