Eat Good Food. Lower Bad Cholesterol.

older couple eating healthy breakfast

If you or a loved one suffer from having high cholesterol, you know there’s a whole list of foods that your doctor has probably told you not to eat. There are plenty of foods that can lead to high cholesterol, but what about the foods you should eat? Rather than focusing on what not to do, let’s take a look at some of the things you can eat that will help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) – all of which are still pretty tasty. So, here are seven foods you can feel good about eating.



Here’s a food that’s perfect for snacking, and will help reduce your cholesterol levels. A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a significant reduction in LDL when participants consumed walnuts or almonds. Although these nuts are good for your heart, they are high in calories, so portion control is key here.



Changing up your breakfast a bit could be a big factor in lowering cholesterol. Adding two servings of oats to your morning meal could reduce LDL by about 5% in just six weeks. The key player in oats is a substance called beta-glucan that absorbs LDL, which is later excreted by the body.


Salmon and Fatty Fish

If you’re not getting sufficient amounts of Omega-3 in your diet, here is the perfect opportunity to increase your fish oil intake while decreasing your bad cholesterol. Omega-3 has been shown to fight heart disease, dementia, and a number of other health risks. When you replace saturated fats with the ones found in salmon, sardines, and herring, you may be able to raise HDL (that’s the good kind) by as much as 4%.



Surely you heard the little rhyme when you were a kid. Well, beans truly are good for your heart. Research was conducted at Arizona State University Polytechnic and they discovered that adding half a cup of beans to soup has the potential to reduce total cholesterol by as much as 8%.



Not only is garlic capable of making just about any dish delicious, but it’s also great for lowering LDL. It can help prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and fight infections. New studies have found that it can help stop artery-clogging plaque early on by preventing cholesterol particles from clinging to artery walls. Two to four fresh cloves a day are recommended for maximum potency.



Commonly referred to as a superfood, spinach is packed full of lutein which is found in dark leafy green vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein was already known for its many benefits to our eye health, but now research says that consuming just half a cup a day of foods rich in lutein can help your body guard against heart attacks by fighting off cholesterol invaders that may cause clogging.



While not quite as diverse as garlic, avocado is delicious, versatile, and a good source of monounsaturated fat, which is a type of fat with the potential to raise HDL while lowering LDL. Additionally, avocado is rich in beta-sitosterol, a plant-based fat that lowers the amount of cholesterol the body absorbs from food. Like nuts, these tasty fruits are a little high in calories, so moderation is key here once again.
Eating healthy often gets a bad rap for being bland or boring, but all of these foods – especially paired with the right recipe – can be made into an amazing meal. There are many great websites that have several terrific recipes, so take a look around and find the heart-healthy recipe that’s perfect for you. And, if you’d like to learn about the latest clinical research for high cholesterol, click here.

Treating Hot Flashes with Natural Remedies

woman with menopause

If you are one of the three-quarters of women who experience hot flashes as a symptom of menopause, you know how uncomfortable they can be, and what kind of impact they can have on your daily activities. The sudden rise in temperature, night sweats, nausea, headache, or any of the other burdens of hot flashes can strike day or night, and can make you miserable for as little as a few seconds, or up to several minutes. Menopause is a naturally occurring part of life for any woman, so rather than simply dealing with hot flashes, find out what you can do to minimize their effect and frequency. Many women have found hormone replacement therapy to be an effective menopause treatment, but you may be able to find relief with these five natural remedies.


Stay Cool

Seems pretty obvious, right? While your body is going through the many changes of menopause, it can be sensitive to slight increases in core temperature. It is a good idea to dress in layers, so that you can remove a layer if you start to feel warm. Summer is quickly approaching, so using fans and air conditioning will be an essential part of keeping cool. If you have control of the temperature settings, try lowering it a bit, and if you think a hot flash may be coming on, try sipping on a cold drink.


Eat Healthy

There are a number of foods out there that have been found to contribute to hot flashes. Certain things like dairy products, meats, caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods can all possibly increase your chances of experiencing a hot flash. Once you’ve identified your triggers, it will be easier to avoid them. Instead, go for non-GMO soy foods to satisfy your body’s need for protein. Foods like soybeans and other products that contain estrogenic compounds (genistein and daidzein) may be able to help control hot flashes.


