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Walnuts Rank High on New Nutrition Scales
Date:2/20/2008

New Measures Add Understanding Not Confusion

FOLSOM, Calif., Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Dennis Balint, CEO of California Walnut Commission: Given the state of the national waistline, the need for better consumer understanding of healthy food choices is clear. We welcome new independent nutrition rating systems that will soon appear in grocery stores and on packaging. While some fear that this will be confusing, our research says that people want more information, presented in a simple, easy-to-understand format.

Walnuts and other tree nuts and peanuts were recently ranked using the Index of Nutritional Quality (INQ) nutrient testing system at the Food Consulting Company of Del Mar, California(i) According to Karen Duester, MS, RD who conducted the test, "Not surprisingly, walnuts ranked highest among the nuts in INQ. Because INQ relates to nutrient density, we looked at specific nutrients known to be abundant in nuts and peanuts: protein, fiber, omega-3, omega-6, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and zinc."

On another independent scale, the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI) (ii) ranking system to be used by the Raley's grocery chain, walnuts received 82 points on a 100 point scale, an excellent score among foods and nuts(iii). According to David Katz, MD, MPH a nationally renowned authority on nutrition and the principal inventor for the ONQI system, "When overall nutritional quality is assessed, the verdict is clear: walnuts are a great food -- they pack a lot of nutrient benefits in a nutshell!"

Guiding Stars(iv), a nutrition navigation tool, was designed to make it easy for shoppers to quickly identify nutritious food choices. Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University and a member of the Hannaford Scientific Advisory Panel explains, "Walnuts are a whole food rich in antioxidants, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid,
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SOURCE California Walnut Commission
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