EAGLE, Idaho, May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to heart-healthy produce, consumers can put a check next to Idaho® potatoes on their shopping list. The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) today announced that the American Heart Association has certified that fresh Idaho® potatoes meet its criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol. This certification represents a significant milestone for Idaho® potatoes as well an industry that has been hit hard by the low-carbohydrate diet fad.
The American Heart Association is one of the most recognized and well-respected health organizations in the country. In fact, 73 percent of primary shoppers trust the American Heart Association more than any other organization to certify food products. The heart-check mark assures shoppers that they are making a smart and heart-healthy purchasing choice.
"For years, the IPC has been working hard to communicate to consumers that Idaho® potatoes are an important part of a healthy, nutritious diet," said Frank Muir, President and CEO, IPC. "We're proud that the American Heart Association, a revered and incredibly important health organization, agrees with us. The heart-check mark is the perfect complement to our 'Grown in Idaho® seal,' a guarantee to shoppers that they are buying high quality potatoes."
Several years ago, the popularity of low-carb diets took a bite out of the potato industry; consumers shunned carbohydrate-rich foods including potatoes and other nutritious vegetables. Fortunately, through personal experiences and a mass of industry-generated education programs, the low-carb diet fad has subsided with consumers realizing the importance carbohydrates can play in a healthy, balanced diet.
One of the IPC's proactive initiatives to combat the anti-carb craze was enlisting fitness guru Denise Austin to serve as the IPC's spokesperson and help reverse negative perceptions about Idaho® potatoes. Today, Austin works closely with the IPC to continually remind consumers of the healthfulness of Idaho® potatoes and the important role carbohydrates play as fuel for the body.
One medium Idaho® potato (5.3 ounces) contains 110 calories, 0 fat and 0 cholesterol. In addition to its heart health benefits, Idaho® potatoes contain 45% of the daily value of vitamin C and almost twice the potassium found in a banana along with 2 grams of fiber.
About the Idaho Potato Commission
The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is primarily responsible for expanding the markets for Idaho-grown potatoes through advertising, promotion and research. The Commission also protects the use of the "Idaho® potato" and "Grown in Idaho®" seals, which are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho. For more information, visit www.idahopotato.com.
About the Heart-Check Mark
The American Heart Association established the heart-check mark in 1995 to give consumers an easy, reliable system for identifying heart-healthy foods as a first step in building a sensible eating plan. Approximately 800 products that bear the heart-check mark have been screened and verified by the association to meet criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol.
To learn more about the heart-check mark, and to see a complete list of certified products and participating companies, visit www.heartcheckmark.org.
SOURCE Idaho Potato Commission