Dietary Counseling and Consultations

Eat for Health

Woe to Walnuts

Published July 28th, 2011 in Eat for Health, What's in the News

by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, CHN, BCIH, CNC, CNW, CNH

The walnut is one of the special foods that have caught the attention of the FDA. I had hoped it was because of its shape resembling that of the human brain, but alas I was wrong.

Walnuts have joined the exclusive group of foods including cherries and blueberries, the FDA has listed as “unauthorized drugs” – no you didn’t read that wrong.  Last year the FDA determined walnuts sold by Diamond Foods cannot be legally marketed because the walnuts “are not generally recognized as safe and effective” for medical conditions referenced on the Diamond website.

According to a report in the August 2011edition of Life Extension Magazine and supported by my research the FDA classified walnuts as “a drug” and unauthorized health claims cause them to become “misbranded,” subjecting them to government “seizer or injunction.” And Diamond Food was forced to capitulate in order to keep their doors open.

Life Extension sited over 46 studies supporting the health benefits of walnuts. Here is a little banned information for your health on walnuts.

Walnuts may help to prevent atherosclerosis (by lowering LDL cholesterol and lipoprotein (a) levels), breast cancer, and retard the growth of prostate cancer cells and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Power packed with minerals, vitamins, amino acids, healthy fats, and antioxidants, walnuts for those who are not allergic or sensitive to nuts may be one of the most important foods you can incorporate into your daily diet.  Of all nuts, walnuts contain the highest content of the important essential fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. This EFA is necessary for the protection of the nerve pathways, muscle, heart, brain and liver health.

Now what makes the ruling by the FDA so very irksome to me is their stand on medications and commercial foods. Every year there is a long list of drugs on recall because they are not safe – most of these drugs the general public never hears about. Before all this happened very few consumers logged onto the Diamond website to read about the health benefits of walnuts, the same is true of the Cherry Growers of America website in 2006 that mentioned the health benefits of antioxidant, proanthocyanidins rich cherries.

What the consumers do hear loud and clear are advertisements for artery-clogging, high calorie, chemical drenched junk foods. The FDA allows potato chips to be advertised as “Heart Health”, Frito-Lay is a subsidiary of the PepsiCo, Inc®, makers of Pepsi®. Frito-lay® sells $12 billion a year in Lays ®potato chips, Doritoes®, Tostitos®, Cheetos® and Fritos®.  Now those of us reading this column more than likely would never consider these snack foods as “healthy choices” but the FDA allows this company to place on it’s website statements like the following;

“Frito-Lay snacks start with farm –grown ingredients …. Good stuff like potatoes which contain vitamin C and essential minerals,… corn one of the world’s most popular grains packed with         B-vitamins and phosphorous – all necessary for healthy bones, teeth, nerves and muscles. Our  all-natural oils help lower total and LDL “bad” cholesterol and maintain good cholesterol HDL levels which support a healthy heart.”

Please excuse me while I run to the bathroom to be ill.  Sure looked like a health claim to me, how about you? Oh and just in case you were wondering Frito® also owns Nut Harvest,  a competitor to Diamond Nuts.

The FDA and FTC are proposing new regulations that will stop the ability of natural food businesses from disseminating scientific research supporting the consumption of said foods.  And it doesn’t stop there, your ability to buy nutritional supplements is once again under fire by these regulatory agencies.  The combined sales from natural food producers and nutritional companies is a fraction of what monster junk food companies like Frito-Lay® earn in a year.

That is why it is so very important for the small businesses that are American Owned and consumers to fight back. Together is the only way we can protect our health, farms, businesses and country from Gestapo tactics supported by the FDA and FTC. It’s time to remind them of who their boss really is – us the citizenry of America.

Make your opinion known about “Free Speech About Science Act (H.R. 1364)” today.

To Your Good Health.