Reduce Stress

Even in non-menopausal women, stress may lead to hot flashes due to an increase in body temperature caused by adrenaline being released into the blood. The hormonal levels in menopausal women are constantly changing, and this can lead to chronic stress. Reducing stress could help relieve hot flashes. Try meditation, slow deep breathing, listening to calming music, or other stress-reducing activities.


Vitamin E Intake

Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the intensity of hot flashes experienced by menopausal women. A study performed by Tarbiat Modarres University tested the effects of vitamin E on 54 patients. Upon completion of the study, it was found that patients who took the vitamin E soft gel cap experienced a reduction in the severity of hot flashes.


Dress Comfortably

Tight fitting or warm clothes can make hot flash symptoms worse. Women should opt to wear loose clothing that is light and airy, especially around the vaginal and abdominal areas. Stay cool and comfortable to reduce the number of hot flashes you may experience during the day.
Following these recommendations can be a great way to find relief from hot flashes. If you experience severe episodes, you should consult your doctor to find out what other options are available. Additionally, you can learn more about clinical research for hot flashes here.

Can Pets Help With Migraines?

person with a migraine cuddling a dog

There’s no doubt, our pets are some pretty amazing creatures. After a long day, you can always count on them to greet you with a warm heart and a cold nose. Having a pet has been shown to help with many things, from lowering blood pressure to detecting changes in blood sugar levels. So, it only makes sense that pets may be able to help those who suffer from migraines as well. If you are one of the more than 37 million Americans that suffer from migraines, here are some of the possible benefits of having a furry friend.

Chemical Change

The same way pets can help with depression and anxiety, whenever you interact with a furry or feathered companion it causes oxytocin to be released. This same chemical that is generated at childbirth can have a variety of positive effects. Due to the many benefits of an animal’s presence, researchers have looked into other areas like behavioral, mental, and heart-related issues.

Great Company

Dogs and cats can form strong bonds with their owners. When someone is suffering from a migraine, rather than spending long hours in a dark room alone, their pet can offer relief through keeping them company. This companionship has the potential to improve a migraine sufferer’s outlook and daily life. It’s no wonder why large luxury dog beds are such a common buy for pet owners, they want to reciprocate the comfort that they give to them.

Welcome Distraction

Oftentimes when we are suffering from pain, sadness, or any kind of discomfort, a distraction can help put our focus on something other than what’s bothering us. When pet owners focus their attention on their pet, it may help alleviate some of the pain of a migraine. Whether it’s simply petting them to calm yourself, or watching them play, their ability to distract and bring joy are great. The socialization and affection we get from these animals are great as well; pets can help prevent a migraine sufferer from feeling alone, offering comfort as they battle chronic migraine pain.

Positive Outlook

Caring for a pet can offer a sense of purpose as they are a responsibility.  No one can deny that it is great fun to watch the Blue Buffalo YouTube channel and learn new tricks for pets and owners alike. When someone suffers from chronic pain, it can become difficult to get motivated to get up and moving. Having to get up to feed, walk, or interact with a pet helps give migraine sufferers the mobility they need to keep muscles and tissues conditioned, and can improve circulation, joint health, and more.

Each individual who struggles with migraines is different. Pets may not be a good fit for everyone, but if you’re an animal lover, the list of benefits is quite substantial. Be sure to read our 3 Pill-less Remedies for Migraine Headaches blog post for other ways you can manage migraines.

To learn more about clinical research for migraines and other topics, click HERE or call us directly at 817-281-4156.

Magnesium: Good for Your Heart. Good for Diabetes.

magnesium based diet benefits diabetes and heart

As one of the seven macrominerals, magnesium plays a big part in our everyday lives and the effort to stay healthy, so it’s important to get enough and avoid a magnesium deficiency. There are many magnesium rich foods, but if you’re going to take a magnesium supplement, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor first. There are many possible benefits of magnesium and for almost every part of the human body. For now, we’re going to focus on heart health and magnesium’s role in those affected by diabetes.

For Your Heart

Magnesium is key for muscle health and your heart is no exception. In addition to aiding in muscle strength, magnesium also helps with the transmission of electrical signals from the heart to the body. With proper magnesium intake, the risk of atherosclerosis and hypertension may be reduced.

Many studies have recently shown that if large amounts of calcium are consumed without proper magnesium levels, the risk of arterial calcification, cardiovascular disease, and kidney stones increases. Individuals with the greatest magnesium intake were shown to have a 58% lower chance of developing coronary artery calcification and a 34% lower risk of abdominal artery calcification.

