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.

Ashley Galloway, MS, RD Facebook Twitter
With Valentine's Day looming and stores stocked with more chocolate than you'll see all year, clinical dietitian Ashley Galloway, MS, RD, provides readers of some timely insight on the healthy attributes of the different types of chocolate.

Ashley, campus Dietitian for the College of Charleston in South Carolina, reminds us that "Not all chocolate is created equal. Milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate all have differing levels of healthy and unhealthy ingredients and should be eaten in moderation."

The blogger behind The Fresh Beet breaks down the nutritional facts about milk chocolate (the most popular and prevalent) and white chocolate but, of course, points out to readers that there is one type that stands above the rest in terms of health. "Dark chocolate is chock-full of disease-fighting antioxidants known as flavonoids," Ashley explains.

In fact, her expertise shares a little-known fact that white chocolate is, in fact, not chocolate at all, as it has no cocoa solids. "Due to the lack of health-promoting cocoa, white chocolate does not improve cardiovascular health and may actually harm health if eaten in excess," Ashley warns.

If you love chocolate but also love health, Ashley has a solution. "Eating a daily 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate with a cocoa percentage of 75 to 100 may boost cardiovascular health. Additionally, its low sugar content supports healthy blood glucose levels," says our RD of the Day. "Unsweetened cocoa powder also boasts these health benefits and is a great alternative to a plain dark chocolate bar."

For talking about chocolate in the context of health, Ashley is deserving of our Monday honors.

Read the article: Dietitian Answers, Which Chocolates Are Healthy This Valentines Day?

Keith-Thomas Ayoob, Ed.D., RD Twitter
In The Huffington Post, Tuesday's RD of the Day discusses and analyzes some of the trends our annual survey with Pollock Communications of 1,700 dietitians uncovered this year.

Starting with the top 10 "superfood" trends the survey identifies, Keith-Thomas Ayoob, Ed.D., RD, Associate Clinical Professor, Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of the Nutrition Clinic at the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center says, "In my work, I have to balance superfood trends against factors such as cost. Ancient grains, such as quinoa and spelt, are terrific foods, but they’re far more expensive than some traditional whole grains."

Dr. Ayoob was pleased to see fermented foods like yogurt and kimchee and drinks like beer, wine, and kombucha also made the list.

Keith-Thomas also points out certain foods such as salmon and “exotic fruits,” such as dragon fruit and horned melons that aren't on the list but he feels should be for their nutritional value.

Of course, with the good comes some bad, and Dr. Ayoob also details some "not-so-super food trends". He then spins it back to the positive and mentions some of the trends he’d most LIKE to see.

For his anticipation of, attention to, and published professional analysis of our annual "What's Trending in Nutrition" survey, Keith-Thomas was our Tuesday RD of the Day.

Read the article: Food Trends 2017: What a Nutritionist Sees and Hopes You’ll See

Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD Facebook Twitter
Sports dietitians have cool jobs. Wednesday's RD of the Day is no exception and she takes her expertise working with top athletes and shares it with the readers of Sports Illustrated's Edge column.

The inviting title "Atlanta Hawks dietitian Marie Spano wants to help you make progress with nutrition" explains the gist of it. The piece introduces our subject, who is currently serving as a team dietitian to the Atlanta Hawks and working with college football players training for the NFL Combine. She sees her role as helping these athletes hone in their nutrition so they can reach their fitness goals. And never by dieting.

Well known to the nation's community of RDs, Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD, was herself a three-sport collegiate athlete and explains that nutrition plans must be individualized for each athlete to achieve their goals.

“If I have an athlete who doesn’t like to cook, we can work around that and make it easy to eat healthy without cooking," Marie says "Or, if I have someone who comes in eating fast food, we will find better quick-serve restaurant choices. It’s all about progress, not perfection.”

Bringing her expertise to all, Marie then shares her top tips for elite athletes and everyday gym-goers alike, including higher-protein breakfasts, adding produce to every meal, and staying hydrated. In addition, Marie offers readers her "Eat Like The Pros 7-Day Meal Plan".

For the great work she does with athletes, for sharing her experience in a major public forum like SI, and doing the dietetics field proud in the process, Marie was Wednesday's RD of the Day.

Read the article: Atlanta Hawks Dietitian Marie Spano Wants To Help You Make Progress With Nutrition

Heather Kearney, RDN, LD  
As we approach February and American Heart Month, Thursday's RD of the Day provides some great answers to a Quad City (IA) Times reader's question about the need to move to a heart healthy diet.

In her Ask the Dietitian column, Heather Kearney, RDN, LD, reminds readers about American Heart Month and that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.—about one in every four deaths.

Right away, she turns to the positive."The good news is that several of these risk factors may be influenced by simple changes in lifestyle, such as what you choose to eat."

The RD at the Hy-Vee supermarket in Davenport then offers some RD wisdom with "five simple ways to invest in your heart health."

For her solid suggestions and helping her community pay closer attention to heart health, Heather was our Thursday RD of the Day.

Read the article: The Best Heart-Healthy Foods For You

Natalie Rizzo MS, RD Twitter
Whether you're a serious runner, someone who runs regularly to stay in shape, or just a person looking to lose weight and has decided to run to help in that effort, today's RD of the Day says that runners, in her opinion, understand the plight of inflammation more than any other type of athlete.

Taking a nutritional approach to battling to post-running aches and pains in the joints this time of year, Natalie Rizzo an RD who also has a Master's in Exercise Physiology, provides the readers of Women's Running with "5 Winter Foods That Help Your Body Fight Inflammation".

Natalie urges runners to avoid "the torturous inflammation fighting tactics and adapt simpler ways to keep those joints happy, like filling our plates with antioxidant-filled ingredients." Luckily, she adds, the winter is the best season for finding antioxidant-filled produce that is ripe for the picking.

After explaining the value and importance of antioxidants, Natalie presents details on five winter seasonal foods are chock-full of antioxidants to help ward off post-run joint pain. After each of the five, the piece includes a recipe using that ingredient.

For helping runners fight and recover from inflammation after running this winter, Natalie is Friday's RD of the Day.

Read the article: 5 Winter Foods That Help Your Body Fight Inflammation