The Newquay Chiropractic Clinic's Blog

Articles from our Clinic and Health Centre

Do you need to lower your cholesterol?

Over the last two decades low fat and low cholesterol diets have been promoted as the way to reduce cholesterol levels. Despite this, cholesterol levels and the incidence of heart disease have increased. A 10% reduction in LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol could decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 20%, but rather than reducing your cholesterol intake, recent research indicates that the biggest influence upon cholesterol metabolism is the type and mix of fats and carbohydrates that you eat. Follow these tips to naturally lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

  1. 1.     Eat a high fibre diet

Fibre binds with cholesterol in the gut and carries it to the large intestine where it is expelled in faeces. Foods rich in fibre include fruit and vegetables, beans and pulses, unrefined cereals and grains, and nuts and seeds.

  1. 2.     Consume inulin-rich foods (artichokes, onion, garlic, chicory and asparagus)

Some fruit and vegetables contain inulin, a type of fibre which is very effective at carrying cholesterol out of the body. To reduce cholesterol levels, eat inulin-rich foods daily.

  1. 3.     Eat foods high in anti-oxidants to reduce oxidized cholesterol

Oxidized cholesterol is a serious contributor to cardiovascular disease. However, anti-oxidants can counteract cholesterol oxidation, and many studies illustrate that a high anti-oxidant intake improves arterial health. Fresh fruits and vegetables tend to have the highest anti-oxidant level, particularly berries, green vegetables and orange-coloured fruit and vegetables.

  1. 4.     Eat foods naturally rich in phytosterols

Compounds called phytosterols found in whole grains, legumes (e.g. peas, lentils, soya beans) and nuts compete with cholesterol for absorption into the body. It is these phytosterol compounds that are added to margarines and yoghurts to help lower cholesterol.

  1. 5.     Eat low GI, unrefined carbohydrates

Low carbohydrate diets have been shown to be more effective than low fat diets in reducing the amount of oxidized cholesterol in the arterial wall. A pooled analysis of 11 studies (344,696 participants) found a slightly increased risk of heart disease when saturated fat was decreased and carbohydrates were increased, and Mediterranean-style low-glycaemic diets have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol.

  1. 6.     Eat healthier fats

A recent meta-analysis involving 347,747 subjects showed no association between saturated fat intake and increased risk of heart disease, stroke or cardiovascular disease, although research suggests that changing the type of fat in your diet may be more effective than simply reducing saturated fat intake, and this is more effective when combined with an overall reduction in fat intake.



To find out what you really need to do to lower your cholesterol level, read ‘Cholesterol: The Essential Guide’, available at, or book an appointment with Sara at the Newquay Chiropractic Clinic. Call 07919 110440 for further information.


Healthy recipe – Asparagus and roasted garlic soup with griddled asparagus spears

Serves 2



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

6 fat garlic cloves

Half a litre of vegetable stock

A handful of fenugreek seeds

400g of asparagus spears, chopped, plus half a dozen more asparagus spears to griddle for each person.


Method for the soup

1. Rub a little olive oil over the garlic cloves (keeping the skin on), and roast the garlic in an oven at 180°C for 30 – 40 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool.

2. Heat the oil and cook the onion until soft and translucent.

3. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the inside of the cloves into the pan and stir to mix in. Discard the skins.

4. Add the asparagus, stir and cook for 2 minutes.

5. Add the water or vegetable stock and simmer for another 7-8 minutes or until the asparagus is cooked through.

5. Puree the soup in a blender or with a hand whisk and serve, sprinkling fenugreek seeds on top.


Meanwhile, for the asparagus spears…

1. If asparagus spears are thick (more than 5mm across mid-stem), either blanche them in boiling water for a couple of minutes or cut them in half lengthways.

2. Brush the asparagus with olive oil.

3. Place under a hot grill, or roast in a pre-heated oven (180°C) until slightly charred. Alternatively, you can put the asparagus spears on a skewer and BBQ them for approximately 3 minutes on each side.


