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New Video Demonstrates How to Cook Traditional Asian American and Pacific Islander Dishes in a Healthy Way

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2013 – To promote healthy eating among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and Chef Ming Tsai have teamed up to film a cooking demonstration in the White House kitchen featuring healthy and traditional Asian recipes that follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations that support the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate food icon.

The cooking demonstration video is a collaborative effort between the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the First Lady's Let's Move! Initiative and the USDA to ensure that Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are aware of, can culturally relate to, and can easily adapt the dietary guidelines emulated by MyPlate.

MyPlate serves as a powerful visual cue to remind all of us to choose healthier foods among the five food groups and build healthier plates at mealtimes. It points consumers to the ChooseMyPlate.gov website where consumers can put the Dietary Guidelines into action.

"Cultural and taste preferences are important, and this MyPlate video reminds us that we can enjoy our traditional foods prepared in healthier ways. USDA is committed to empowering Americans to make healthier food choices by providing science-based information and advice, through tools such as MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford, who led the cooking demonstration, was born and raised in the Philippines and has a background in AAPI cuisine. Chef Comerford has emphasized that it is possible to prepare and eat healthy and nutritious meals without losing ties to our culture.

"There's no reason to have to sacrifice the foods we love in order to eat a healthy diet," Comerford said.

Chef Ming Tsai agreed, "The key here is that you don't have to sacrifice flavor, sacrifice culture, to make food that is still actually good for you."

White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Executive Director Kiran Ahuja stated, "It is critical that AAPI communities are able to access federal resources in a culturally meaningful way. AAPIs suffer disproportionately from diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and healthier eating can be part of the way to address this issue."

Additionally, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander children have the highest rates of any minority group for being overweight or obese and hold an elevated risk for developing cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

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