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Welcome to National Nutrition Month!
In This Issue
Healthy Habits
Spice Spotlight: Ginger
Hormone Highlight:Amylin
New Type 2 Diabetes study
Recipe Round Up
How do your feet feel?

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Healthy Habits from Fellow Patients
In February, we asked our loyal Advancing Health readers "What are your tips and techniques for reducing your sugar intake?"  Here's a great list of helpful tips: 
  • Sara J: "I replaced my sugar-filled sodas with unsweetened iced tea and fresh lemon slices. It took awhile to get used to but now I don't miss all that sugar."
  • Ivan G: "I switched from regular jam to a low sugar version, such as the low-sugar strawberry preserves from Trader Joe's. It's still pretty sweet and still has calories, but it's got a LOT less sugar than the regular version. Plus, it's not filled with artificial sugar substitutes."
  • Jill A: "Roasted veggies, especially Brussels Sprouts, are delicious. The long cooking time helps release the natural sugar in the vegetables. It's my go-to veggie cooking method for kids' meals or dinner guests."
  • Tom B: "I was eating a granola cereal that I thought was 'healthy' because it was an organic brand I got from a health food store. Turns out, it has 15 grams of sugar per serving! Diablo Clinical Research's Dietitian helped me pick a few low-sugar cereal and granola options--they even taste pretty good too!" 
Spice Spotlight: Ginger

 Pungent and spicy, ginger is a herb that is used as a medicine and as a spice.  Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, crystallized, juiced, pickled, or even as an oil.  

Foods commonly used in:
  ginger ale, ginger bread, ginger snaps, beer, tea, candy (as crystallized ginger).

Possible health benefits:  Ginger may help reduce various stomach problems, such as stomach aches, indigestion, nausea (related to cancer treatment or post-surgery) diarrhea or morning sickness. It may provide relief from arthritis or menstrual pain.

Possible interactions: Since ginger can help with the production of bile, it is not recommended in large doses for those with gallstones. Taking ginger along with blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin, may increase risk of bruising or bleeding. Ginger may lower blood sugar levels for some individuals, so therapeutic doses should be used with caution by those taking certain diabetes medications (such as metformin, insulin, or glyburide).  Those taking high blood pressure medicines (including amlodipine and Cardizem) should be careful when taking ginger, as it may cause blood pressure to drop too much or cause an irregular heart beat.

How to use and store:
  •   When available, use fresh ginger, as it is more flavorful and contains more anti-inflammatory compounds compared to dried.
  • Store fresh, unpeeled ginger for 3 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 6 weeks in the freezer.
  • Keep dried powdered ginger in a glass container in a cool, dark place. It can also be stored in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life.  
  • Use a paring knife or a spoon to peel fresh ginger.  
  • If you want subtle flavoring, use ginger at the beginning of the cooking process. For a more pungent flavor, add it at the end. 


Fun Facts:

  •  Ginger is native to Asia and has been used as a spice in cooking for over 4,000 years.
  •  Ginger is a sialogodue--it increases the production of saliva, thus making it easier to swallow food. 

Further Reading:

Interested in Research Studies? 
To learn more about our current research studies and to see if you may  qualify, send an email to:  studies@diabloclinical.com
Hormone Highlight: Amylin

Image via UCSF.

AKA: Islet Amyloid Polypeptide (IAPP); Insulin's better half

Location:  Beta cells of the pancreas. Since the beta cells of Type 1 diabetics are destroyed, their pancreas does not secrete amylin.

Function(s):  Slows gastric emptying and promotes satiety, which helps to prevent elevated blood glucose (blood sugar) after meals. It also plays a role in bone metabolism.  A synthetic form of amylin (pramlintide or Symlin®) is used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.  

Further reading:
Advancing Health Newsletter March 2013
Resolution #3:
Smart Snacking
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 of many 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

 Choose healthy snacks to hold you over between your main meals.

Why?  Healthy snacks taste great and have many benefits. They can help curb hunger cravings between meals, thus preventing overeating later on.  Snacking can be a great way to get in extra servings of vegetables, helping to ensure that you're getting all the necessary essential vitamins and minerals each day.  The trick to smart snacking all comes down to portions: you want a snack to be filling enough, but not too big that it becomes a 4th meal! 