If magnesium is quickly administered after a heart attack, the risk of mortality is lessened. Additionally, magnesium has been used as part of congestive heart failure treatment  in order to reduce the possibility of arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm).

For Diabetes

Magnesium is a key component in metabolizing glucose and carbohydrates, so understandably magnesium levels can have an effect on diabetes. Many studies have shown the inverse relationship between appropriate magnesium levels and the risk of diabetes. Keeping within a healthy range, For every additional 100 mg/day – keeping within a healthy range – the risk of developing type 2 diabetes goes down by 15%. Most of the magnesium in the studies was taken in by food, not supplements. When 300 to 365 mg of magnesium were consumed each day, an increase in insulin sensitivity could be found.

Additionally, researchers found that low magnesium levels led to impaired insulin secretion and sensitivity to insulin decreased.

Magnesium has been shown to have many other benefits as well. From migraines to bone health, magnesium places a significant role in your body’s well being. Most health professionals recommend getting your magnesium from your diet if possible. You can see some foods that are high in magnesium HERE. Get some updates on Cultural Health Solutions as well.

To learn more about clinical research for diabetes and other topics, click HERE or call us directly at 817-281-4156.

What’s Causing That Pain in Your Back?

Professional office woman with back pain

Most Americans have suffered from a form of back pain at some point in their life and many live with it daily, so don’t worry, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, there are many things that we do in our everyday life that can contribute to back pain. Whether it’s a sore muscle, a pinched nerve, or something with your spine, there are many contributors to back pain. The best place to start in managing back pain is to know the possible causes. When you know the source, it is easier to avoid back pain triggers, so let’s take a look at some of the most common contributors.


If you experience back pain after working out or doing heavy lifting, it is usually caused by straining a muscle, but it is possible the pain could be a result of a bulging or ruptured disc. If this disc presses against the sciatic nerve it can cause pain from the buttock all the way down your leg, and this is called sciatica.


Your mom wasn’t just giving you a hard time when she told you to sit or stand up straight. Your back is best at supporting weight when you’re not slouching. When you’re standing, keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet. The ideal conditions for sitting are good lumbar support, shoulders back, and a low stool for your feet.


Whether you are doing heavy lifting or sitting at a desk, your job can contribute to your back pain. A physical job that involved lifting, pullng, or twisting can all contribute to back pain. The same can also be said for your office job, as we mentioned earlier about posture. An uncomfortable chair or a tendency to slouch can lead to a hurting back.


Osteoarthritis can certain impact your lower back. There are circumstances where arthritis on the spine can cause the area around the spine to narrow, this is referred to as spinal stenosis.


Reduced mass causes bones to weaken. When this happens on your spine’s vertebrae, compression fractures can occur.


Purses, backpacks, briefcases can all add to your back pain. Even though these items generally rest on our shoulders, your back is the one carrying the weight of your upper body and anything resting on it. Day after day of literally shouldering the burden – in this case, the weight of your bag – can certainly put some strain on your lower back.


A hard workout at the gym, golfing, or playing softball are some most common ways to overextend muscles in the back, which can lead to low back pain. If you are mostly sedentary during the week, this can increase the odds of injury when you spend hours at the gym, golf course, or softball fields.

These are some of the most common contributors to back pain. They say knowing is half the battle, and knowing what can cause back pain will help you in avoiding some of these triggers. If you experience severe back pain, it is best to see a doctor to be sure your pain is not something more serious.

To learn more about clinical research for low back pain and other topics, click HERE or call us directly at 817-281-4156.

Detecting Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes symptoms detection infographic

Although type 2 diabetes can be very manageable, it’s nothing to take lightly, which means it’s crucial that it’s detected as early as possible. It is estimated that 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of those are unaware that they have it, according to the CDC. That means there are more than 7 million Americans who are not receiving the proper treatment, not making the proper lifestyle changes, and are at risk of serious complications. It may be hard to detect, the symptoms of diabetes – types 1 and 2 – can be fairly subtle. It’s possible to have developed type 2 diabetes and not know for years, so it’s important that you know what symptoms to look for. These are some of the more common signs of diabetes.

Increased Thirst and Frequent Urination

The excess sugar build-up in your bloodstream causes fluids to be pulled from the tissues of your body, which can cause excessive thirst and increased urination. Essentially, your body is trying to flush out the extra glucose.

Increased Hunger

In addition to extra thirst, individuals who develop type 2 diabetes may develop excessive hunger as well. Without proper insulin levels, your muscles and organs may become fatigued. When blood sugar levels drop sharply, the body may think it needs to be fed and will crave more glucose than is necessary.

