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Georgia Farm Bureau peanut packets certified as heart healthy

The American Heart Association allows the Farm Bureau to include its insignia on the packets

Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, left, and GFB Peanut Advisory Committee Chairman Wes Shannon, right, unveil the new Georgia Farm Bureau peanut packets that carry the American Heart Association insignia indicating that peanuts are a heart-healthy snack. (Special photo)

Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, left, and GFB Peanut Advisory Committee Chairman Wes Shannon, right, unveil the new Georgia Farm Bureau peanut packets that carry the American Heart Association insignia indicating that peanuts are a heart-healthy snack. (Special photo)

MACON — Packets of peanuts distributed by the Georgia Farm Bureau now have the American Heart Association seal signifying the one-ounce snacks as heart healthy.

Farm Bureau officials unveiled the new packaging that includes the Heart Association’s “Heart Check” insignia at its 76th annual convention earlier this month.

The symbol means the Heart Association considers the Georgia Farm Bureau branded snacks to be healthy when incorporated into an overall healthy diet.

“We’re really proud to have the seal on the packet and for people to see that peanuts are good for the heart,” state farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said.

The one-ounce GFB peanut packets have 100 mg of sodium, which is below the AHA certification criteria limit of 140 mg of sodium per label serving of nuts. Farm Bureau officials noted that peanuts are naturally low in sodium, allowing surface salt to flavor the product. The oil-roasted salted peanuts generally contain less sodium than one one-ounce slice of bread, GFB officials said.

“We’ve known for a long time that peanuts were good for us, so to have the American Heart Association seal on the packet means an awful lot,” said GFB Peanut Advisory Committee Chairman Wes Shannon.

Peanuts are high in many important nutrients for overall health. They are naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat. Peanuts are a good source of folic acid, Niacin, Vitamin E and potassium and magnesium, which helps to maintain normal blood pressure. A study conducted by Penn State University and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet that includes peanuts and peanut butter can lower cardiovascular disease risk by 21 percent, Farm Bureau officials said.

Georgia farmers produce almost half of the peanuts grown in the United States.

Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the state.