Frozen Dinners Healthier Than Fast Food: CDC

Thursday, 01 May 2014 04:46 PM

By Nick Tate

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Think you're making a healthy choice by avoiding frozen foods and choosing fresh meals from quick-serve restaurant chains? Think again. A new analysis of information from a nutritional survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds people who choose frozen meals over fast foods have better diets overall.

The findings, presented at the Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego this week, are based on the CDC's 2003-2010 "What We Eat In America" National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. People who eat more frozen foods get more vegetables — including greens, beans, and whole grains — and tend to consume fewer calories than fast-food patrons.

Quick-service restaurant diners also tend to eat more empty calories, refined processed grains, and less protein than frozen-foods consumers.

"The analysis shows consumers of frozen meals come a little closer to meeting [federal] Dietary Guidelines for Americans than consumers of quick-service restaurant meals, and they do it with 253 fewer calories a day," said Dr. Victor L. Fulgoni, co-author of the analysis and vice president of Nutrition Impact LLC.

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