According to the National Pecan Shellers Association (NPSA), the American Heart Association's Heart-Check Certification Program has designated pecans as heart-healthy when enjoyed as part of a healthy eating program. Unroasted and unsalted pecan halves can now carry the Heart-Check mark to notify consumers that they meet the program's nutritional guidelines, including criteria for saturated fat and sodium.

"We know that consumers have relied on the American Heart Association's Heart-Check mark to easily identify heart-healthy foods for more than 15 years," says Dr. Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., Bickford Green and Gold Professor at the University of Vermont and an American Heart Association spokesperson. "Adding nuts, fish and other foods that are rich sources of good fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, enhances the program and gives more healthy options consumers can choose from with the same trust factor"

"Pecans stay with you longer than high carbohydrate snacks that your body burns through quickly," says Vickie Mabry, NPSA executive director. "With antioxidants as well as a tender texture, rich buttery flavor and gentle crunch, pecans make an ideal snack choice for everyone."