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December 2015 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
Please Pass Those Sweet Taters

Walk into any supermarket this time of year and you’ll notice larger displays of sweet potatoes. Why? Sweet potatoes are in high demand during the holiday season. People make pies, casseroles, and soufflés. Others serve them baked, stuffed, mashed, roasted, or candied as a traditional dish for family and friends—and for good reason. Sweet potatoes are considered one of the most versatile vegetables. They taste great, and they’re chock-full of vitamins and minerals.

In this month’s E-News exclusive, Today’s Dietitian reviews the sweet potato’s history as a holiday food, its traditional uses, and nutrient profile. We also include four recipes RDs can share with clients.

After reading the article, visit Today’s Dietitian’s website at to read the digital edition of the December issue, which includes articles on maintaining weight loss during the holidays, popular nutrition trends for 2016, managing short bowel syndrome in parenteral nutrition patients, and gluten-free living and emotional health.

Please enjoy the E-Newsletter and give us your feedback at, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Judith Riddle, editor
e-News Exclusive
Sweet Potatoes: A Nutritious Powerhouse With a Rich History
By David Yeager

“As a food for human consumption, the sweet potato has been, and always will be, held in very high esteem, and its popularity will increase in this direction as we learn more about its many possibilities.”
— George Washington Carver

The sweet potato, a staple of many a holiday dish, is packed with nutrients. Unfortunately, most traditional ways of preparing sweet potatoes include copious amounts of sugar and fat. With a few simple adjustments, however, revelers (and those who feed them) can serve up the tasty root with fewer calories and plenty of flavor.

Sweet potatoes, Ipomoea batatas, a member of the Morning Glory family, have been cultivated since sometime between 2500 BC and 1850 BC, and archaeological evidence suggests that humans have eaten them for as long as 10,000 years.1,2 By the time Christopher Columbus landed in the New World, sweet potatoes were a well-established crop in Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands.1,3 Columbus took them to Spain, and they were considered a delicacy in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as a powerful aphrodisiac.1,3 Legend has it that King Henry VIII of England was a voracious consumer of sweet potatoes, especially spiced sweet potato pies.1

Full story »
In this e-Newsletter
Field Notes
Coffee Daily May Improve
Colon Cancer Survival

Regular consumption of caffeinated coffee may help prevent the return of colon cancer after treatment and improve the chances of a cure, according to a study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that reported this association for the first time.

The patients, all of them treated with surgery and chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer, had the greatest benefit from consuming four or more cups of coffee per day (about 460 mg of caffeine), according to the study published in August in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. These patients were 42% less likely to have their cancer return than noncoffee drinkers, and were 33% less likely to die from cancer or any other cause.

Two to three cups of coffee daily had a more modest benefit, while little protection was associated with one cup or less, reported the researchers, led by Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber. First author is Brendan J. Guercio, MD, also of Dana-Farber.

Read more »
Other News
Watching TV Can Encourage Unhealthful Eating Habits
Mouth-watering commercials aside, there hasn't been much of an understanding of why sedentary behavior encourages more snacking and less nutritious choices, until recently. A study found that people who get a lot of screen time share a couple of common traits, according to The Huffington Post.

FDA Must Develop Plan to Label Genetically Engineered Salmon
A small passage of Congress' federal spending bill will require the FDA to prevent GMO salmon from reaching the US market until regulators finalize labeling guidelines, according to The Washington Post.
Ask the Expert
Have a dietetics-related question that you'd like our expert Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, to answer? E-mail or send a tweet to @tobyamidor, and we may feature your query!
Continuing Education
CPE Monthly: Obesity: Beyond Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
Learn about obesity’s far-reaching impact on quality of life beyond diabetes and cardiovascular disease in this month’s issue of Today’s Dietitian. Read the CPE Monthly article, take the 10-question online test at, and earn two CPEUs!

December CE Special
From now through December 25, purchase our 12-Pack — a $230 value — for only $192 when you use the coupon code 12DAYS at checkout.

Learn more »

Free Recorded Webinars

Grain: A Contemporary Look at a Classic Staple

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The Facts on Snacks: Trends, Behaviors, and Recommendations

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Diet and Hypertension

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In The January Issue

The Risks and Benefits of Red Meat

Health At Every Size

Educating Doctors About Nutrition

Menus of Change

The Calcium Debate
Tech & Tools
App Offers New Way for RDs
to Connect With Clients

TelMD ( is a new wellness management app available for iOS that allows client users, referred to as “wellness seekers” in the app, to connect with health professionals, and vice versa. Wellness seekers partner with a local family physician on the app. The physician acts as a coach, helping connect the seeker with specialists, including RDs, if applicable, in the area to create a wellness team. Once an RD has an account on the app, he or she has exclusive domain over a 25-mile radius, which encourages partnerships between family physicians, local RDs, and other providers. Learn more »

Mobile App and Web Guide to Allergy-Free Restaurants Gets Update
AllergyEats ( has just completed a full redesign of its mobile app and website, offering food-allergic diners a dramatically improved user experience as they seek information about the “allergy-friendliness” of restaurants around the United States. Both the AllergyEats app and website have exciting new features and enhanced functionality as a result of this upgrade, and both are still free to use. Learn more »
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