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Healthy Choice meals improve diet quality, research finds

BY DSN STAFF

OMAHA, Neb. — ConAgra is emphasizing the use of its Healthy Choice frozen meals to improve the quality of one’s diet and overall well-being.

The company sponsored two 30-day research studies that explored how weight loss can be influenced by using portion-controlled Healthy Choice meals. As part of a reduced-calorie eating plan that incorporated 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, while the second study utilized Healthy Choice mainly as a dinner replacement. Both studies achieved similar results: Participants lost an average of 6 lbs. and experienced a reduction in waist circumference by about 1 in. 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% and by consuming 30% less cholesterol and sodium.

The studies, which were conducted by James Rippe, founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute, were presented at the 2011 Experimental Biology Conference in Washington, D.C.

"[This research] reinforces the fact that portion control is fundamental to successful weight loss," said Mark Andon, VP nutrition at 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."

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Curtis Stone named face of Post Great Grains campaign

BY Allison Cerra

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Celebrity chef Curtis Stone has been tapped for the latest Post Great Grains cereal campaign to show how the consumption of whole grains can lead to better nutrition.

Stone will be featured in Post’s Great Grains marketing campaign, which includes national broadcast, print and online media, retailer activities and an integrated Hearst publishing program, Post said. Additionally, consumers can view the commercial and get tips and recipes from Stone and more information at Facebook.com/GreatGrains.

Post said its Great Grains cereal boasts less-processed contents than leading whole grain cereals while maintaining naturally occurring nutrients, fiber and antioxidants.

“Curtis’ personal food philosophy is central to the mission of Post Great Grains; that great tasting, nutritious food starts with less processed, quality ingredients,” said Joahne Carter, associate director of marketing for Post’s adult brands. “He is the perfect partner to help make all of us more aware of the source of our food and the benefits of incorporating more whole foods into our diets.”

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Lance rolls out Cracker Creations

BY Allison Cerra

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Lance is getting creative with its sandwich crackers.

New Cracker Creations feature vegetables, cheese or herbs baked right into the cracker and currently are available in garden vegetable and parmesan herb varieties. The crackers also tout a real cream cheese filling, Lance said.

Cracker Creations are available at major grocery retailers and Walmart with a suggested retail of $2.99.

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