Frozen meals have better diet quality than QSR meals, shows research

New data presented today indicate that consumers of frozen meals had higher daily intakes of dietary fiber, potassium, calcium and protein, and lower daily intakes of calories and saturated fat than consumers of quick service restaurant (QSR) meals. The poster, Consumption of Frozen Meals as Compared to Quick Service Restaurant Meals is Associated with Better Nutrient Intakes in Adult Participants of The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2010), was presented at the 2014 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (3).

"The analysis shows adults (19+ years) who reported eating frozen meals have higher daily intakes of more than 12 important nutrients – including protein, dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, choline, magnesium and copper – than those who reported eating quick service restaurant meals, and they do it with 253 fewer calories and 2.6 grams less saturated fat a day," said Dr. Victor L. Fulgoni, co-author of the analysis and vice president of Nutrition Impact, LLC.

Those who Report Dining on Frozen Meals Eat Less Calories and Get More Essential Nutrients

Specifically, the analysis revealed that frozen meal consumers, compared to QSR consumers:

  • Eat 253 fewer calories a day
  • Eat less saturated fat per day (2.6 grams less saturated fat per day)
  • Have higher daily intakes of three of the four nutrients the Dietary Guidelines recommends increasing including:
    • 3.9 more grams (16 percent of the daily value) of dietary fiber (18.2±0.5 g/d frozen meal consumers vs 14.3±0.2 g/d QSR consumers); that's as much fiber as one cup of cooked, instant oatmeal
    • 511 more mg (15 percent of the daily value) of potassium (3008±63 mg/d frozen meal consumers vs 2497±20 mg/d QSR consumers); that's as much potassium as a medium banana
    • 135 more mg (14 percent of the daily value) of calcium (1059±43 mg/d frozen meal consumers vs 924±11 mg/d QSR consumers); that's nearly as much calcium as half a cup of milk
  • Have higher daily protein intakes (90.0±2.2 g/d frozen meal consumers vs 81.5±0.5 g/d QSR consumers) with 8.5 more grams of protein a day; that's as much protein as 1.5 eggs

"This research is further evidence that frozen meals can play an important role in helping Americans obtain key nutrients of concern highlighted in the US Dietary Guidelines while maintaining calorie and fat levels," said Kim Krumhar, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor – Nutrition, Nestlé.

Frozen Meals Are Associated with Better Diet Quality

This abstract is a follow-up to data, Consumption of frozen meals as compared to quick service restaurant meals is associated with better diet quality in adult participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2010), presented at the 2014 Experimental Biology Conference which indicated that people who reported eating frozen meals over QSR have better diet quality and come closer to meeting the Dietary Guidelines recommendations for fruits, vegetables, dark green and orange vegetables, greens and beans, whole grains, and total protein foods.


Ketchum New York


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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