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Archive for the ‘Preventive Medicine’ Category

What Nutritionists Eat When They Dine Out

I was sitting in an interview with Meridan Zerner, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, listening to her give tips on how to make a healthy decision at meal time when I thought, “I wonder what she eats when she goes out to dinner?” The writer asked questions about changes anyone could make when they were meal planning and the information Meridan shared was great. There were plenty of tips and tricks I could use while grocery shopping but I spend more time dining out with friends and family than I do cooking at home.  A few weeks later, I finally got around to chatting with Meridan about how she decides what restaurants to dine at and what she orders.

“Whatever happens, always eat consistently throughout the day,” says Meridan. Meals and snacks provide you with the necessary nutrition and energy to have the most productive day. Eating regularly also helps to avoid overeating when you do finally sit down to eat. Consider eating a lighter lunch before a big dinner but definitely don’t skip a meal.

  1. Think lean and green. Always go for salads, fruits and vegetables first. These foods are high in fiber and will fill up your stomach faster. Whether it’s a cup of fruit or vegetable soup, you will be starting off with foods that will keep you from overindulging later in your meal.
  2. Consider sharing an appetizer. Splitting that delicious appetizer will help you manage portion control. Eating two appetizers instead of an entrée is another great way to make sure you’re eating a healthy portion size.
  3. Substitute for something healthier.  If your meal comes with pasta or rice, consider substituting that for double veggies in order to get the healthiest version of the meal possible.  Most restaurants are willing to allow customers to substitute or make changes to the listed menu items as dietary needs continue to change.
  4. Skip the sauce. Depending on what you order, you’re adding an additional 500 calories to your meal. Skipping that extra sauce, oil or butter goes a long way in managing your caloric intake. Meals may start out healthy but be mindful of how little extras add up quickly.

Choose restaurants carefully and always know before you go. Look at menus online before deciding where to plan your next meal. Check out Healthy Dining Finder for restaurant reviews and contact Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services to find out how to plan meals according to your lifestyle.

A Healthy Start to College

Taking the right nutritional supplement for you is an important element in living a Cooperized lifestyle.

By: Karen Perkins, Account Executive, Cooper Concepts Inc.

As your child prepares to leave the nest and head off to college, there is no doubt that they are preparing for a season in their life unlike any other. The flexible schedule, opportunities to learn and try new things, thriving campus life, and close proximity to peers creates the perfect platform on which countless memories will be made. With so many exciting elements of this transition on you and your student’s mind, we want to remind you to help set your child up for a healthy semester.

It can be hard for college students to stay healthy. Crowded dorms and classrooms, along with reduced sleep and added stress often leave their immune systems trying to play catch-up. Dr. Cooper recommends eight healthy steps that make up a well-rounded, healthy life. One of the healthy steps to Get Cooperized is taking vitamins and supplements. So while your child may have outgrown taking a chewable Flintstone vitamin with their Fruit Loops® in the morning, it might not be a bad idea to continue to ask, “Have you taken your vitamins today?”

Cooper Complete® Health Body Pack
We recommend the Cooper Complete® Health Body Pack. Each canister contains 30 individually wrapped cellophane packets with a Basic One Iron-Free one-tablet-per-day multivitamin and the daily recommended amount of omega-3. Having the supplements individually packaged makes them perfect for the on-the-go lifestyle of your student. It’s easy to grab a packet and put it in a backpack, purse, or pocket to take with a meal. Plus the packets remove guesswork and thinking—simply take one packet-full per day with any meal. That’s easy to remember.

Why Basic One Iron-Free?
Most nutrition experts agree that a balanced, nutritious diet is the best way to obtain needed nutrients. The recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per day is five servings (nine is even better!), yet the average teenager only eats 1.6 servings! A recent report from the University College London stated that eating seven or more portions of fruits and vegetables a day reduces your risk of death at any point in time by 42 percent compared to eating less than one portion. Supplements are not intended to replace a healthy diet and lifestyle, but taking a multivitamin can provide a convenient way to “bridge the nutritional gap” and address micronutrient inadequacies that may well occur when your child is suddenly away from home. Also, while girls tend to stop growing sooner, it is possible that your son’s body is still growing and developing. This makes it even more important for them to obtain the proper nutrients. Here are a few of the vitamins included in Basic One Iron-Free.

Vitamin A promotes normal bone growth and tooth development, healthy skin and assists in night and color vision.

Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, strengthens connective tissue, muscles and skin and increases resistance to infection.

Vitamin D promotes tooth and bone formation and aids in the absorption of minerals like calcium. While you can get vitamin D naturally from sunlight, a study by Weill Cornell Medical Center found one in seven adolescents were vitamin D deficient. Cooper Clinic suggests at least 2000 IU per day which is the amount in our daily multivitamin.

Why Advanced Omega-3?
Omega-3 has shown to help with brain health (reduce depression) and heart health. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty-fish such as salmon at least two times per week. One study found that fish oil (in foods or supplements) cut the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 32 percent. Buying fish can be expensive and is generally not conducive to the typical college lifestyle so taking an omega supplement is highly recommended.

