Subject: Dietitians of the Week

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Dietitians of the Week
Check our Facebook page every weekday for our RD of the Day, as we put a much-deserved spotlight on a dietitian who's either making headlines or writing them and delivering their expertise through the media. Here are this week's featured RDs.

Katharine Jeffcoat, RDN, LD, CLT Facebook Facebook
Keeping kids and pregnant moms healthy through proper nutrition is the life's work of Monday's RD of the Day, Katharine Jeffcoat, RDN, LD, CLT, of Portland Pediatric Nutrition.

In her column for the Portland (OR) Tribune, "Young Children Need to Get Key Nutrients," Katharine stresses that, as important as it is for adults, nutrition is even more important for young children and it begins even before a child is born.

"Certainly pregnancy is the best time to start nourishing your child," she said, noting omega 3 fatty acids are critical building blocks for fetal brain and retina development.

Katharine emphasizes the importance of calcium and foods with Vitamins C and D for pregnant women. Folic acid, according to Jeffcoat, is an essential nutrient during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects and can be found in fortified breakfast cereals and whole grains, beans, citrus fruit and dark green, leafy vegetables.

Of course, once a child is born, Katharine writes, nutrition changes and the first six months are all about breast milk, if at all possible. She then makes nutritional suggestions and strategies to help get through each phase of a child's life, and the importance of the family taking responsibility in getting a child to eat healthfully.

"Parents are responsible for preparing the meals, doing the grocery shopping, stocking a kitchen and providing the food," she said, adding that if parents are providing healthy choices of food, "they’re more likely to have a good eater that’s going to learn self-control about eating."

Her column concludes with a handy guide of 7 key nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. For this great advice and for her work keeping expecting moms and their kids healthy, Katherine was Monday's RD of the Day.

Read the article: Young Children Need to Get Key Nutrients

Lauren Ott, RD, LD Facebook Facebook
We celebrate another instance of "RD-as-Mythbuster", as our Tuesday RD of the Day takes on some common nutrition myths on KUSA in Denver.

Lauren Ott, RD, LD, also known as "The Dessert Dietitian", answers several "Fact or Myth" questions in this segment, debunking some of the more misleading information that's out there. There's video of her TV segment and an article on the station's website here.

"As a clinical dietitian, I’ve heard it all: 'Will eating only sweet potatoes make me lose weight?', 'Is brown sugar better for me than white sugar?', laments the RD at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, CO.

Lauren provides professional insight on statements such as:

"High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is worse for you than sugar."
"Your body can’t use the protein from beans unless you eat them with rice."
"Eating at night causes weight gain."
"Eating gluten-free can lead to weight loss and more energy."
"Organic food is healthier than non-organic food."

For her answers and for busting nutrition myths, Lauren was our Tuesday RD of the Day.

Read the article: Common Nutrition Myths

Allison Rossow Facebook
It's holiday party season! For many, this month is filled with get-togethers and parties with family, friends, and lots of food! Wednesday's RD of the Day addresses the readers of the Sioux City (IA) Journal by offering ways to survive the next holiday party with your health and well-being intact.

Allison Rossow, a dietitian at UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Medical Center, says you shouldn't abstain from your favorite foods. Instead, you should remain mindful of how empty calories can wreak havoc on your diet.

In the article, Rossow provides a list on how to get through the holiday season without racking up those extra pounds, including sharing dishes, paying close attention to portion sizes, and simply avoiding temptation.

As a dietitian, Rossow said many clients ask her about food substitutes when it comes to cooking.

"Nowadays, I think people are more knowledgeable about diets and nutrition in general," she said. "They want things that are both delicious but are also good for them."

Allison goes on to offer some seasonal switch-ups to help people be more mindful about what they're eating during all the festivities.

"A few changes here and there can make all the difference in the world." True words from Wednesday's RD of the Day.

Read the article: Sioux City Dietitian Offers Ways to Survive Your Next Holiday Party

Jessica Jones, MS, RD, CDE Facebook Facebook
While Wednesday's RD of the Day focused on mindful eating at holiday parties, Thursday's choice provides 13 holiday healthy eating tips that focus primarily on weight maintenance and avoiding too much gain during the season.

Establishing her expert RD cred up front with the title of her article for, "13 Holiday Healthy-Eating Tips From A Registered Dietitian", Jessica Jones, MS, RD, CDE, prefaces her list of tips:

"Endless options of food for the whole family can make it easy to overeat—and potentially pack on a few pounds," explaining what we all know to be true. "If you're interested in losing or maintaining your weight, the best thing you can do is have a strategy when it comes to eating healthy during the holidays."

The outpatient dietitian in a community health clinic in Oakland stresses eating a lot of vegetables, as well as eating them first (This makes sure that you actually eat the vegetables and because vegetables tend to be low in calories and high in fiber—a winning combination for weight maintenance and overall health), AND eat them last ("If you're still hungry after plate one, consider having vegetables for seconds").

Jessica's list takes the reader through the progression of holiday eating and her suggestions are a great mix of professional wisdom and common sense that people forget while celebrating.

Her last tip is one everyone can get with: lose the guilt. "This should be a time of celebration and also relaxation. If you do happen to eat more than you planned during this holiday season, don't beat yourself up. More importantly, don't let a slip become a fall."

For these great tips and her presentation of them, Jessica was our Thursday RD of the Day.

Read the article: 13 Holiday Healthy-Eating Tips From A Registered Dietitian

Sarah Agena, RD Facebook Facebook
Dietitians as leaders. Neva Cochran just posted a great tribute to three RDs showing leadership in their own ways on our blog at Today's RD of the Day shows her leadership by standing up for the importance of the RDN credential and significance of registered dietitians as key guardians of people's health.

The essay written by Sarah Agena, RD, president of the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to the political establishment of her state on their premier political news service is a clarion call for all RDs to spread in their communities.

"In a report released by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), dietitians were named as an occupation whose certification should be eliminated, failing to understand the vital role dietitians play in the health and safety of Wisconsin's citizens. Eliminating the dietitian credentialing process would not only lower the quality of health care, but would place patients in danger," Sarah writes in "Protecting the health and safety of Wisconsin: The role of registered dietitians".

She then explains to the uninformed just who and what dietitians are and how they work within the health care system. She also educates readers about the rigorous and demanding process you all have gone through to earn the RDN credential.

"While most understand the role of a physician or nurse, many may not realize the importance a dietitian plays in health care," says the founder and president of Flexible Nutrition Solutions in Stevens Point, citing a study about how few contact hours of nutrition instruction medical students receive, "leaving practicing physicians to rely on dietitians when advising patients on best practices for nutrition-related disease states."

All RDs around the country should be proud of the leadership shown by their colleague in this essay. It is our hope that the state government of Wisconsin learns from this spirited defense of the RDN credential, preserves the credentialing process, and all state governments follow suit.

We're proud to make Sarah today's RD of the Day.

Read the article: Protecting the Health and Safety of Wisconsin: The Role of Registered Dietitians