Weight Loss

Despite the likely increase in food consumption, weight loss can still occur. Individuals may lose 10-20 pounds in a matter of a few months, but not in a healthy manner. The inability to properly metabolize glucose causes the body to use other means, such as protein and calories.


With the extra work your body is putting in to compensate for its glucose deficiency, and if cells aren’t getting the sugar they need, it can cause the individual to become tired and irritable.

Blurry Vision

Elevated blood sugar levels can cause fluid to be taken from your lenses, which may cause difficulty focusing or flashes of light to be seen.

Slow Healing

When someone is diabetic, cuts and bruises might become more difficult to heal, and their ability to fight infections could weaken.

Skin Problems

Different skin conditions, such as itching or darkened skin, may occur with diabetes. Itching may be caused by dry skin or poor circulation. Darkened skin is referred to as acanthosis nigricans and usually occurs in the neck or armpit areas – which may be a sign of insulin resistance.

These are some of the most common signs of diabetes, but you can find other symptoms and more information at Catching diabetes as early as possible is important to reduce the chances of complications arising from this disease. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s imperative that you see your doctor, and he or she will likely administer a diabetes test in order to check glucose levels.

Learn more about living with diabetes and how you can become a participant in one of our studies!

What Happens Upon Completion of a Clinical Research Trial?

clinical research lab and scientists

Most potential participants have many questions about what is involved during a clinical trial, and understandably so. But what happens afterwards?

Upon completion of the study, the global study team (which includes our staff as well as those working for the study sponsor) will carefully analyze the information that was collected throughout the duration of the trial. This allows us to determine what the findings actually mean, and if further testing is required. If further testing is deemed necessary, the investigational drug moves onto the next phase of 4 possible phases.

Finding from the study are regularly published for peer-review. This allows other experts to review the results prior to release, in order to ensure accuracy of conclusions. If the data is especially important, they may even be presented in news media, or in patient advocacy groups. If this new treatment is proven safe and effective, it is likely to move into mainstream practice.

You should always feel comfortable and confident during any clinical trial. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to call us directly at 817-281-4156.

5 Cookbooks Every Diabetic Should Check Out

Food, insulin, and blood glucose levels are intricately intertwined in the body. But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that healthy foods will benefit any individual living with diabetes.

Which foods are healthiest for diabetics? How can you make diabetic-friendly meals and stay within your budget? Look to these five diabetic cookbooks to find a wealth of information on diabetes and the recipes you need to keep your blood sugar under control.

The Glycemic-Load Diet: A Powerful New Program for Losing Weight and Reversing Insulin Resistance

Author: Dr. Rob Thompson The Glycemic-Load Diet

If you’re a diabetic, you’ve probably heard about the glycemic index. Essentially, every food with carbohydrates is assigned a number based on how much it raises blood glucose levels. In general, foods with lower numbers are healthier than food with higher numbers. However, as Dr. Rob Thompson points out in this book, there are some flaws in this methodology.

Dr. Thompson uses his book to explain a new concept: glycemic load. He outlines the importance of serving sizes and details how diabetics can use the principles of glycemic load to lose weight. His recipes promote eating whole foods that are quality sources of nutrition: meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and the like.

Betty Crocker’s Diabetes Cookbook: Everyday Meals, Easy as 1-2-3

Authors: Dr. Richard M. Bergenstal, Diane Reader, and Maureen DoranBetty Crocker's Diabetes Cookbook

Coming from the queen bee of cookbooks, this one contains 140 recipes and includes the nutritional breakdown of every dish. The editors have even created a seven-day meal plan using recipes from the cookbook. The recipes are divided into eight sections, featuring everything from breakfast to dessert.

This cookbook also serves as an educational tool. The beginning pages outline the main aspects of diabetes and provide a Q & A page with answers from a dietician. There is also a helpful carbohydrate chart and a glossary of commonly used diabetic terms.

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook: More than 175 Ultra-Tasty Recipes for Total Health and Weight Loss

Author: Dr. Mark HymanThe Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook

Dr. Mark Hyman is physician and well-respected author who has had seven books hit the #1-spot on the New York Times best sellers list. He’s a strong advocate of functional medicine—a patient-centered, whole-body treatment approach that focuses on the underlying causes of diseases.

