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.

Seanne Safaii-Waite, PhD, RD, LD, and Sue Linja, RDN, LD  
"By the year 2050, there will be more than 800,000 centenarians living in the United States. What if one of them is you?" asks Monday's RD of the Day.

Writing in the Idaho Statesman, Seanne Safaii-Waite, PhD, RD, LD, discusses the work that she and fellow RDN Sue Linja have done interviewing people living to be 100 or more.

"Our interviews, qualitative research and observations in Japan, Singapore, Italy, Cuba, Taiwan and the United States have provided us with what we believe to be the best dietary strategies for longevity and happiness," says the associate professor at the University of Idaho Dietetics Program.

If you want to live to 100, there are certain things all of these people have done. "Every centenarian we interviewed had several dietary habits in common, regardless of which country they came from," writes Seanne. "Our mothers were right when they insisted that we should eat our vegetables! Vegetables play a fundamental role in the diet of every centenarian we've met during our travels."

This article and their talk at TEDxBoise on April 8th discuss other factors for longevity found in this important research. For discovering and sharing these secrets to a long life from those who've lived them, Seanne (and Sue) earn Monday's RD of the Day.

Read the article: More people are living to be 100. How can you make it?

Kerri Link Heckert, MS, RD  Twitter
Tuesday's RD of the Day asks a very simple question of's Goal Getter blog readers: Are you going overboard with salt?

Kerri Link Heckert, MS, RD, at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia lays it bare in the opening of her piece: "The World Health Organization (WHO), 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Heart Association all recommend eating less than a teaspoon of salt per day, however, most Americans are eating way more than that."

Kerri then reminds readers that diets with high sodium can raise blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

She then explains that sodium is measured on food labels in milligrams and translates measurements. She also points out that about 75% comes from either processed or restaurant food, and lists the biggest culprits.

"Keep any eye out for other sodium-containing ingredients like sodium nitrate, sodium citrate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) or sodium benzoate," Kerri suggests, as well as helping translate several sodium-related terms like "low sodium", "reduced sodium", "No-Salt-Added" and "unsalted".

For educating readers about salt consumption, including her great list of "Tips to help you break up with salt", Kerri is our Tuesday RD of the Day.

Read the article: Are you going overboard with salt?

Taryn Palmer, RDN, LD  
Unless you're lactose intolerant or vegan, for those trying to lose weight or eat a healthier diet, yogurt is often on the menu. In her piece for Times-News/, Wednesday's RD of the Day helps consumers that are overwhelmed with the many flavors and varieties that fill the dairy aisle of every grocery store.

Taryn Palmer, registered dietitian for the Magic Valley (ID) YMCA, breaks down the various types and health benefits of this protein-packed, calcium-rich food.

She explains differences between Greek and regular yogurts, full-fat, low-fat or non-fat, and recommends whether to go plain or flavored ("Go for the plain. Many of the popular flavored yogurts are actually full of sugar, oftentimes filled with as much as a donut or cookie.")

In addition to all the helpful yogurt knowledge, Taryn shares a recipe for grilled lemon chicken skewers with yogurt-hummus sauce.

For encouraging consumers in her Idaho community to incorporate yogurt as part of healthy diet, as well as helping the understand how to navigate all of the different choices, Taryn was Wednesday's RD of the Day.

Read the article: Picking the perfect yogurt

Barbara Quinn, MS, RD, CDE  
Thursday's RD of the Day gets personal when she writes "What works for weight loss" in the Monterey Herald.

We've chosen Barbara Quinn before for her conversational writing style and candid views on nutrition. In this column, the RDN and CDE affiliated with the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula begins by telling readers that she's "having an up-and-down relationship with my scale this month."

Being a dietitian, she ponders that she should know what to do to stabilize the situation and keep the unwanted pounds off, right?

"Most of the time, I can figure out what strategies work best for my clients who need to lose weight," Barbara writes. "But this is me. I’m not always objective when I look at my own day-to-day habits. And let’s face it, when we want or need to change certain routines, just knowing what we should do doesn't always cut it."

She then goes on to explain that, like reaching any accomplishment, there are certain things we must do to lose weight, such as motivation and confidence. However, she shares, it’s a constant struggle to want to make changes and fighting against actually making them.

"I reassure my clients, for example, not to get so focused on the scale. And then ... I do," she laments.

For sharing her own struggles about weight loss and how she uses them to counsel clients, Barbara was Thursday's RD of the Day.

Read the article: What works for weight loss

Bridget Bennett, MS, RD, CDN  
Today's RD of the Day counts as one of the many nutrition professionals doing important and sensitive work with patients and this feature, by The Wilton Bulletin "What to put on your plate to avoid cancer", showcases her personal approach to breast cancer patients.

The article features oncology dietitian Bridget Bennett from Whittingham Cancer Center - Norwalk Hospital speaking about the benefits of nutrition at a meeting of the Breast Cancer Survivors Support Group at Wilton Library.

Understanding there is no "magic pill" to help cure or even prevent cancer, Bridget is a "huge fan" of getting vitamins and other beneficial nutrients from fruits and vegetables.

She emphasized her belief to the group with a handout that showed a "model plate for a cancer preventive diet" that was two-thirds vegetables, fruits and whole grains and one-third or less of animal protein.

When asked prebiotics and probiotics, she advised "These are good bacteria that live in your gut, in your large intestine and sometimes in your small intestine and they’re very beneficial for good digestion. They help digest things so they're absorbed better," Good digestion, she added, is essential to a healthy body.

For the benefit of readers looking to know more about nutrition and cancer, the article then covers her answers to other questions on tyopics like Tamoxifen ("not a lot of new information"), vitamins, estrogen, and sugars and fats.

For the work she does with cancer patients, including support group meetings like this one, we're proud to call Bridget RD of the Day.

Read the article: What to put on your plate to avoid cancer