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June 2021 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
Your Client’s Brain on Sugar

There’s been much research and discussion on how added sugars can negatively affect the heart, but do your clients know how added sugars can impact their brains?

In this month’s E-News Exclusive, Today’s Dietitian (TD) answers whether sugar is really addictive and discusses the possible genetic and environmental causes of sugar cravings, how sugar impacts neurotransmitters, health effects of excessive sugar intake, and tips to help clients decrease their intake of added sugars.

After reading the article, visit TD’s website at to read the digital edition of the June/July issue, which includes articles on colored rice, COVID-19’s impact on the food industry, reducing sugar-sweetened beverage intake in children, trauma-informed care, and MNT in chronic kidney disease.

Don’t forget to check out where you can read and comment on blogs written by RDs for RDs. We’re welcoming new guest bloggers, so if you’re interested in writing, please contact me at the e-mail listed below.

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
Sugar’s Impact on Brain Health

By Anne Danahy, MS, RDN

Chances are, if you ask clients which foods they take pleasure in eating the most, sugary fare may make the list. It’s well known that humans have an innate preference for sweets. Some people will go so far to say they’re addicted to sugar—but can sugar become an addiction? It turns out eating too much refined, added sugar indeed can have some negative effects on brain health.

Sugar, Cravings, and Neurotransmitters
Research suggests that, in some people, genes in part seem to regulate a strong desire for sugar. Variations in a specific chromosome are linked with a greater preference for sweets.1 This may explain why some people have a natural and lifelong affinity for sweet-tasting foods.

Other studies have found that a natural preference for sweets is present at birth. A newborn’s face relaxes when tasting a sweet solution. Infants also will consume a greater amount of a solution that tastes sweeter than a less sweet option.2 This isn’t surprising, as glucose fuels the brain and nearly every cell in the human body. According to several reviews, this innate preference for sweets may be an evolutionary mechanism for survival, ensuring a baby’s acceptance of its mother’s milk.

Additional research shows that a person’s diet when they’re young also plays a role in how much they like sweets as an adult. Some evidence suggests early exposure to sugar-sweetened foods leads to increased preference for sweets and an inclination for foods higher in sugar later on.2

Full story »
Continuing Education
Learn what the evidence says about intermittent fasting in this month’s issue of Today’s Dietitian. Read the CPE Monthly article, take the 10-question online test at, and earn two CEUs!

CE Flash Sale!

Buy 1 self-study course and receive 1 self-study course for 50% off!* Use code: SAVE50
Save Now »

* Special ends at 11:59 pm Friday, June 25th.

Upcoming Live Webinar

Beyond The Plate: A Global Perspective on Milk
Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 9–10 am ET
Presented by Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN
1 CEU FREE | Sponsored by The a2 Milk Company | The a2 Milk Company has been approved by the CDR to offer 1.0 CPEU for this webinar. | Register Now »

Recorded Webinars

Where Does Nutrition Fit in the Sustainability Equation?
Presented by Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, FAND
1 CEU FREE | Sponsored by National Honey Board | Access the Recording »

Go Nuts: Help Your Clients and Patients Address their Pandemic Weight Gain and Health-related Issues
Presented by Zhaoping Li, MD, PhD, and Maureen Ternus, MS, RDN
1 CEU FREE | Sponsored by | The International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation was approved by the CDR to offer 1.0 CPEU for this webinar. | Access the Recording »

Recently Added Self-Study Courses

Dietary Protocol for Leaky Gut Syndrome and Autoimmune Disease
The Role of Low-Carbohydrate, Very Low-Carbohydrate, and Ketogenic Diets in Type 2 Diabetes
Intermittent Fasting — An Evidence-Based Assessment
The Complexity of Hormones in Regulating Appetite