In this cookbook, Dr. Hyman focuses on using proper nutrition to reverse diabetes and obesity. Before he lists any recipes, he encourages readers to take a series of quizzes to gauge the severity of their condition. He also provides guidelines for stocking the kitchen and shopping at the grocery store.

Finally, on to the recipes! Dr. Hyman doesn’t use any convenience foods, but instead focuses on a variety of real foods. These recipes are far from traditional “meat and potatoes” meals and many of the recipes take dedicated preparation, but the results are well worth it.

Biggest Book of Diabetic Recipes: More than 350 Great-Tasting Recipes for Living Well with Diabetes

Author: Better Homes & Gardens Editors Biggest Book of Diabetic Recipes

This diabetic cookbook is easy, straightforward, and a great option for beginners. The recipes utilize ingredients that are easy to find at any grocery store. Plus, they feature just the right spices to bring out the natural flavoring of foods without unnecessary added salt, sugar, or fat.

Unlike hardcover or paperback cookbooks, this collection of recipes is put together in a plastic spiral binding that allows the pages to lay flat on the countertop while you cook. Plus, it includes several days of meal plans and seven categories of recipes.

Diabetic Slow Cooker

Author: Diabetic Living Editors Diabetic Slow Cooker

Everyone loves slow cooker meals! They’re a cinch to prepare and the low-and-slow cooking time gives the food a great flavor. This cookbook from Diabetic Living gives diabetics quick tips on how to makeover traditional slow cooker meals and turn them into diabetic-friendly dishes.

There are 150 recipes in this book. You’ll find healthy recipes for chicken wings, meatballs, sandwiches, desserts, and much more. Plus, each recipe page also includes suggested side dishes and nutritional content.

Diabetes Clinical Research

Diabetes: Control Your Blood Sugars through Smoking Cessation

Control Your Blood Sugars through Smoking Cessation

There are many things that can have serious impact on your overall blood sugars. One of the largest effects on your blood sugar is not actually what you eat, it is what you breathe. Smoking is unhealthy for anyone, even those who don’t currently have any health problems. Even second hand smoke can have the same effects. When it comes to diabetics smoking, the risks can be worse, it can actually cause chronic blood glucose problems until you are able to quit.

Smoking in Relation to Diabetes

Smoking not only puts you at risk for having high blood sugars on a regular basis, but it can also be a major cause for the diabetes diagnosis. Many scientific studies have proven that the chemicals in commercially sold tobacco can increase blood sugar, nicotine being one of the main culprits.

Studies have also shown that after the first puff of each cigarette, your blood sugar shoots up. It returns to normal about 30 minutes after the last puff.

The worst association of smoking and diabetes is that it can also contribute to developing insulin resistance, which means your body will have trouble responding to most conventional methods of treating high blood sugars.

Quitting Smoking for Diabetics

Unfortunately, most products that are sold over the counter are not a good fit for a diabetic who is attempting to quit smoking. This is because the patch, the gum, lozenges, and even the inhaler contain nicotine. When your body is exposed to high doses of nicotine for a prolonged period of time, your blood sugar could become dangerously high.

There are many prescription medications, such as Chantix and Wellbutrin that have provided amazing results for a wide range of people. It is important to talk to your doctor to ensure that you are a good fit for these medications. Certain disorders that are caused by diabetes, or lead to diabetes, are affected by these medications, so not everyone can take them.

Considerations for Quitting

Regardless of what method you use to quit, it is important to carefully monitor your body’s response. Many people tend to eat more and on more regular intervals when they stop smoking. As a diabetic, you have to take special care not to over-eat, and not to eat the wrong types of foods. Eating fruits and vegetables that are low on carbohydrates and processed sugars can help curb the cravings, and still allow you to maintain your blood sugars.

You may have to check your blood sugar more often as you are quitting smoking, especially if you are using snacks to help curb cravings. This is because stress can also increase your blood sugar and can have negative effects. This is why most physicians choose to use Wellbutrin to aid diabetics in their efforts to quit smoking. In clinical studies, this medication has also shown positive effects on reducing the stress level, and counteracting any depression that may be associated with quitting.

Diabetes CTA

Exercises for Diabetics Who Suffer from COPD

Exercises for diabetes and COPD

As a diabetic, you know how important it is to maintain your weight and in some cases, reduce your weight. If you are a diabetic who also suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this can be very challenging. COPD is an overall diagnosis that covers a lot of respiratory illnesses. The illnesses that are typically categorized in this group are emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma.  These disorders cause shortness of breath, and make exercise very difficult. [Read more…]