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....bring May flowers!
In This Issue
Healthy Habits
Spice Spotlight: Dill
Hormone Highlight: Adiponectin
Cholesterol Survey
Resolution #5:Decrease processed foods
New Osteoarthritis study
Recipe Round Up
RD Taste Test: Quark
New innovative Type 2 diabetes study!

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Healthy Habits from Fellow Patients
In April, we asked our loyal Advancing Health readers "What are some ways that you cut down on screen time?"  Here's a great list of ways to limit your TV watching and computer use:
  • Lloyd D: "When I'm aimlessly surfing the Internet, I set a timer for 30 minutes. When the buzzer goes off, I turn off my computer."   
  • Karen J:  "I put TV watching last on my 'to-do' list. If I haven't done everything else on my list--cook a healthy meal, laundry, run errands, exercise--then I don't watch TV or surf on the internet."
  • Jane P: "I want to set a good example for my grandchildren. Instead of watching TV with them, I'll read them a book, take a walk or prepare a healthy meal. It's important to me that they understand how important it is to stay healthy your whole life."
  • Patrick B: "On those days where I just have to watch TV, I make sure to do it at the gym. I'll catch up on my favorite TV shows when I'm using the treadmill or stationary bicycle. I'm still watching TV, but at least I'm moving."  
Spice Spotlight: 
dill May 2013

 sharp, tangy, with a very distinct flavor 

Foods commonly used in:
  dips, dressings, seafood, pickles,

Possible health benefits:  dill may help protect against carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), free radicals, bone loss and may have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

How to use and store:
  • Add dill at the end of cooking to help preserve the flavor.
  • Store fresh dill weed in the fridge in a damp paper towel, or place the ends in a glass of water.
  • Store dried dill seeds in an air-tight glass jar in a cool, dry, dark place.    

Fun Facts:

  •  Dill leaves are usually called 'dill weed'. Dill seed is a spice that is similar to caraway seeds.  
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: Adiponectin

AKA:   Metabolic Syndrome fighter

Location:  secreted by adipose (fat) tissue into the bloodstream

Function(s):  helps control glucose levels; involved with the breakdown (metabolism) of fatty acids 

Levels of adiponectin are inversely related to the amount of body fat in the body. For example, if you have high levels of body fat, you'll tend to have lower levels of adiponectin.   Losing weight (especially fat loss) typically causes the amount of adiponectin in the blood stream to increase, as your stored fat (trigylcerides / fatty acids) are decreasing. Adiponectin levels are typically lower in those with diabetes compared to non-diabetics.

You can help increase your levels of adiponectin with exercise, increased movement throughout the day and by replacing carbohydrates (especially the refined kind) with unsaturated fat.

Further reading:
Do you have high cholesterol? 
Take our free survey to see if you may be eligible to participate in an upcoming research study!

Go online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K3FNS6R to complete the survey. If you qualify, a member of our recruiting staff will contact you shortly.

Advancing Health Newsletter May 2013
Hello and welcome to May! We have several exciting things going on at DCR this month:
  • Our website has been revamped! We've given it a fresh, cleaner look and made it easier to navigate through. It's a great source of healthy recipes, educational handouts and medical research opportunities. Visit www.diabloclinical.com and let us know what you think!
  • On Wednesday, May 8 from 10:30am-12 noon, our Registered Dietitian will be speaking at the San Ramon Senior Center's weekly Wisdom Wednesday class. The topic is Nutrition and Eye Health. For more information about attending the class, please call the San Ramon Senior Center at (925) 973-3255. 
  • Look for us on Saturday May 18th at the San Ramon Senior Center Live Well Resource Fair. We'll be offering free heel scans to check for osteopenia and osteoporosis. Stop by between 8:30am-11:30am. Door prizes include a free full-body DXA bone density scan and a 1 hour nutrition consult visit with our Registered Dietitian. The San Ramon Senior Center is located at 9300 Alcosta Blvd, San Ramon, 94583 
  • This month, our newsletter is featuring a section called "RD Taste Test ". Our Registered Dietitian will be sampling new, different and unique foods and offering a review. If there's a food that you've always been curious about eating, but have never tried, send an email to our RD and she'll put it on her tasting list.
  • New studies abound! This month, we have numerous studies for chronic pain, including fibromylagia, osteoarthritis and back pain. We are looking to add more patients with these conditions to our database. If you or someone you know suffers from these pain conditions, please call us at (925) 930-7267 or send an email to studies@diabloclinical.com.  
Resolution #5:
Decrease processed foods
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...
May 2013
Image via Harbourside Fitness. 
May:  Cut back, limit or avoid processed foods whenever possible. 

Why?  While processed foods are typically quick to prepare and are inexpensive, there are hidden costs of a diet filled with these foods.  Most processed foods are filled with ingredients you've never even heard of, artificial food dyes and excessive amounts of salt and sugar. These foods are what dietitians call "calorie-dense, nutrient-poor" foods, meaning you'll get very few vitamins and minerals for a lot of calories.  Almost all foods are processed to some degree, but the goal is to eat foods that are as close to how they normally grow in nature. Think more broccoli, less cheese puffs that turn your fingers orange. But sometimes, there are meals out there that 'look' like food, but are really just 'food products': they resemble actual food, but if you were to cook those items at home from scratch, you wouldn't use the same ingredients.  Canned pasta dishes, frozen dinner entrees and even "multi-grain" cereals can be filled with chemicals.   Due to consumer demand, processed foods are becoming less processed, but they still should remain a "sometimes" food in your diet.

