New Study: What you’re not eating may kill you

According to a new study, Americans are falling short in some foods, eating too much of others. Registered Dietitian Michelle Dudash, author of Clean Eating for Busy Families, is here to share her swaps to get more of the foods you need, and less of the foods you don’t.

A new study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the association between dietary factors and mortality and found that Americans are not getting enough of certain foods, while eating too much of others. These results may help alter dietary habits which could improve health.

  1. Americans aren’t eating enough nuts and seeds.

In the study, researchers looked at 10 different diet factors, including nuts and seed intake.

  • Easy ways to eat more nuts and seeds:
  • Pistachios contain protein, fiber, have the visual cue of shells for mindful eating, and 49 nuts contain 160 calories per serving.
  • Fun fact: they’re green from antioxidants. Pistachios are one of the lowest fat, lowest calorie snack nuts. In-shell pistachios are perfect for snacking; shelled are excellent for cooking, baking and mix-ins for salads, oatmeal, and yogurt.

2.Americans are eating too much high-processed meats and sodium. 

  • 9% of deaths were related to high sodium. Michelle recommends replacing deli meats and other cured proteins with other sources of protein.


  • Rotisserie chicken for lunch in your sandwiches instead of deli meat
  • Hummus on crackers instead of cold cuts
  • Just stick to eggs at breakfast, limit bacon to special occasions
  • Make your breakfast burrito more exciting with avocado, black beans and salsa

3. Americans aren’t eating enough omega-3 fats from seafood.

  • About 8% of deaths were associated with not getting enough seafood. To get more seafood:
    • Tuna salad in your sandwich
    • Spring and summer are prime time for Alaska seafood. Halibut season just kicked off. Salmon will be coming soon.
    • Demo how to make Halibut Zucchini Paper Pouches from the book Clean Eating for Busy Families

For more info, go to, and check out her great recipes below!


“Ready When You Are” Halibut & Summer Squash Paper Pouches

By Michelle Dudash, RD, from the book Clean Eating for Busy Families.

You can prepare these pouches earlier in the day or the night before and refrigerate until dinnertime. If you assemble them ahead of time, allow them to sit on the counter for 30 minutes before baking to help ensure even cooking. This dish is elegant enough for company and you can impress your guests by naming it Halibut en Papillote, meaning “in paper” in French!

1 1/4 pounds (570 g) skin-on, boned halibut fillets, cut into 4 portions, blotted dry

1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 cup (120 g) .-inch (6 mm)-diced zucchini

1 cup (120 g) .-inch (6 mm)-diced yellow squash

1 cup (150 g) halved cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup (40 g) thinly sliced red onion

4 teaspoons (20 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons (6 g) capers, chopped

2 teaspoons (4 g) grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon (3 g) minced garlic

4 lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Season fish with half of the salt and pepper. in a medium bowl, mix zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onion, oil, capers, lemon zest, garlic, and remaining salt and pepper.

Tear off four 15 x 12-inch (38 x 30 cm) sheets of parchment paper; arrange sheets vertically and place fish just below the center on each sheet. Place a heaping 1/2 cup (60 g) of vegetables on top of each piece of fish. Fold paper over to make the top and bottom corners meet. Beginning with the left corner, fold up 1 inch (2.5 cm), overlapping sections to seal in the contents, and ending with the right corner. Fold each corner under. Finished pouches should look like half-moons. repeat with remaining pouches and place on a large sheet pan. Bake for 13 minutes for 1-inch (2.5 cm)-thick fillets or until pouches

make a strong sizzling sound. adjust cooking time by a couple of minutes for thinner or thicker fillets. remove from the oven and serve immediately, placing pouches on plates or shallow bowls, allowing guests to carefully unwrap or cut into their own portion, avoiding direct contact with hot steam. serve with lemon wedges.

Go Clean

Pacific halibut (market name Alaskan halibut) caught in Alaska and Canada is the most eco-friendly choice and is lower in mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) than California halibut. Fresh Alaskan halibut peaks in supply and dips in price in May and June. Frozen halibut, including steaks, work beautifully in this recipe, too, as does cod or haddock.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes • Yield: 4 servings, 1 Pouch each

Per serving: 228 calories; 8 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 31 g Protein; 8 g

carbohydrate; 2 g dietary fiber; 46 mg cholesterol.