December 20, 2016

2 Min Read
Hass Avocados are included in a new list of fruits and vegetables the FDA says can now be labeled "heart-healthy" because of their nutritional value.

Fresh Hass avocados can now be legally labeled “heart-healthy.” Oh, but there’s more.

The interim rule from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows all other raw fruits and vegetables not previously labeled heart-healthy to be included in the regulation..

Effective immediately, the rule applies to fruits and vegetables that did not previously comply with the “low fat” definition and/or the minimum nutrient content requirement to make the claim.

This is in line with the FDA’s recent guidance to redefine the “healthy” nutrient content claim, which took into consideration the breakdown between saturated and unsaturated fats in light of new evidence and dietary recommendations in the recently published 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

The move aligns dietary guidance with current nutritional science that suggests fruits and vegetables support heart health.

According to the Hass Avocado Board, the study demonstrates that participants (overweight but otherwise healthy adults) who incorporated one fresh Hass avocado into their daily diet for five weeks reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol levels more than a moderate fat diet without avocado or a low fat diet without avocado.

In other words, it wasn’t merely the lack of fat that made a positive impact, but the inclusion of “good” fats that helped.

While the study can’t be generalized to all populations, it provides further evidence that avocados may have positive effect on cardiovascular disease biomarkers.

“This ruling is a huge opportunity for the entire Hass avocado industry, as it confirms that fresh avocados play an important nutritional role in a heart-healthy diet,” said Emiliano Escobedo, Executive Director of the Hass Avocado Board (HAB). “All fresh Hass avocados have long been recognized for their range of health and wellness benefits, and now we can more directly promote their positive role in a heart-healthy diet.”

HAB’s Nutrition Research Program, established in 2010, is committed to increasing awareness and improving understanding of the unique benefits of avocados to human health and nutrition. This new guidance on heart health is in line with the latest body of research exploring the relationship between avocado consumption and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is an agriculture promotion group established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass avocados directs HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Funding for HAB comes from Hass avocado producers and importers in the United States.

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