Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Outlines USDA Efforts to Raise a Healthier Generation of Americans; Highlights Efforts to Improve School Meals

WEST HARTFORD, Conn., April 5, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today discussed USDA efforts to improve school meals and outlined the need for a renewed commitment to improve childhood nutrition, which will lead to a healthier generation of Americans.

Less Salt, More Potassium = Millions of Lives Saved

Modest dietary changes would reduce risk of stroke, heart disease, studies confirm

Source: HealthDay
Related MedlinePlus Pages: Dietary Sodium, Heart Diseases–Prevention, Potassium

Less Salt, More Potassium = Millions of Lives Saved

Modest dietary changes would reduce risk of stroke, heart disease, studies confirm

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Tied to Longer Life

Supporting recommendations that people eat a couple of servings of fish per week, a new study suggests adults with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood are less likely to die from a range of causes than those with the lowest levels.
Source: Reuters Health
Related MedlinePlus Page: Dietary Fats

Health Tip: When Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms Flare

Ask your doctor about dietary adjustments

USDA Partners with More States to Boost Program Integrity; Protect Taxpayer Investment

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013 – Agriculture Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon today announced Washington and Ohio have joined a new federal-state partnership targeting recipient fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as part of its SNAP Stewardship Solutions Project. Under the partnership, USDA shares its experience in monitoring retailer fraud with states to help them more aggressively target suspicious activity and improve tactics to catch recipients that attempt to commit SNAP fraud.

Melatonin and Diabetes

Source: HealthDay – Video
Related MedlinePlus Pages: Diabetes Type 2, Sleep Disorders

Study Suggests Link Between Hormone Melatonin and Type 2 Diabetes

Experts find an association, but aren’t recommending supplementation

Source: HealthDay
Related MedlinePlus Pages: Diabetes Type 2, Hormones

FDA Approves Invokana to Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Source: Food and Drug Administration
Related MedlinePlus Page: Diabetes Type 2

Add a New Twist to Your Old Lunchtime Favorites

“Salad” sandwiches are a lunch favorite.  Tuna, chicken or egg salad–they appear on cafeteria and diner menus and we enjoy them from a young age.  And, while the traditional versions of these longtime favorites are very tasty, they are usually high in fat and lacking in fruits and vegetables.  Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case and what’s even better is that you can update the old recipe, reduce the fat content, add more fiber, vitamins and make it even more delicious!

Let’s start with tuna salad.  The basic recipe typically calls for tuna, mayonnaise, chopped celery and maybe some minced onion.  Now take a look at this Tuna Apple Salad Sandwich recipe.  It uses a low-fat yogurt, chopped apple, parsley, raisins and chopped walnuts in the recipe, which adds additional nutrients and fiber while reducing the fat content.  The additional ingredients also boosts the salad’s flavor.


A traditional chicken salad recipe calls for chopped chicken, mayonnaise and chopped celery.  Honey Chicken Salad w/Grapes & Feta omits the mayonnaise completely and instead creates a dressing using honey, lemon and vinegar.  Green onions and feta add flavor, as do the sweetness of the grapes.  Wheat berries add an extra crunch and texture to the salad.

Honey chicken salad

When working with egg salad you’ve got to be careful not to overpower the flavor.  One fruit that perfectly compliments egg salad is the avocado.  Plus, avocados are a great substitution for mayonnaise–they mimic the creaminess, but add a heart healthy fat.  This recipe for Avocado Egg Salad even discards the egg yolks, which reduces the fat content even more.

avocado egg salad

It’s really about tailoring recipes to your tastes.  I’ve experimented with things that I enjoy and here are  more ideas you might like:

  • Add sundried tomatoes and capers to tuna salad w/reduced fat mayonnaise or low-fat yogurt as the base
  • Add currants, almonds and sliced grapes to chicken salad w/low-fat yogurt as the base
  • Add citrus fruits (Mandarin oranges, grapefruit) to chicken salad and make a honey/lime dressing
  • Try putting your favorite salad into a hollowed out fresh tomato as a serving idea–this is especially good during the summer months when tomatoes are at their peak

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