...cut out the soda

From The Cooper Institute and Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

Make your life a mission - not an intermission. - Arnold H. Glasgow


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Written by August 20, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Comments 0

The glycemic index (GI) for carbohydrate-containing foods and beverages was developed in the early 1980’s in order to try to improve blood glucose control in diabetic patients. The GI of a food or beverage is determined by the rise in blood glucose levels during the two-hour period following its ingestion versus the blood glucose response to an equivalent amount of carbohydrate in a standard food such as white bread.1  As a reference point, white bread has a GI of 100. Foods and beverages with a higher GI than 100 (e.g. instant rice) cause a higher rise in blood glucose than

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Written by August 6, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Comments 0

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among U.S. men and women, accounting for nearly 600,000 deaths each year as well as ~$250 billion in annual health care costs. The top 5 leading causes of cancer death for U.S. men and women1 are shown below in Table 1. Table 1. Leading causes of cancer death in U.S. men and women. Men Annual Number of Deaths Women Annual Number of Deaths Lung ~87,000 Lung ~73,000 Prostate ~28,000 Breast ~40,000 Colorectal ~27,000 Colorectal ~25,000 Pancreatic ~20,000 Pancreatic ~20,000 Liver ~15,000 Ovarian ~14,000 A common statement that I frequently hear is that

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Written by July 9, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Comments 0

Mention the term ‘processed food’ to most people and you will get a very negative response. Processed food gets blamed for a number of chronic health conditions such as prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, allergies, and some cancers. While there is no question that some processed foods are not the best choices, we need to pause before we overgeneralize. In other words, before jumping on the ‘all processed food is bad’ bandwagon, let’s take a closer look. The technical definition of a processed food is quite broad. Any food product that has undergone a transformation from the raw

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Written by July 2, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Comments 0

If you watch television, you might have seen and heard a “non-attorney spokesperson” plead with persons who have been prescribed statin drugs to call the number provided due to the “dramatic increase in cases of type 2 diabetes caused by statin drugs.” Statin drugs are commonly used to decrease blood levels of LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, and have been shown to significantly decrease the risk of cardiovascular morbidity (illness) and mortality (death). In an earlier blog, Do Statin Drugs Increase the Risk of Diabetes?, we found that the benefits of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by taking a statin were

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Written by June 25, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Comments 0

It’s pretty much accepted far and wide that regular aerobic exercise is good for you. From the earliest studies by Drs. Jeremy Morris and Ralph Paffenbarger in the 1950s up to the present time, there have been thousands of publications documenting the beneficial effects of regular aerobic exercise on health and well-being. A partial list of these benefits (from our Personal Training education course) can be found in Table 1. Current public health guidelines for aerobic activity recommend a minimum of 150 minutes per week at a moderate intensity, or a minimum of 75 minutes per week at a vigorous

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Written by June 18, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Comments 0

For well over a century, a cornerstone for middle distance and endurance competitors has been long slow distance (LSD) training. In addition to performing LSD, these individuals also perform interval training (IT) on a regular basis. IT is best described as alternating high intensity work periods (intervals) with low intensity work periods (recovery) within the same workout. The pace that the intervals are done at is usually slightly faster than or at goal race pace. There are an infinite number of variations for interval training workouts. The distance covered as well as the time for each interval, the number of intervals

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Written by June 11, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Comments 0

Data from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study1, as well as from other large databases worldwide have shown conclusively that a low level of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) significantly increases the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality. As you may know, CRF is defined as the maximal ability to utilize oxygen at the cell level, and is sometimes referred to as ‘cardiovascular fitness’ or ‘aerobic power’. CRF can be measured in a clinical setting via a maximal treadmill exercise test, or in a field setting via the 1.5 mile run or 1 mile walk tests. You may have taken one

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Written by June 4, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Comments 0

Over the past few years, a number of claims have been made regarding the benefits of dietary coconut oil (DCO). Weight loss and improved heart health are among the most commonly purported health benefits of DCO. Because I’m a big proponent of the old adage ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’, let’s take an objective look at what the science says. First off, while dietary saturated fats tend to increase blood levels of LDL-cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), not all saturated fatty acids are exactly alike. Dietary saturated fatty acids fall in two categories based on

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Written by May 21, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Comments 0

Most of us who are very active know how important it is to consume fluids, carbohydrate, and electrolytes (salts) during endurance exercise. Doing so helps to prevent dehydration and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which in turn helps to delay fatigue. The scientific literature is chock full of studies regarding the beneficial effect of sports drinks during long-term exercise. However, less is known about post-exercise nutrition. For endurance athletes who are training on a daily basis, what and when they consume foods and beverages post-exercise has become a hot topic in the exercise science research world over the past few years.

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Written by April 9, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Comments 0

An earlier blog, Should You Eat Like a Caveman?, covered the rationale behind the Paleo Diet as well as benefits and concerns with this approach. A major emphasis of the Paleo Diet is to avoid grains, including whole grains. Although there is no scientific evidence to support their opinion, Paleo enthusiasts claim that grains ‘cause inflammation’, which leads to an increased risk of chronic disease and early death. Before we take a look at what the science says, let’s review a little bit. All grains contain 3 parts: the bran, germ, and endosperm. A whole grain uses all 3 parts

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