New research being presented at the American Dietetic Association™s (ADA) annual expo indicates that people who ate at least one-quarter cup of canned tomatoes had lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), one of the markers for cardiovascular disease risk, than people who ate less than that amount, providing reason to believe canned tomatoes may help decrease the risk for heart disease. The new research also showed that those Americans who ate canned tomatoes had a greater intake of vitamins and nutrients recommended for improved health.

The research was funded by ConAgra Foods, the manufacturer of Hunt™s® canned tomatoes, and the study was authored by Victor Fulgoni, III, Ph.D., of Nutrition Impact; as well as Kristi Reimers, Ph.D., R.D., and Patty Packard, M.S., R.D., both of ConAgra Foods. Presented by Fulgoni at the ADA™s annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, the research is based on data from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES is a large national study of diet and health relationships among 13,292 American adults conducted annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“As a company, we™re focused on better understanding the nutritional benefits of canned tomatoes, Reimers said. We also have a strong interest in making sure consumers have science-based information to make food choices based on their personal nutrition needs. This study is part of the work we do to truly understand the health benefits a variety of products may have and to communicate those benefits to dietitians and consumers.

This study shows that people who eat canned tomatoes have a higher quality diet as shown by their higher vegetable, vitamin, mineral and fiber intakes. Knowing that, it™s important that Americans consider canned tomatoes to be one more option for building a delicious and healthy diet, said Fulgoni.

The study also found that individuals who ate canned tomatoes consumed more of the nutrients that are lacking in many Americans™ diets, including fiber, vitamins C and E, potassium, and magnesium. Additionally, Americans ate canned tomatoes also consumed less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and added sugars.

At a time when consumers are as concerned about getting the most for their grocery dollar as they may be about their long-term health, products like Hunt™s canned tomatoes can help them balance value with nutrition, Reimers stated. Tomatoes are a warehouse of antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene. More specifically, canned tomatoes are superior to fresh for delivering antioxidants because their lycopene is much more easily absorbed.

The study identified and compared 1,851 individuals who reported that they consumed at least one-quarter cup of processed tomatoes to the remaining 11,441 individuals who ate less than that, according to the NHANES survey results.

Attendees at the ADA™s annual show, being held in Chicago Oct. 26-27, can learn more about the study by visiting ConAgra Foods booth.

About ConAgra Foods

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America™s leading packaged food companies, serving grocery retailers, as well as restaurants and other foodservice establishments. Popular ConAgra Foods consumer brands include: Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt™s, Marie Callender™s, Orville Redenbacher™s, PAM and many others. For more information, please visit us at

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