Nuts and bolts of obesity hazards emerge
More than 95 percent of 33 nuts samples available in the market reach high-fat levels and overconsumption may lead to obesity, the Consumer Council says.
Of six categories of nuts tested, the watchdog found that walnuts, in general, have the highest total fat content with an average of 62.2 grams per 100 grams.
Peanuts were found to have the lowest fat content with an average of 39.8 grams per 100 grams. Other varieties of nuts tested were almond, cashew, pistachio and mixed nuts.
Among five walnut samples tested, Cheer's Natural Walnut had the most fat with 65.5 grams per 100 grams.
If a person consumed the whole packet of 100 grams, the total fat intake would be close to the maximum daily intake limit of 66.7 grams recommended by the World Health Organization for an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet.
The Hong Kong Dietitians Association said that walnuts are suitable for vegetarians and vegans as they contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fatty acid essential for the human body.
The Consumer Council found that aside from a peanut sample from 759 Store named Peanut Snack Wasabi Flavor, the remaining 32 nut products tested have high-fat levels. However, most of the fats were "good" fats - unsaturated fatty acids.
The watchdog said peanuts and nuts are rich in healthy unsaturated fatty acids, which could help lower cholesterol levels in the body and are beneficial for heart health.
"However, excessive intake might lead to weight gain, which in turn could increase the risk of chronic disease such as heart disease," said Nora Tam Fung-yee, chairman of the Research and Testing Committee of the Consumer Council.
Walnuts on average contain the highest amount of unsaturated fatty acids, reaching 55.9 grams per 100 grams.
Three peanut models were found to reach high-sodium levels. They were Shinho's Huang Fei Hong Spicy Peanuts, Koh-Kae's BBQ Flavour Peanuts and Sze Hing Loong's Ladybird Roasted & Salted Peanuts.
Dry Roasted Wasabi Almond from Tom's Farm 1982 and 759 Store's peanut have both listed added sugar in their ingredient list and was found to reach the Centre for Food Safety's benchmark for high-sugar level.