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"Today’s Dietitian" featured Dr. Christen Cupples Cooper's piece: "Nutrition & Academic Performance"

08/16/2019

"Today’s Dietitian" featured Dr. Christen Cupples Cooper's piece: "Nutrition & Academic Performance"

In today’s nutrition environment, many consumers seek not only foods and dietary supplements that enhance physical health and well-being but also “brain foods” that enhance cognition, mental acuity, and emotional well-being. The brain is the body’s control center, and, as articulated by Rosales and colleagues in Nutritional Neuroscience in October 2009, what we eat matters when it comes to brain development and cognition.

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"Livestrong" featured College of Health Professions founding director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program Christen Cupples Cooper in "9 Ways You're Doing Coffee All Wrong — and How to Get It Right"

07/25/2019

"Livestrong" featured College of Health Professions founding director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program Christen Cupples Cooper in "9 Ways You're Doing Coffee All Wrong — and How to Get It Right"

Many of us rely on this caffeinated beverage to wake us up in the morning and give us the energy we need to cruise through the day. But few of us probably realize that, in addition to supplying a pick-me-up, coffee provides us with a slew of health benefits.

Coffee is rich in riboflavin, otherwise known as Vitamin B2, which is not naturally found in many foods and helps the body break down nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins and fats, Natalie Rizzo, RD, New York City-based registered dietitian, tells LIVESTRONG.com.

The average cup of joe is also rich in polyphenolic antioxidants, which may help protect against several common illnesses, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic syndrome diseases, according to a study published in the journal Neural Regeneration Research in November 2015.

Drinking coffee may also aid in weight loss, according to a June 2019 study published in the journal Nature. Researchers found that drinking the bean brew stimulated body temperature, activating something called "brown fat," which plays a key role in how fast we're able to burn calories.

All this is likely music to coffee-lovers' ears. But the bad news? You may be making a few critical missteps in preparing your cup of java that are preventing you from reaping the full health benefits.

Whether you buy your coffee from your favorite corner shop or make it at home, here are nine mistakes you should try to avoid.

1. Buying Ground Coffee

Coffee beans contain the highest amount of antioxidants when they are whole and fresh. Although it's easier not to have to grind the beans yourself, you may be skimping out on some major health benefits.

Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition and wellness expert and author of Eating in Color, recommends buying the beans whole, storing them in an airtight container and grinding just enough for your morning brew. "This is a much better idea than buying ground coffee, which may have been sitting on the store shelf for weeks, losing its antioxidants," she says.

2. Adding Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Not only does sugar contribute empty calories to your beverage, but it can also have myriad negative affects on the body, including tooth decay, an increase in inflammation and weight gain, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Though artificial sweeteners can be a better choice for diabetics, they come with their own set of health disadvantages, such as unwanted changes to the microbiome (the healthy bacteria in your gut), says Largeman-Roth.

3. Overloading on Creamer

Most Americans order their coffee with a heaping helping of creamer. While a tiny splash won't negate all of the benefits coffee can provide, any more than that will turn an innocent cup into a calorie bomb offering little nutritional value, explains Christen Cupples Cooper, EdD, RDN, assistant professor and founding director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at the College of Health Professions at Pace University.

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"The Journal News" featured Pace University's Physician Assistant program adjunct professor Paige Long Sharps, M.D. in "What New York and New Jersey are doing to stem black women's deaths from childbirth"

06/17/2019

"The Journal News" featured Pace University's Physician Assistant program adjunct professor Paige Long Sharps, M.D. in "What New York and New Jersey are doing to stem black women's deaths from childbirth"

The New York metropolitan area has some of the best hospitals and top doctors in the world.

Yet New Jersey has the fifth-highest maternal mortality rate in the nation and New York ranks 25th in the number of women who die during or after childbirth in the U.S., according to a USA TODAY investigation.

The United States, which has the highest maternal death rate among developed countries, is one of only three nations — the others are Afghanistan and Sudan — where the maternal mortality rate is rising, according to the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health. 

And the overwhelming majority of women who die or suffer catastrophic injury in birth or post-delivery are black women.

