WINNIPEG, ManitobaHealth Canada recently accepted the Flax Council of Canada's health claim linking ground whole flaxseed to cholesterol lowering, a major risk factor for heart disease.
Now food manufacturers will be able to clearly state on labels the relationship between flax consumption and a reduction of cholesterol. This health claim will help encourage the development and demand for products containing flax," said Eric Fridfinnson, board chair, Manitoba Flax Growers Association.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provided guidance on the science and the regulatory pathway to substantiate the ability of flax to lower blood cholesterolthe daily consumption of five tablespoons (40 grams) of ground flaxseed can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Flax contains omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and other nutritional benefits, and is available as whole seed and ground whole seed. Grinding or milling the seeds makes the nutrients more available. Flaxseed can be incorporated into many foods, including muffins, cookies, snack foods and casseroles.
This is a proud achievement as Canada is the first country in the world to allow a health-related claim for flaxseed for use on food labels. This claim is one of only a dozen deemed to meet the rigorous scientific criteria established by Health Canada," said William Hill, president, Flax Council of Canada.
In recent research, flaxseed was also shown to lower blood pressure. Adding flaxseed to the diet of patients with hypertension helped significantly lower blood pressure and reduced their incidence of heart attack and stroke by 50%