Entire DCR Logo
Cheers to a Healthy New Year!
In This Issue
Spice Spotlight: Nutmeg
Hormone Highlight: Testosterone
Dogs 4 Diabetics
Recipe Round Up
Could you be diabetic?
Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis: Part 2
Do you suffer from IBS?

Quick Links

Find us on Facebook

Visit our blog

 Follow us on Twitter

Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Spice Spotlight:  Nutmeg
The nutmeg tree is native to Indonesia, but is also found in the Caribbean and Malaysia. Despite its name, nutmeg is not a nut. It is a kernel found in the fruit on a nutmeg tree.

 sweet yet spicy, with a warm, peppery taste      

Commonly used in:
 baked goods (especially in the fall and winter), puddings, meat dishes, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts), sauces, cheeses (ricotta cheese mixtures) and warm beverages.

Possible health benefits: dietary source of antioxidants, antibacterial agent

How to use and store:  Nutmeg tastes best freshly grated, if possible.  Store in an airtight container, away from heat, moisture and sunlight.


Fun Facts:

  • Connecticut is unofficially nicknamed "The Nutmeg State". Legend has it that during colonial times, Connecticut residents would make whole 'nutmegs' out of small pieces of wood and sell them as the real thing!   
  • The nutmeg tree actually produces two different spices: nutmeg and mace.
Interested in Research Opportunities? 
Send an email to:  studies@diabloclinical.com
Hormone Highlight: Testosterone

AKA: the male sex hormone

Location:  male testicles, female ovaries, adrenal glands (small amounts).

Function(s):  Testosterone is an anabolic steroid; thus, it will help the body make more protein (synthesis).  In men, testosterone helps produce male reproductive tissue (testes and prostate), muscle tissue, bones and body hair.  Given that testosterone helps to make bone, it plays a role in helping to prevent osteoporosis. While found in men in much higher levels, testosterone is present in women as well. For both men and women, testosterone plays a role in sexual arousal. Supplemental testosterone has been used to enhance athletic performance, but is now banned for Olympic athletes and most sports. 
Further reading:
Dogs 4 Diabetics!

 Diablo Clinical Research is happy to announce a partnership with locally based Dogs 4 Diabetics!  Several of our patients are Dog 4 Diabetics 'parents' and currently have a Medical Assistance Diabetic Alert Dog who helps them manage their blood sugar. These wonderful dogs have been trained to alert their owners before a low blood sugar event (hypoglycemia) even starts!
For more information about Dogs 4 Diabetics, please visit their website at Dogs 4 Diabetics

Recipe Roundup:  

Red Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries and Pecans

Image via Wikipedia
Makes 4 servings. Pair with a mixed green salad if desired.
Original recipe courtesy of Glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch of ginger and/or curry, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 TB fresh chopped parsley
  • Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Using a rice cooker or a medium sized saucepan with a lid, cook quinoa according to instructions. (Usually, 1 cup of quinoa requires 2 cups of water or broth.) Set aside. 
  • In a medium roasting pan add the butternut squash, cranberries, onion and garlic. Drizzle with a dash of olive oil, to coat.  Sprinkle with sea salt, ginger and a dash of curry. Toss everything together and place pan on the top rack of the oven. Roast until the squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While the butternut squash is roasting, heat a skillet and lightly toast the pecans.  
  • In a large bowl, add in the cooked quinoa and the roasted butternut mixture. Add in the toasted pecans and chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toss to coat. Serve warm. 
Nutrition Facts per serving:  380 calories, 17.1 g total fat (1.4 g saturated, 8.6 g monounsaturated, 3.6g polyunsaturated) , 0 mg cholesterol, 52.5 g carbohydrates (9.9 g fiber, 4.2 g sugar), 9 g protein,  48.5 mg sodium, 547 mg potassium, 29% iron, 8.2% calcium
Advancing Health Newsletter January 2013
Resolution #1: Eat More Plants
At the start of every year, millions of people make New Year's resolutions, yet a majority of these resolutions have fizzled out by February. Engaging in goal setting (such as S.M.A.R.T. goals) or making your goals known to friends and family are just two  sure-fire ways to help those resolutions stick. And Diablo Clinical Research is here to help! Each month we'll be highlighting a resolution or goal and ways to help you achieve it.   Read on for this month's resolution...
Image via Wikipedia.
January: Eat more plants (especially vegetables!)

Why?  Plant-based foods, especially our vegetables, are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which are essential for our health for hundreds of reasons. Moreover, vegetables are nutrient-dense, meaning they pack loads of nutrients for a small amount of calories. 