When you’re preparing the next care package for your college student, sneak in a Cooper Complete Healthy Body Pack to keep them on track. For more information about Cooper Complete products, click here.

Happy Father’s Day From Cooper Aerobics!

Father’s Day is well-celebrated at Cooper Aerobics. Not only because we are a family-owned business, but also because of our Founder and Chairman, Dr. Cooper, is the ‘father of aerobics.’ Dr. Tyler Cooper, Cooper Aerobics’ Chief Executive Officer and son of Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, shared a video tribute of his father’s legacy with their home church, Prestonwood Baptist.

More than 45 years ago, Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH published his first book in 1968. When discussing the title with his publisher, Dr. Cooper said the title Aerobics would never catch on and would be mispronounced and misspelled. After a little convincing, it was decided as the title of his first of 19 books. Aerobics has now been translated in 41 languages, including braille, and is well-known around the world. In 1986 Dr. Cooper’s submission for the official definition of ‘aerobics’ appeared within the Oxford English Dictionary.

Happy Father’s Day from Drs. Cooper and all of the Cooper Aerobics family!

 

H-E-B Slim Down Showdown

Kathy Duran-Thal, RDN, LD, has been the Director of Nutrition for Cooper Wellness for more than 25 years and all who interact with her praise her extensive knowledge, ability to relate and fun personality. In January, Kathy helped kick off the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown, a 12-week health and fitness program for H-E-B grocery store partners (employees) and customers. She spent a week teaching 30 program participants nutrition the Cooper way.

In the weeks since then, participants have had individual phone coaching with Kathy, logged their food, exercised and shared their journey in personal blogs. Kathy recently traveled to San Antonio for the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown finale.

Elizabeth Sandoval, a quality assurance technician at H-E-B’s bakery in Corpus Christi, and Richard Arrington, an H-E-B shopper from Aransas Pass, Texas, were two of the participants Kathy coached. Each of them won a $5,000 “Healthy Hero” prize for their involvement and dedication to the program. Richard, who originally weighed in at 385 pounds, improved his cholesterol by 75 percent, decreased his body fat by 36 percent and lost a total of 66.6 pounds. And Elizabeth improved her cholesterol by 28 percent, decreased her body fat by 36 percent and dropped 46.8 pounds. Read the news release and watch the video below to celebrate their success in their journey to live longer, healthier lives.

To learn about Cooper Wellness, click here or call 972.386.4777.

Myth or Fact? Balancing Acidic and Alkaline Foods for Your Stomach

The idea that we need to balance our inner pH with a special diet is a trendy one, but is there any evidence behind it?

The pH level (the balance of acid and alkaline) in your body is important, and can affect multiple body functions, but balancing pH is more complicated than simply changing your diet. It is true that a majority of the average American’s diet is loaded with acidic foods, but food isn’t the only factor that affects your inner pH.

“It is an interesting concept [balancing pH by adjusting the amount of acidic food you eat], but there is little basis or medically proven benefit of doing so,” says Cooper Clinic Director of Gastroenterology Abram Eisenstein, MD.

The human body is very sensitive to changes in pH and balance between acid and alkaline materials in our blood is very important part of our blood, but the body was developed with a number of mechanisms to guard against over acidity or over alkalinity in the blood. “Without these fundamental and life-protecting mechanisms, you can become very ill with chronic acidosis, but in the big scheme of things, what you put in your mouth has very little to do with the acid/alkaline balance in your body,” explains Dr. Eisenstein.

Serious diseases, such as uncontrolled diabetes and chronic kidney disease can have a far greater effect on your body’s pH levels than the food you eat. “While the recommendations that you can control pH by balancing acidic and alkaline foods in your diet come from well-meaning people, this idea is misguided,” says Dr. Eisenstein. “One of the beauties of our bodies is that our pH is regulated minute-by-minute. There is no long term effect on your blood from eating acidic foods.”

As far as the store bought urine tests claiming to check for a pH imbalance, Dr. Eisenstein doesn’t recommend giving them much thought either. “Measuring pH in the urine is not the way to find out if your pH is balanced or not because your kidneys are designed to balance the pH,” he says. “If you have too much acid in your blood, you’ll put out acid urine, if you have too much alkaline in your blood, you’ll put out alkaline urine.”

The bottom line: acidosis and alkalosis are serious medical problems, but unless you have other signs of serious poor health, worrying about your inner pH levels is unnecessary.

If you are concerned about your pH balance, schedule an appointment with your physician for an examination. If it is deemed necessary, your physician will order a blood pH test, which is the only correct way to check for a pH imbalance.

For more Prevention Plus articles, click here.

Skin Cancer Screening at Cooper Clinic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that one in five adults will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. That should be powerful enough to have an annual screening and that’s why it’s is a vital component to the Cooper Clinic Comprehensive Exam. Read about the first four (of six) components to get caught up!

