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Health Star Rating


What are the health star ratings for nuts?

The Health Star Ratings were not designed for fresh produce items although it is expected that anything in a pack will have a health star rating. As a result, the Australian Tree Nut Industry is adding health stars to bags of nuts.

Health stars for a food product are developed based on the levels of energy, saturated fat, sugar, sodium, protein, fibre and what percentage of the product contains fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legume ingredients.

Unfortunately for some nuts, they lose stars because of their natural saturated fat content. Nuts cannot be reformulated like other products so some nuts are disadvantaged by health stars but, like all fruits and vegetables, raw, dry roasted and unsalted nuts score 4 to 5 stars out of five stars.

Almonds - 5 stars
Brazil nuts - 4 stars
Cashews - 4.5 stars
Chestnuts - 5 stars
Hazelnuts - 5 stars
Macadamias - 4 stars
Pecans - 4.5 stars
Pine nuts - 4.5 stars
Pistachios - 5 stars
Walnuts - 5 stars

Published Jan 2017

What is the Health Star Rating System?

snack-stars
The Health Star Rating (HSR) System is a voluntary Australian Government front-of-pack labelling system that rates the overall nutritional profile of packaged food and assigns it a rating from ½ a star to 5 stars in ½ star increments. It provides a quick, easy, standard way to compare similar packaged foods. The more stars, the healthier the choice. The rating is based on the nutrient profile of the food per 100g or mL. The HSR logo also gives information about some of the nutrients in the food, such as the energy (kJ), saturated fat, sugars and sodium and may include a positive nutrient such as protein, fibre or a vitamin or mineral.

This is an example of the HSR logo for natural mixed nuts scoring 5 stars:

snack-stars

Large food packaging may use the entire logo whereas smaller packs and those that use stickers need only use the star rating icon only.

Visit www.healthstarrating.gov.au for more information. Last updated July 2016

How many Health Stars do nuts score?

Nuts are nutritious, healthy foods, and this is reflected in their Health Star Ratings. All unsalted nuts score between 4 and 5 stars (based on nutrient composition per 100g):
Almond (raw) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Brazil nut (raw) ★ ★ ★ ★
Cashew (raw) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Chestnut (roasted) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Hazelnut (raw) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Macadamia (raw) ★ ★ ★ ★
Pecan (raw) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Pine nut (raw) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Pistachio (raw) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Walnut (raw) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Last updated July 2016

Does roasting or salting affect the Health Star Rating?

Nuts absorb very little of the oil they’re roasted in, and many nuts are dry roasted (see Roasting FAQs), so this has little effect on their star rating. Depending on how much salt is added to the nuts, the salt reduces the star rating by around half to one star.

Last updated July 2016

Why do some nuts score 4 Health Stars and others more?

snack-stars
Variations in protein, fibre and saturated fat content affect the number of stars. However, with a star rating of four stars or above, the best advice is to enjoy your favourites and aim to eat a handful of nuts a day to maximise health benefits.

Last updated July 2016

How do nuts compare as a snack with other easy-to-grab foods?

The Health Star Rating system shows that grabbing a handful of nuts is one of the best snacks when you feel the munchies come on. Here are some comparisons:

Star Check: Afternoon Snacks

snack-stars
30g of mixed nuts ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A red apple ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
A choc chip biscuit
A plain muesli bar ★ ★ ★ ☆
Processed cheese ★ ★ ★
Rice crackers ★ ★ ★ ☆
A choc chip muffin ★ ★
Small take-away cappuccino ★ ★
An average energy drink
NB: all Health Stars based on nutrient composition per 100g

Last update July 2016  

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