How?  Eating more plant based foods doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite recipes.  Here are several ways to add more produce in your meals:
  • Mix it in: Take a basic comfort food recipe, such as Mac & Cheese, and add in broccoli, carmelized onions or tomatoes.  Adding diced onions, spinach or bell peppers to beef or turkey patties is another option.
  • Plate portions: How you plate your food can affect your intake. Treat your vegetables as the main focus of the meal, with meat/protein and starches as side dishes. 
  • Low Processed:  Sure, cereal, pasta, granola bars and crackers are all 'plant based' but these products have all been processed to some degree, some more so than others. When upping your 'plant foods', make sure you're choosing whole foods that are as least processed as possible--think actual vegetables or fruit, not something that has been put into bar form in a package. 
  • Veggie Smoothie: A smoothie can be a healthy, quick breakfast, but it can be loaded with sugar. Instead of adding sweet yogurt, fruit juice AND tons of fruit, cut back on the sweet stuff and up your vegetable intake. Replace the sweetened yogurt with plain Greek yogurt or unsweetened protein powder, swap milk or an unsweetened milk alternative (rice, almond, coconut or soy) for the juice and replace 1-2 servings of fruit with vegetables (carrots, celery, tomatoes, or dark leafy greens work well.)
  • Snack attack: Make sure you have plenty of ready-to-eat vegetables on hand to help prevent snacking on unhealthy foods. Celery, carrots, bell pepper slices, mushrooms, sliced cucumber are healthy finger foods that can be eaten on-the-go or during your work break.
  • Leftovers: If you have some vegetables that need to be eaten up soon, a hearty soup will take them off your hands.
  • New or Improved: Never tried kale? Not a fan of raw onions? New foods can seem intimidating and if we had a bad experience with a food in the past, it can be difficult to want to give it another chance. Make it a goal to try one new vegetable or recipe per 1-2 weeks. Who knows? You may love kale in a white bean and sausage soup, or may find that caramelized onions are your new favorite food.
What are some ways that help you to eat your veggies every day? Send an email with your ideas to our Registered Dietitian and your healthy habits will be posted in our February newsletter. 
Do you have Type 2 Diabetes?
For more information about the study or to see if you qualify, please call (925) 930-7267 or send an email to apaulazzo@diabloclinical.com
Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis: Part 2
In our last newsletter, we discussed the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis.  This month, we will discuss what a ketogenic diet is and how it may have benefits for various medical conditions.

What is a ketogenic diet and why is it used? A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates. A classic ketogenic diet has a ratio of 4 grams of fat to every 1 gram of protein+ carbohydrates combined. For example, if you were to eat 60 grams of fat at breakfast, then you could have 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. This type of diet is commonly used to reduce the frequency of seizures in those with epilepsy.  A ketogenic diet may also be beneficial for other neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease. 


How does a ketogenic differ from a low-carbohydrate diet? Definitions of a low-carbohydrate diet vary, but typically the amount of carbohydrate intake is < 30% of calories, with varying amounts of protein and fat. In general, low-carbohydrate, high protein diets tend to have higher amounts of protein (usually 30-50%), with 20-30% carbohydrates and 30-40% fat, where as a ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy is made of up 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein and 5-10% carbohydrates.  


How does a ketogenic diet work to promote fat loss?

When switching from a high to low carbohydrate diet, the body starts to go through ketosis somewhat gradually. In the first 48 hours or so, gluconeogenisis occurs to prevent your blood sugar from dropping too low (hypoglycemia.) Gluconeogensis is the body's ability to make glucose from other, non-carbohydate sources. At this point, the brain will use this newly made glucose as fuel.  Once your glucose and glycogen (stored glucose found in the muscles and liver) is used, the body starts converting fat into energy. When these fatty acids are broken down, ketones (ketone bodies) are produced in the liver, then transferred to other organs for energy.  Ketones are not stored in the body, but rather are eliminated through the urine, and thus, fat loss occurs.

 Simply put, reducing your carbohydrate intake can help your body to burn fat. 


What problems or side effects are associated with a ketogenic diet?  When transitioning from a higher carbohydrate to a low-carbohydrate diet, an individual may experience fatigue, lethargy, mild headaches, and dry mouth.  For Type 1 diabetics who are insulin dependent,  a ketogenic diet can result in diabetic ketoacidosis, and thus is not recommended. Adherence to a ketogenic diet can be difficult to follow, even as the diet becomes more liberal, as our current food environment is carbohydrate heavy (bread, desserts, sugary beverages, grains, etc.)


What are the benefits of a ketogenic and/or low-carb diet? In addition to helping reduce frequency of seizures in an epileptic person, a ketogenic diet has been shown to help improve blood glucose control and assist with weight loss. Additionally, some studies have shown HDL cholesterol (the 'good' cholesterol) to improve/increase, while blood glucose, triglycerides, total cholestrol and LDL cholesterol have all decreased. While some studies have shown weight loss to be similar in low-fat diets vs. low-carbohydrate diets, subjects on the low-carbohydrate diet tend to report less 'hunger pains' or alterations in mood. 


Sources and Additional Reading:

  1. Yancy WS, et al. A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes. Nutrition & Metabolism, 2005, 2:34.
  2. Krilanvoich, NJ. Benefits of ketogenic diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007; 85:238-43.
  3. Accurso A, et al. Dietary carbohydrate restriction in Type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome: time for a critical appraisal. Nutrition & Metabolism, 2008, 5:9.
  4. Westman EC, et al. The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutrition & Metabolism, 2008, 5:36.
  5. Freeman JM, et a. The Ketogenic diet: One decade later. Pediatrics, 2007; 119; 535.
  6. Dashit HM, et al. Beneficial effects of ketogenic diets in obese diabetic individuals. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, August 2007. Vol. 302; 1-2): 249-256.
  7. "The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living." 2011, Beyond Obesity, LLC.
  8. McClernon JF, et al. The Effects of Low-Carbohydate, Ketogenic Diet and a Low-Fat Diet on Mood, Hunger, and Other Self-Reported Symptoms. Obesity, 2007. 
  9. Davis MS, et al. Comparative Study of the Effects of a 1-year Dietary Intervention of a Low-Carbohydrate versus a Low-Fat Diet on Weight and Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 2009; 32(7).
  10.  Shai I, et al. Weight Loss with a Low Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2008 (35, 3): 229-241.
  11. Johnstone AM, et al.  Effects of a high-protein diet on hunger, appetite and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libum. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008; 87: 44-55.
Do you suffer from IBS? 

Furiex IBS ad 

For more information, please call Ava at 

925-930-7267 or send an email to: apaulazzo@diabloclinical.com

Love healthy cooking? MORE recipes are available on our website at  http://diabloclinical.com/subcat_studyvolunteers_health.php
And don't forget to check out our blog,  http://diabloclinicalresearch.wordpress.com/, for health,nutrition & fitness articles!