  1. Medical Exam & Counseling
  2. Laboratory Analysis
  3. Cardiovascular Screening
  4. Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) Scan
  5. Skin Cancer Screening
  6. Nutrition Consultation

While beauty is more than skin deep, we must not neglect our skin—the body’s largest organ. Our skin provides an important barrier and immune protection plus hydration and vitamin-producing functions. A skin cancer screening identifies potential problems before they affect your health. Our board-certified dermatologists perform a meticulous screening for cancers, pre-cancers and atypical moles. With the physician you will also discuss information regarding your past sun exposure, sun protection measures and family history of skin cancer.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are many different types of skin cancer: actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell are the most common forms of skin cancer and if caught early and treated successfully, the cure rate is about 95 percent.

Melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer. According to the CDC, in 2010, 61,061 people were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin and 9,154 people died from it.

You are at higher risk for developing melanoma if you have been a frequent user of tanning beds, have a family history of melanoma, have atypical moles or lots of typical moles.

When melanoma is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate. As is the case with most cancers, patients who have melanoma detected at an earlier stage have improved survival.

Melanomas can occur anywhere on the skin surface but are frequently located on the back and other areas that may be easy to miss with self-inspection. Screening examination of the total skin surface can increase the likelihood of detecting melanoma six-fold compared with partial examination. That is why a head to toe (and between the toes!) examination is very important. Did you know that melanoma can develop in the eye? When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Symptoms of Melanoma
The most important warning sign for melanoma is a new spot on the skin or a spot that is changing in size, shape or color. The ABCDE rule is a guide for self-examination. Between your annual exams, be aware of the symptoms and contact your physician if you find a spot with any of the following features:

A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.

B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.

C is for Color: The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.

D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch – the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this.

E is for Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.

The AAD recommends that persons at highest risk perform frequent self-examination and seek professional evaluation of the skin at least once per year. Cooper Clinic board-certified dermatologists Dr. Rick Wilson, Dr. Flora Kim and Dr. Helen Kaporis can help you protect the health of your skin with preventive dermatology services.

To learn more about a preventive exam at Cooper Clinic, click here or call 866.906.2667 (COOP). Stay tuned for the last component of the exam, nutrition consultation.

Sunscreen Guide 2014

April 18, 2014 1 comment

Skin cancer is caused primarily by unprotected exposure to the sun, meaning it’s often preventable with sunscreen and clothing which protect the skin from too much exposure to the sun. Although sunscreen is readily available, skin cancer rates continue to climb. Why?

Until recently, there were no real standards for how sunscreen manufacturers labeled their products. Experts are hopeful that new labeling guidelines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will help reduce the incidents of skin cancer in the U.S.

Cooper Clinic Preventive and Cosmetic Dermatologist Flora Kim, MD, FAAD, explains the new FDA guidelines and how to properly use sunscreen to reduce risk of skin cancer.

New FDA Guidelines

New FDA guidelines are intended to make it easier for consumers to know how much protection a particular sunscreen does or does not provide. The use of the label “broad spectrum protection” means the sunscreen has been proven to protect against both UVA and UVB rays (although UVA protection might me weaker than UVB protection). In the past, a sunscreen could be labeled as “broad spectrum” even if it only protected against UVB rays.

When it comes to SPF, any sunscreen lower than SPF 15 must be clearly labeled that it will not protect against skin cancer, but will only prevent sunburn. Sunscreen with an SPF over 15 that is labeled as “broad spectrum” can be labeled as preventing sunburn, skin cancer and aging due to the sun.

Any sunscreen over SPF 50 will now be labeled as SPF 50+, as there is speculation that an SPF higher than 50 is not actually more effective. Additionally, people may be more likely to apply sunscreen with an SPF over 50 less frequently because they think it provides more protection, when in fact, it does not.

Manufacturers are no longer allowed to use words like “waterproof,” “sweatproof” or “sunblock” as these terms are misleading. What you might on sunscreen labels instead is “water-resistant” with a time limit of 40 or 80 minutes before the sunscreen becomes ineffective.

It is important to know that these new FDA guidelines are still in the process of becoming completely enforced, as it takes time for manufacturers to submit required documentation to change labeling. It is always important to read the label of any sunscreen product you are considering.

Recommendations for Sunscreen Use

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends wearing an SPF of 30 or higher every day, not only when you are lying out by the pool or on the beach. The sun’s rays can still be damaging, even on a cloudy day.

Most people do not put on enough sunscreen. In fact, according to the AAD, most people only apply about 25 to 50 percent of what they should put on to be fully protected. As a general guideline, you should generously apply one ounce to all areas of the skin that will be exposed to the sun.

Sunscreen should be applied to dry skin 15 minutes before you go outside and reapplied every two hours, or after swimming or heavy sweating.

For more guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology, click here.

What About Makeup and Moisturizers?

Some cosmetic products and moisturizers do contain a small amount of SPF, but if you are trying to protect yourself from sun damage or skin cancer that will not be sufficient protection. Dr. Kim recommends an application of dedicated sunscreen underneath your moisturizer and makeup rather than relying on the SPF of your cosmetic products.

Ultimately, you must remember that no sunscreen is perfect. Wearing long sleeves and a hat and staying in the shade as much as possible are also important precautions to take to prevent sun damage or potentially deadly skin cancer.

For more information about cosmetic and preventive dermatology at Cooper Clinic, click here or call 972.367.6000.