New Jersey Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter said state Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal "hit the nail on the head" when he said, "It's implicit bias."

Studies show that race, more than poverty or education, presents the most significant risk for maternal mortality. For example, New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that the maternal morbidity rate of black women with at least a college degree was higher than for any other racial or ethnic group of women who lacked a high school diploma or GED.

Dr. Paige Long Sharps said the cause is "multi-factorial," but bias by health care providers cannot be discounted.

She said she's seen colleagues treat women of color, especially women who are obese or poor, differently. And, Sharps said, she's had doctors be curt and dismissive with her when she has sought medical care — until they ask what she does and she tells them she's a doctor.

Sharps decided to go into teaching after serving as medical director of Montefiore Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health in part because of the bias she witnessed. 

“If I can instruct in clinicals, I can eradicate the biases in how residents and nurses are treating patients in the hospital,” said Sharps, who is an adjunct faculty member for Pace University’s Physician Assistant program at the Pleasantville campus.

New York and New Jersey are taking action: Both have formed task forces to define the issues and develop ways to address health disparities; both states' legislatures have put forth bills to address the issues, and both governors have included money in their state budgets to act on recommendations.

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"Nature.com" featured College of Health Professions Professor Joshua Mendelsohn in "The hunt for the lesser-known funding source"

06/03/2019

"Nature.com" featured College of Health Professions Professor Joshua Mendelsohn in "The hunt for the lesser-known funding source"

When infectious-disease epidemiologist Joshua Mendelsohn accepted a job at Pace University in New York City in 2015, he knew that the odds of securing a large government research grant were stacked against him. Funding success rates are notoriously low at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) — especially for those under 40, as Mendelsohn was at the time. And Pace has tended to be more focused on teaching than on research, with few resources with which to pursue large federal grants.

Opting not to waste his time on long-shot petitions to the NIH, Mendelsohn has continued his research by finding grant support from a less-obvious source: a foreign government. A Canadian expat, Mendelsohn leaned on his professional network north of the border to back his research into HIV treatment and prevention in at-risk populations, both as a principal investigator and as co-lead on several major projects funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Mendelsohn hopes to target NIH funding soon, but in the meantime, the Canadian money has served as a bridge. And that Can$350,000 (US$260,000) or so per year, shared with his collaborators, has allowed Mendelsohn to travel regularly to places such as China and Uganda to study HIV mitigation strategies. “I was in a good position to advance my work because of the links I had in Canada,” he says.

Funds are available for those who are willing to hunt them out, says Peg AtKisson, a consultant in Millis, Massachusetts, who helps faculty members to develop their research. The trick remains knowing where to look “outside the standard grant box”, she says.

Yet to succeed financially in academia, especially as an early-career investigator, researchers must think strategically about pursuing multiple smaller grants from unlikely sources, AtKisson says — not just those government bodies and large non-profits that advertise their funding opportunities through requests for applications. “You have to develop really good search skills.”

The search is on

One of the first places to rummage around for alternative grant opportunities is online portals such as PIVOT, SPIN and Grant Forward. These tools generally list different grants, awards and fellowships available to scientists throughout the world, mostly from philanthropies and other non-governmental grant-makers — the “unusual usual suspects”, says Alan Paul, president of Giant Angstrom, a funding consultancy in Los Angeles, California.

Many of the databases require a subscription, something most large university libraries offer. But if none of those resources is available, scientists can still gain access to one of the paid databases, notes Diane Leonard, a grants consultant in Clayton, New York. Through the Funding Information Network, a global group of libraries, community foundations and resource centres, anyone can view listings on the Foundation Directory Online. Although grant-seekers do have to spend funds to travel to a participating site and take time away from the laboratory, it’s worth it for the wealth of information that they can tap into, Leonard says.

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"MD Linx" featured College of Health Professions Christen Cooper in "10 nutritious herbs you should add to your diet now"

05/30/2019

"MD Linx" featured College of Health Professions Christen Cooper in "10 nutritious herbs you should add to your diet now"

Those leafy sprigs of parsley that garnish your dinner, the mint sprigs in your drink, and those basil strips topping your salad contribute more than color and flavor. They're also rich sources of valuable nutrients.

