FRESNO, Calif., April 26, 2012 - The American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark* will now appear on select pistachio nuts grown and marketed by members of the American Pistachio Growers (APG). This coveted certification may now appear on packages and promotional materials featuring roasted and salted pistachio kernels, roasted and unsalted pistachio kernels, roasted and salted pistachios in the shell and roasted, unsalted pistachios in the shell.
Since its creation in 1995, the Heart-Check food Certification Program has helped consumers eat healthier and identify heart-healthy foods. Late last year this certification program expanded to include certain nuts, fish and other foods higher in the “better fats.”
“We have always known that good things come in small packages when it comes to the nutritional benefits of pistachios,” says Judy Hirigoyen, APG’s director of global marketing. She continues, “A one-ounce serving of pistachios, that’s about 49 nuts, has no cholesterol and contains a host of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, in addition to seven grams of monounsaturated and four grams of polyunsaturated fats that are considered heart healthy in the context of a healthy dietary pattern.”
In recent years the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recognized that tree nuts, including pistachios, can be part of a heart-healthy diet.
The Heart-Check mark has become a nutritional icon and, according to the American Heart Association, has been shown to have the strongest aided brand awareness and trust among leading on-package nutrition icons.
Pistachios will now be listed among certified products at heartcheckmark.org. For more information about pistachios go to www.AmericanPistachios.org.
About American Pistachio Growers
American Pistachio Growers is a voluntary trade association representing members who are pistachio growers, processors and industry partners in California, Arizona and New Mexico. These states represent 100% of the domestic commercial pistachio production. APG pistachios are the “Official Snack” of the USA Water Polo Teams and Miss California. Pistachios are now one of the top four agricultural exports from California, and growing.
About the Heart-Check Mark
The American Heart Association established the Heart-Check mark in 1995 to give consumers an easy, reliable system for identifying heart-healthy foods as a first step in building a sensible eating plan. Nearly 900 products that bear the Heart-Check mark have been screened and verified by the association to meet criteria for heart-healthy foods. To learn more about the Heart-Check mark, and to see a complete list of certified products and participating companies and the nutritional criteria, visit www.heartcheckmark.org.
*All certified nuts, including salted varieties, must meet the American Heart Association’s nutritional criteria which include a limit of 140 mg or less of sodium per label serving size. Please note that the Heart-Check Food Certification does not apply to information reached through hyperlinks unless expressly stated. For more information, see the AHA nutrition guidelines at: heartcheckmark.org/guidelines.