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Posts Tagged ‘Alzheimer’s disease’

Apples for a Healthy Bite

October 10, 2013 Leave a comment

153755211_applesOctober is National Apple Month! Apples are one of the most popular fruits purchased by American consumers and there are over 700 varieties to be picked! They not only taste great, but they also provide a lot of nutrients. Apples have only 80 calories for a medium-sized fruit. They are rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL). They contain good quantities of the antioxidant vitamin C and also beta-carotene and B-complex vitamins. Apples are fiber packed and can be very filling for a power snack before a workout or as a pick-me-up during a mid-day energy slump.

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away! Here are some of the health benefits that make apples so smart to eat. They may:

  • Boost weight loss
  • Improve brain health and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Inhibit growth of cancer cells of the colon, breast and protect against other cancers
  • Improve heart health
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Increase good bacteria in the gut

Apples are crunchy and satisfying and easy to grab and go. Here are some great ways to pack apples into your routine:

  • Lunch box
  • Car trips
  • Beach/pool trips
  • Plane rides
  • Picnics

Apples are a ready-to-eat fruit. These tips can help you keep them fresher longer:

  • Select apples that are firm to the touch, free of bruises.
  • Wash apples under running water and dry with a paper towel.
  • If slicing or dicing up an apple, store in a mixture of one part lemon juice and three parts water and either eat within 2 hours or refrigerate.
  • Refrigerate apples right away to maintain flavor and slow down ripening. Apples that are stored properly can last 4-6 weeks.

Apples are fun to eat in creative ways:

  • Apple slaw
  • Apple chips
  • Chopped apples as an oatmeal topping
  • Baked apples for dessert
  • Chopped in tuna salad
  • Tossed in a green salad
  • Sliced in a turkey sandwich with melted 2% low fat Swiss cheese
  • Apples smeared with peanut butter
  • Served with a low fat cheese stick for a snack
  • Homemade chunky apple sauce
  • Low-fat high fiber apple berry muffins or apple walnut bread

What’s your favorite apple?

A Healthier Cup of Coffee, A Better Start To Your Day!

Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD

Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Cooper Clinic registered dietitian talks coffee sweeteners on Fox 4 Good Day.

A day doesn’t pass by without my hazelnut K-Cup® coffee. I’m always on the go and need my morning fuel–it’s great to hear I’m reaping benefits from my daily cup of Joe. In my role in Marketing and Communications at Cooper Aerobics I have the opportunity to work with the local media to highlight our experts. Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Registered Dietitian at Cooper Clinic was recently featured on Fox 4 Good Day sharing the wonderful health benefits that coffee offers as well as the best and worst of sweeteners. Meridan explained that the polyphenols in the coffee bean in combination with caffeine provide substantial reduced risk in cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and some forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.

While coffee can be wonderful, it can also propose a challenge when we begin to “doctor” our cup. The biggest offenders are half and half and flavored creamers. These are filled with saturated fat which is a high contributor to heart disease and inflammation.

To obtain the same thick texture, Meridan suggests opting for fat free half and half, which only has a dash of corn syrup. Be sure to measure what you are pouring, ideally one tablespoon is enough. Sometimes we can get carried away and have more than ¼ cup, which adds up quickly. Another option is a soy creamer; Silk® soy creamer has only 15 calories, zero saturated fats and zero trans fats for one tablespoon.

With a variety of flavored creamers on the market like NESTLÉ® Coffee-Mate®‘s Girl Scouts® Thin Mints® to International Delight®‘s Almond Joy®, these options combine cream and sugar into one pour. Meridan said the most inflammatory ingredient in these products is the partially hydrogenated soybean oil or palm oil. If you are choosing a flavored creamer use it sparingly or look at other alternatives. Consider sugar free or fat free–but which is best? Meridan said fat free is the better option with less calories and none of the partially hydrogenated ingredients.

If you don’t drink your coffee black, what is the optimal cream and sugar option? Meridan said fat free milk which provides calcium, vitamin D and protein. If you need a little more flavor to your coffee, you could try original or flavored Silk® Almondmilk. That plus a packet of sugar or sugar subsitute can be an easier way to track your morning calories.

Enjoy your coffee and don’t forget to always eat breakfast! For more health tips from dietitians at Cooper Clinic, visit our website.

Podcast: Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness Levels and Later-Life Dementia

February 25, 2013 Leave a comment
Laura DeFina, MD, interim chief scientific officer, Cooper Institute

Laura DeFina, MD, Interim Chief Scientific Officer, The Cooper Institute

Laura DeFina, MD, from The Cooper Institute, is interviewed about research published this month in the Annals of Internal of Medicine. The study, shows that individuals who are fit at midlife have a lower risk of deveoping Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in their Medicare years.

The study followed more than 19,000 generally healthy men and women who completed a preventive medical exam at Cooper Clinic in Dallas when they were, on average, 49 years of age. The exam also included an assessment of other health risk factors such as body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and cholesterol. Their health status was evaluated using Medicare data between the years 1999 and 2009, an average of 24 years after their Cooper Clinic examination.

Listen to hear Dr. DeFina’s thoughts on the study.