  • Limit your foods' "degree of processing": Unless you're eating everything raw, almost every food is processed to some degree. Homemade bread is technically processed, but usually only has 3-5 recognizable ingredients, such as flour, water, yeast, salt and butter.  On the other end of the spectrum, the ingredients list for a McDonald's Big Mac bun is a mile long! Homemade vegetable soup may have 15 ingredients, but chances are it's a lot less processed than a canned version from the grocery store.  
  • Shop at a Farmers' Market: They're filled with fresh, unprocessed foods (i.e. vegetables and fruit). Many farmers' markets also carry eggs, cheese, fish and meat.  
  • Drive past the drive-thru:  It's an obvious culprit, but fast food is usually highly processed. Limit it as much as possible. Same with TV dinners or other prepared meals.  
  • Read the label: Look at the ingredients on the package. If there's more than 5 ingredients, a bunch of chemical-sounding words, or ingredients that you've never heard of, the more processed the food is.  
  • Organic ≠  unprocessed: An organic cookie is still a cookie, albeit a healthier one.  Foods claims such as 'organic' or 'natural' tend to have a "health halo" effect: we perceive that since it's healthier option, we can have unlimited amounts, which is not the case.  Healthier is not the same as healthy, either. 
  • Scratch that: Cooking from scratch (as much as possible) is the best way to decrease your processed food intake. Even if you make a hamburger at home or bake your own fries, it's bound to be healthier than anything you'd get from most restaurants. Why? You control the ingredients and the portion size.  
What are your tried and true ways for reducing your intake of processed foods?
Send an email with your ideas to our Registered Dietitian and your healthy habits will be posted in our June newsletter. 
Do you suffer from osteoarthritis in your knees?
Nektar April 2013

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

Recipe Roundup: Asparagus with Creamy Tarragon sauce 

   May 2013

It's not a Spring meal without asparagus! This tangy sauce get its flavoring from spices and Greek yogurt while going easy on the salt and fat. Asparagus is a good source of potassium, folate and fiber. 

Makes 4 servings.  Recipe adapted from Eating Well.
  • 2 bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt, or 0% Greek yogurt  
  • 6 TB mayonnaise (try this olive-oil based recipe!) 
  • 4 tsp chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 TB water
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon juice, water, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle the sauce over the asparagus. Serve warm or cold.
  • Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.   
Nutrition Facts per serving:   197 calories,  15.7g total fat (2.6g saturated,  0.13g monounsaturated,  0.11g polyunsaturated), 0mg cholesterol, 10.1g carbohydrates (4.2g fiber, 5.9g sugar), 6g protein,  220mg sodium, 477mg potassium, Vitamin A 31%, Vitamin C  20%, calcium 10%, iron 24% 

RD Taste Test: Quark  


Quark is a fresh cheese, typically made from cows' milk. In German, quark means "fresh curd", but in the U.S., it is typically referred to as "farmer's cheese".  It is a soft, white cheese that is typically made without adding salt.  Its fat content ranges anywhere from fat-free to 40% fat, making it a low-fat alternative to low-fat cream cheese that may have added fillers. Quark is commonly consumed throughout Europe. Few creameries in the U.S. actually make quark. Illinois-based Lifeway Keifer and Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery are two of the more well-known manufacturers. Quark is a very versatile cheese and pairs well with both sweet and savory foods. It's often used in sandwiches, salads, cheesecakes or eaten with fruit.

Quark characteristics:
  • Taste: tart, a bit tangy, similar to a blend of cottage cheese, sour cream and cream cheese.
  • Texture: similar to sour cream or soft ricotta cheese  
  • Nutrition: 1 serving (1oz; 28g) = 35 calories, 1g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 2g fat 
Our RD made a savory breakfast frittata using quark and it was a hit with the DCR staff!  The original recipe called for cream cheese but 8oz of quark was used instead.  If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, divide the recipe into two 8-inch round cake pans. Make sure to line the pans with parchment paper to prevent the frittata from sticking to the pan.

Quick Tip: If you can't find Quark at the store, make your own with this simple recipe.

Other ways to enjoy Quark:
  • Mix into mashed potatoes instead of butter
  • Use as a filling for crepes
  • Spread over bagels or toast  
  • Use instead of cream cheese on a bagel
  • Mix into a frittata, quiche or savory tart
  • Blend with fresh herbs for a tasty dip
  • Add to smoothies for a bit of protein and fat  
Living with diabetes is complicated
What would you do with FREE time away from some of the daily worries and burden of treating diabetes?

FREEDOM-1 is a clinical research study investigating an innovative approach to delivering treatment for type 2 diabetes that doesn't require needles or even pills.  This study is now enrolling.

You may be able to take part if you:
  • are  between 18 and 80 years of age
  • have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes from more than 3 months 
The study will last for approximately 1 year, and throughout this time you will receive care from a dedicated team of medical staff.  There will be 10 visits to the study center.

Investigational product, examinations, and medical care relating to the study will be provided at no cost to you.

If you would like to help us in our research to deliver a simpler, more convenient diabetes treatment, please contact Ava at (925) 930-7267 or send an email to studies@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!