OMAHA, NEB. — According to research involving products from ConAgra Foods, participants who ate the company’s Healthy Choice line of frozen meals for several months lost weight and decreased cholesterol levels significantly. The company relays that participants in a 24-week study, on average, lost 18 lbs., trimmed their waistlines by about three inches and lowered their cholesterol by 12 points.

Leading cardiologist Dr. James Rippe, founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute, led the research team that conducted the study, which was presented during the recently held 2009 Experimental Biology Conference in New Orleans, La.

Men and women with health conditions common to many Americans, such as being overweight and having elevated cholesterol, followed a plan centered on eating Healthy Choice products every day. Overall portion and calorie control was emphasized along with choosing other foods consistent with healthy eating such as lean meat, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Participants also became more physically active by starting a simple walking program, starting with 15 minutes three days per week and progressing to 45 minutes four days per week. A control group followed the physical activity program without making changes in their food choices.

The Healthy Choice group showed significant positive changes in body weight and cholesterol and in overall diet quality compared to the control group, including reduced intakes of fat, calories, saturated fat and cholesterol and increases in fiber intake.

"These findings reinforce our commitment to providing delicious, healthful and convenient meals that make it easy for people to not only control their portions, but also get the positive nutrition they're seeking from ingredients like lean meat, vegetables, whole grains and fiber," said Kristin Reimers, PhD, Nutrition Manager, ConAgra Foods. "All Healthy Choice products meet the American Heart Association's nutrition certification, and each package features nutrition information on how this meal fits into U.S.D.A.'s MyPyramid daily recommended amounts for food groups."