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Christen Cupples Cooper | PACE UNIVERSITY

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WalletHub featured Nutrition Professor Christen Cupples Cooper's helpful eating tips in "2021’s Most Overweight and Obese Cities in the U.S."

03/03/2021

WalletHub featured Nutrition Professor Christen Cupples Cooper's helpful eating tips in "2021’s Most Overweight and Obese Cities in the U.S."

What are some tips for eating healthy without breaking the bank?

Each year I have my students take the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Challenge. This means that they must eat on a food stamp budget, following the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan. The exact amount varies by state, but typically runs around $4.15 to $4.30 per day. Many of us spend that amount on a single morning beverage. My students, who report experiencing, hunger, headaches, nose bleeds, mood changes, anxiety, and other discomforts, end the week astounded at how having too little to eat affects their lives and overall sense of well-being. They also learn that healthful food is often inaccessible and expensive and that using tips and tricks for getting the most nutrition they can on a budget is necessary. One tip is to avoid purchasing prepared foods and take the long route to make meals, starting from scratch. Dried beans and rice are inexpensive and provide a complete complement of protein. They are also very healthy for the gut and digestive system. Thus, they are a go-to when eating on a tight budget. Purchasing frozen veggies is another way to save, and most frozen produce is flash-frozen, which helps to retain nutrients. Eating on a low budget can seem boring and mundane but much of this perception comes from North-Americans’ attitudes about food: that we should be able to eat whatever we want when we want it and exactly the way we like it. Most people in the world eat the same thing almost every day, spend much less on food and have better health.

What are the biggest mistakes people make when trying to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle? 

I believe the biggest mistake people trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle make is believing that health is a bipolar concept. That is, believing that eating healthfully and exercising regularly means eating only healthful foods and exercising as hard as possible all of the time. Many people burn themselves out before they can adapt to small changes, which are actually shown to be more effective at improving health because they are easier to achieve and maintain. Adding additional servings of fruits and vegetables to meals or eating meatless a few meals a week can help us save money and also add valuable nutrients to our diets. Another mistake folks make is believing everything they read on labels, online, or in advertisements. Organic foods, for example, are healthful if they are fresh and not highly processed. But an organic cookie is no better than any other cookie. Food manufacturers want us to think it is better, but it is not—it is just more expensive.

According to the CDC, obesity worsens the outcomes from COVID-19. What measures can individuals take to prevent severe complications in the event they contract COVID-19? 

The science seems to point to having a healthy weight as being protective against COVID-19 since adipose (fat) tissue is inflammatory and COVID is an inflammatory condition. Diet therapy to prevent severe complications is still under scientific study. We believe that those with nutritional deficiencies in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, folate, and zinc, typical in elderly populations, are predisposed to more severe complications from COVID-19. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in processed foods and red meat—a Mediterranean-style diet—may provide the antioxidants and produce lower levels of inflammation than a typical Western diet. Therefore, that is what is currently recommended for the best health outcomes.

Read the full WalletHub article.

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Forbes featured College of Health Professions Professor Christen Cupples Cooper in "These New Work-From-Home Meals Could Keep You Happy — And Healthy"

02/25/2021

Forbes featured College of Health Professions Professor Christen Cupples Cooper in "These New Work-From-Home Meals Could Keep You Happy — And Healthy"

"There's growing evidence that individuals who become sick with COVID, but have diets high in whole plant foods that are rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, fare better in terms of health outcomes," says Christen Cupples Cooper, the founding director of nutrition and dietetics at Pace University. 

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Self featured Professor Christen Cupples Cooper, founding director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at the College of Health Professions in "Instant Pot Duo Nova Pressure Cooker"

10/30/2020

Self featured Professor Christen Cupples Cooper, founding director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at the College of Health Professions in "Instant Pot Duo Nova Pressure Cooker"

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Instant Pot Duo Nova Pressure Cooker

This gadget has earned its status as a cult favorite perhaps because it does the same job as many other gadgets, such as a slow cooker and yogurt maker, in one. Plus, the Instant Pot is a timesaver—it cooks food up to 70% faster than other methods, according to its manufacturer. “This little gem allows me to often halve the time it takes to make a dish,” Christen Cupples Cooper, Ed.D., R.D.N., assistant professor and founding director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at the College of Health Professions at Pace University, tells SELF. “For example, cooking brown rice and dried black beans usually involves two different pots, clever timing, and what seems eternal waiting while the foods’ textures soften. I can place rice and beans together in the Instant Pot and in 35 minutes, have a tender, delicious meal.”

It also comes with a steaming rack, so you can cook veggies while your meal cooks below, Cooper says.

Read the full Self article.

 

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Bustle featured College of Health Professions Director of Nutrition and Dietetics Christen Cupples Cooper in "The Science Behind Your Favorite Winter Foods"

10/29/2020

Bustle featured College of Health Professions Director of Nutrition and Dietetics Christen Cupples Cooper in "The Science Behind Your Favorite Winter Foods"

Sweet Potato

Nutritionist Christen Cupples Cooper, R.D.N., tells Bustle that this root veggie is packed with vitamin A, protein, iron and calcium, and fiber. The combination of nutrients supports the body's immune defense, which is particularly helpful during the winter months.

Beets

Filled with potassium, iron, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B6, and folate, they're great for brain function, digestion, and circulation — all things that can slow down in the winter. Cooper adds that studies suggest they also reduce inflammation

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GQ featured says registered dietician and founding director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program Christen Cooper in "How to Gain Weight the Right Way"

10/16/2020

GQ featured says registered dietician and founding director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program Christen Cooper in "How to Gain Weight the Right Way"

Conversations about weight typically revolve around losing it. But is a real subset of people out there wondering how to gain weight. The guys who struggle to find a dress shirt that doesn’t fit them like a poncho? A watch that doesn't hang off their wrist on both sides? We see you. Otherwise known as hardgainers or ectomorphs, these are men who feel like they can’t bulk up even after hitting the gym regularly. But they can gain weight and add muscle mass, provided they’re willing to take the time to do so. “Americans just want a quick fix,” says Christen Cooper, registered dietician and founding director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at Pace University. “The first thing I tell people, especially guys shooting for these huge muscles, is that to do it right, you need to have a little more patience.”

Read the full GQ article.

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