  • Portion Power: In general, aim for a snack that's around 100-200 calories, with around 10-20 grams of carbohydrates.  If you choose veggies, you'll get more 'volume' of food while eating fewer calories and carbohydrates.  
  • Think 'mini-meal': Plan your snack so that it has a bit of carbohydrates, fat and/or protein. Classic examples include a small apple with natural peanut butter, or baby carrots with hummus.  
  • Chop to it: Chop up fresh veggies and store in plastic bags or Tupperware, along with dip or hummus. Grab a serving or two for your lunch or road trip.
  • Plan of Attack: Just like your main meals, planning your snacks ahead of time will help set up for healthy food decisions. Take 1 day a week to plan your meals, including your snacks, and use it as a guide for grocery shopping. 
  • Forgo the bars; choose actual foods: Granola bars, protein bars, "food" bars...since when did bars replace real food?!  These bars may work okay every now and then, but we don't want to make them a staple. 
  • Controlling Cravings: Want something salty, sweet, creamy or crunchy? To help satisfy those cravings, try these healthy options:
    • Kale Chips (Salty and Crunchy)
    • Homemade Yogurt Parfait: 0% or 2% plain Greek yogurt, fresh blueberries, almonds or walnuts (Sweet and Creamy)
    • Fresh dates topped with natural Almond Butter and Unsweetened Coconut (Sweet and Creamy)
    • Low salt crackers (such as Triscuits) with goat cheese and toasted pistachos (Salty and Crunchy)
    • Homemade trail mix: Walnuts, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Sunflower seeds, dried fruit and dark chocolate chips (Salty and Crunchy)
    • Guacamole with sliced red bell peppers (Creamy and Crunchy)
    • Dark Chocolate-covered strawberries (Sweet) 
What are your smart snacking methods?
Send an email with your ideas to our Registered Dietitian and your healthy habits will be posted in our April newsletter. 
Do you know your diabetes numbers?

Diabetes Ad
For more information about this study, please call (925) 930-7267 or email: apaulazzo@diabloclinical.com

Recipe Roundup: Mussels with 

Spanish Chorizo

Cooking seafood and shellfish with white wine helps bring out the salty flavors of the sea. When purchasing shellfish, be sure to purchase mussels that have closed shells and don't have a 'fishy' smell. Cook mussels immediately or place in a bowl, covered by a damp cloth. 
This recipe pairs well with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a Blood Orange Salad.
Makes approximately 6 servings. 
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking.
  • 2 TB extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, to taste 
  • 3/4 tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 cup seeded and diced fresh tomatoes (or one 14.5 ounce can of no salt added diced tomatoes, drained)
  • 1 cup dry white wine 
  • 6 oz. Spanish-style chorizo, cut into 3/8 " pieces (about 1.25 cups)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 lb mussels, scrubbed & debearded 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • Combine 3 TB of the olive oil and the minced garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until simmering hot. 
  • Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. 
  • Stir in the sliced garlic and cook until the edges of the onion begin to brown, about 1 minute. 
  • Stir in the smoked paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
  • Add the tomatoes, wine, chorizo and thyme, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the mussels, coating them with the sauce mixture. Cover and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times, until the mussels have opened, 8 to 10 minutes. 
Nutrition Facts per serving:  485 calories, 22 g total fat (6g saturated, 10g monounsaturated, 3g polyun-saturated) ,  109mg cholesterol,  18.7g carbohydrates  (2.0 g fiber, 3.42 g sugar), 44 g protein, 1246 mg sodium,  1184 mg potassium, 13.1 mg iron (73% DV), 109 mg calcium (11% DV)
Do you suffer from painful diabetic neuropathy? 
DNP study

For more information, please call Ava at 

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


Free HbA1c test for Diabetics!
Do you know your A1c score? When was the last time you had it checked? 6 months ago? A year? Longer?

If you're diabetic and it's been longer than 3 months since you had an HbA1c test, visit us for a FREE test. Please call (925) 930-7267 to schedule an appointment. 

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!