Peanut lovers can now enjoy oil roasted salted peanuts knowing the American Heart Association has certified the snack as heart-healthy when eaten as part of an overall healthy eating pattern. Georgia Farm Bureau recently unveiled its new peanut packets that display the AHA “Heart-Check” insignia and the Peanut Institute logo.

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

GFB unveiled the AHA-certified peanut packets during its recent 76th annual convention in December. The GFB peanut packets are available at county Farm Bureau offices.

“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.

The one-ounce GFB peanut packets have only 100 mg of sodium, which is below the AHA certification criteria limit of 140 mg of sodium per label serving of nuts. Peanuts are naturally low in sodium, and the sodium in salted peanuts is mostly from surface salt, so a little goes a long way in flavor. Oil roasted salted peanuts generally contain less sodium than one slice of bread (1 ounce).

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.

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