"Many herbs show promise for preventing and fighting diseases," explained Christen Cooper, EdD, RDN, founding director, Coordinated MS in Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Health Professions, Pace University, Pleasantville, NY, in an exclusive interview with MDLinx. "This is why registered dietitians encourage people to replace excessive sugar and salt with fresh herbs when trying to boost the flavor in dishes."

Fresh herbs contain a variety of antioxidants, according to Wesley McWhorter, MS, RD, LD, chef and dietitian, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, TX. "Like dark leafy greens, the green color of fresh herbs indicates that they have similar nutrients," he said. "And they have the extra benefit of allowing you to reduce salt and sugar in your diet because they add the extra flavor we crave."

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"Community Health Magazine" featured Pace's registered dietitian and clinical coordinator in nutrition and dietetics Jessica Tosto in "Our favorite summer smoothies for a healthy breakfast or day at the pool"

05/21/2019

"Community Health Magazine" featured Pace's registered dietitian and clinical coordinator in nutrition and dietetics Jessica Tosto in "Our favorite summer smoothies for a healthy breakfast or day at the pool"

Want to know the secret to the perfect healthy summer smoothie? Sure you’ll want to keep in mind how it tastes and what you put into it. But the recipe for a successful smoothie also involves a balance in the blender of that sweet stuff: sugar.

“Smoothies are a summertime staple thanks to their cold and refreshing taste,” says registered dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin, owner of nutrition counseling company BZ Nutrition in New York City. “The key to keeping your smoothie from sabotaging your health goals is to make sure you are keeping the sugar in check.”

Jessica Tosto, a registered dietitian in Pleasantville, New York, and clinical coordinator in nutrition and dietetics at Pace University, agrees.

“Smoothies are a great way to incorporate vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants and fiber into your diet,” Tosto says. “Fruits and vegetables are packed with these nutrients. However, the average American struggles to consume the recommended minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Blending up a smoothie could actually help you achieve this goal in just one sitting. However, it is important to note that fruit does contain a high amount of naturally occurring sugars and also calories.”

She adds that both fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of nutrients, so it’s good to consume a healthy balance of each of these.

“A simple trick to make sure you are getting a good balance of nutrients is to eat the rainbow,” Tosto says.

Try these healthy summer smoothies for breakfast, dessert and, of course, perfect for a day at the pool.

Breakfast smoothie 

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup strawberries

1 cup spinach or baby kale

1-2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup 100% orange juice

1 cup of ice

Water as needed to reach desired consistency

Put all ingredients in blender and pulse until smooth. Add water 2 tablespoons at a time as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Recipe from Jessica Tosto 


Tropical matcha smoothie 

1 1/2 cups almond milk

2 handfuls of greens (spinach, kale or mixed greens)

3 tablespoons hemp hearts

1/2 ripe avocado

1 teaspoon matcha powder

1/2 cup frozen mango

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth and creamy. Add more liquid if it’s too thick.

Recipe from Brigitte Zeitlin: manitobaharvest.com/recipes/tropical-matcha-smoothie/


Pool day cucumber-mango-lime smoothie 

1 cup fresh or frozen mango

2 mini cucumbers (leave unpeeled for added nutrients)

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup mint leaves

1/2 cup spinach (optional, for extra vitamins and fiber)

1 cup ice

1-2 cups coconut water or seltzer 

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Start with smaller amount of liquid and add more as needed until smoothie achieves desired consistency.

Recipe from Jessica Tosto


 

Chocolate peanut butter super smoothie

4 tablespoons protein

1 frozen banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 1/2 cups of a favorite nondairy beverage

Cacao nibs

Combine and blend ingredients in a blender and serve.

Recipe from Brigitte Zeitlin: manitobaharvest.com/recipes/choco-pb-super-smoothie/


Dessert smoothie 

1 ripe banana

2 tablespoons almond butter

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract 

Pinch of sea salt

1-2 tablespoons chia or ground flax seed

1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Start with smaller amount of liquid and add more as needed until smoothie achieves desired consistency.

Recipe from Jessica Tosto

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