OMAHA, Neb., April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Enjoy your food, but eat less. Avoid oversized portions. These messages from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans address the country's leading nutritional problem: the overconsumption of calories. With people increasingly looking for healthy foods in the right portions, ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG), one of North America's leading food makers, presented new research findings yesterday at the 2011 Experimental Biology Conference in Washington, D.C.
Noted cardiologist Dr. James Rippe, founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute, led two 30-day research studies, sponsored by ConAgra Foods, exploring how weight loss using portion-controlled Healthy Choice meals affected dietary quality and quality of life.
"This study reinforces the fact that portion control is fundamental to successful weight loss," said Mark Andon, Ph.D., vice president, Nutrition, ConAgra Foods. "What's exciting is that study participants enjoying portion-controlled Healthy Choice frozen meals for lunch or dinner not only improved the quality of their diets, they also reported an increased sense of well-being, having more energy, and feeling healthier after just 30 days. And they said it was easy to do with the range of delicious Healthy Choice varieties."
As part of a reduced calorie eating plan incorporating walking for physical activity, study participants replaced at least 10 meals per week with Healthy Choice frozen meals. One study focused on eating the meals primarily for lunch and the other mainly as a dinner replacement, both with similar results.
Participants lost an average of six pounds and reduced waist circumference by about one inch. Additionally, despite the decrease in calories, participants significantly improved the quality of their overall diets by increasing dietary fiber, reducing saturated fat intake by 50 percent, and by consuming 30 percent less cholesterol and sodium.
The two main contributors to calorie overconsumption are portion distortion and calorie density. Healthy Choice helps people avoid these dietary pitfalls because the meals are appropriately portioned and low in calorie density with the calorie content clearly labeled. Additionally, the nearly 70 varieties, all with less than 400 calories, provide positive nutrients such as whole grains, fiber, protein and antioxidants.
"Healthy Choice does the work of meal planning and preparation for you, making an extensive selection of deliciously nutritious foods that are ready in minutes and use healthy cooking techniques such as steaming," said Carlos Veraza, vice president and general manager, ConAgra Foods. "Steaming unlocks the fresh taste of our wholesome ingredients that Americans can easily enjoy in adopting a healthier lifestyle."
About Healthy Choice
Healthy Choice offers a variety of meals to satisfy any taste. For more information on the various Healthy Choice product lines, visit www.HealthyChoice.com. For special offers and up-to-the-minute information, stay in touch with the brand online: "Like" the brand on Facebook (www.facebook.com/healthychoice) and follow Healthy Choice on Twitter (www.twitter.com/Healthy_Choice).
About ConAgra Foods
ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG), is one of North America's leading food companies, with brands in 97 percent of America's households. Consumers find Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim, Snack Pack and many other ConAgra Foods brands in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.
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SOURCE ConAgra Foods, Inc.