2021 Spring Symposium Recorded Sessions

The 2021 Today’s Dietitian Spring Symposium Recorded Session Package features 14 credit hours of high-quality continuing education content in a variety of topics in nutrition and dietetics. If you missed this year’s event you can still take advantage of this unique educational opportunity for a one-time fee of just $525. Buy now »

2022 Spring Symposium — Early-bird savings expiring soon!

The Today's Dietitian Spring Symposium is unlike any other event, and next year we will gather at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida, May 22–25, 2022! With continuing education at its core, the Spring Symposium offers a level of engagement and meaningful interaction between our attendees, our session presenters, and our sponsors that is truly different and quite extraordinary for an industry meeting. Take advantage of significant savings with our early-bird rate of just $199. This low rate expires on June 30th, so act now!

Early-Bird Registration
Advertising Opportunities
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Ask the Expert
Have a dietetics-related question that you'd like our expert Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, to answer? Email or send a tweet to @tobyamidor, and we may feature your query!
In this e-Newsletter
Field Notes
New Research Shows Trend Toward Less Healthful Eating During Pandemic

As COVID-19 spread throughout the world, individuals’ daily routines and behaviors changed drastically. A new study of more than 2,000 people in the United States found that the pandemic also has affected how people eat. The authors found a decrease in the consumption of many food groups, particularly healthful foods such as vegetables and whole grains, compared with before the pandemic.

“When the pandemic began, we saw panic buying, problems in the food supply chain, increases in food prices, and rising unemployment rates,” says Caroline Um, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the American Cancer Society. “All these factors can affect access to food, and we wanted to find out if and in what way people’s diets were changing.”

Um presented the new findings as part of NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE, a virtual conference recently hosted by the American Society for Nutrition.

“We were surprised to see decreased consumption of a lot of the healthful foods,” Um says. “This decrease was the most pronounced among women, Black and Latino study participants, and participants who gained at least 5 lbs since 2018.”

Read more »
RD Lounge Blog
Half-Homemade Meal Ideas
Emma Anstine, MS, RDN, LD

Whether clients are working from home, starting to go back to work, or getting their kids to summertime activities, it can be difficult for them to make homemade meals. As dietitians, we often recommend home cooking because clients can control what goes into their meals, ideally making them more healthful.

However, cooking every meal from scratch can be daunting. After more than a year of takeout for many busy clients during the pandemic, it will be tough to adjust. On the other hand, clients who have been cooking more at home throughout the pandemic may be experiencing burnout.

When speaking to clients about preparing meals at home, it’s best to provide easy, practical tips. A half-homemade approach involves using premade products and adding them to recipes to enhance flavor and spend less time in the kitchen.

Read more »
Other News
Nutrition and Lifestyle Changes for Headache Management
University of Utah Health interviews its headache expert, who shares strategies for reducing headaches or migraines through better sleep, stress reduction, and a more healthful diet.

Zero-Waste Cooking for Health and Environment
Writing in Healthline, an RD provides a primer on how to reduce waste in the kitchen, from decreasing food waste to composting to meal planning. 
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In the August/September Issue

The COVID Vaccine and People With Diabetes

Antioxidant Beverages

Mindfulness and Heart Health

Dietitians Wanted From All Backgrounds

Atypical Anorexia Nervosa
Find solutions on our ToolKit Page
Tech & Tools
Updated Senior Fitness Certification
The American Council on Exercise announces an updated version of its Senior Fitness Specialist Program, a continuing education program that includes best practices for motivating older adults and tailoring fitness to their needs and abilities. The update features a focus on physical activity to prevent neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and cognitive decline. Learn more »

Electromagnetic Wearable for Pain Relief
The brand KT Tape, a maker of elastic tape designed to support muscles, ligaments, and tendons to relieve pain, launches the FDA-approved KT Recovery+ Wave device. Meant for pain relief, the device can be worn virtually anywhere on the body where a user is experiencing muscle pain. It sends high-frequency, low-energy, sensation-free electromagnetic waves to calm pain signals from nerves. Learn more »
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