You can squeeze fresh lemon juice over the asparagus, or add lemon juice and/or fenugreek powder to phytosterol-enhanced plain yoghurt to make a dip.


You can find more healthy recipes and a 7 day eating plan to reduce cholesterol in Sara’s book ‘Cholesterol – The Essential Guide’, available at .

Weight loss – simple but not easy! Sarah Kirkham, Nutritionist

Weight loss – simple but not easy!

Managing weight is a simple equation: if the calories consumed equal the calories used up, you stay the same weight. Reduce the intake or increase expenditure and you lose weight. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy.


First of all, there are barriers to making changes, things to trip us up, and social events put there, I’m sure, just to sabotage healthy eating plans. Just when you’re on a roll (no, not a bacon one), a wedding/night out/birthday comes along to cancel out that negative calorie balance you’ve tried so hard to achieve; friends kindly (?) offer biscuits when you visit, and trying to cook healthy foods the rest of the family will eat… well, need I say more?


Weight loss is a psychological challenge, in fact, if you can understand the emotional and mental rationale of your eating habits, you are more likely to lose weight and successfully maintain it. It’s all very well knowing how many calories are in a cream bun but that doesn’t diminish the craving to eat it! Knowing what a healthy diet is, is one thing; following a healthy diet is another kettle of fish.


So how do you get past these barriers?

  • Keep a food diary. See if you can make connections between high calorie/fatty/sugary foods eaten and how you were feeling or the time of day. Figuring out why you ate something and removing what created the craving is more effective than using will power to stop eating it.
  • Plan ahead. So many poor food choices are made because it is left to chance. Make a shopping list, buy healthy foods, avoid the biscuit/cake/chocolate aisles and pre-prepare meals if possible.
  • Out of sight out of mind. Not having ‘problem’ foods in the house removes temptation; for snacks in the house, keep them in a place you don’t use often. Seeing your favorite foods every time you open the cupboard or fridge is not going to help.


Help yourself (but not to another biscuit!) by thinking about why you make certain food choices, setting small but achievable goals, and making small changes in your eating habits. Remember, small steps in the right direction are better than thinking you have to run a marathon and never starting it!


If you need help, support or motivation to lose weight, why not book a weight loss appointment with Sara, or get a copy of the 5-star rated ‘Weight Loss – The Essential Guide’ – guaranteed to help you achieve your weight loss goal.

Sara Kirkham is a qualified nutritionist and published author with a BSc. (Honours) in Nutritional Medicine, and practices nutritional therapy at the Newquay Chiropractic Clinic. Call 07919 110440 for further information.


Back Pain- Are you loving yourself enough? Do you need to be more selfish? Roseland Online article 2

Hi again! As this is my first practice related story I thought I would bring up the subject of who looks after us with regards to back pain, whether lower, middle or upper back pain. Also I would like to pose the question of how many pills cure a back pain? Do we follow that add on telly saying ‘just pop in and we’ll scale your pain and marry up some drugs for you to merrily go on your way!’….can anyone sense my frustration in these adds yet??


Looking after ourselves is about being a little selfish, or in some instances (and more often than you can imagine), loving ourselves enough in order to put ourselves first so that this wonderful body of ours is managed properly with the right ingredients, food, thought, exercise and rest. It does take a little discipline to put everyone else off for a little while in order to do those strength exercises, cook a healthier meal rather than a quick fix dinner, read around how to improve our mind, join a class of some physical benefit or meditate. Whatever suits!


The typical case I see and love is the person who arrives who is totally at their whit’s end, depressed (often on antidepressants), in pain physically and doesn’t know where to turn. They are either over worked due to a burning desire to achieve beyond their tolerance or they have so many tasks that they simply come last and end up totally burnt out. The typical person is the mum, the professional person or the grandparents! Is this similar to the outcome in your life?


Today I saw a lady in her 30’s I’ll call Mrs Y. I’ve called her Mrs Y because you might ask why she got herself in this mess but if you know this character trait you will believe everything is out of your control and it just happens. Like juggling a too many balls and someone toss’s you another! Somewhere something has to give. In her case she was all the above, depressed, in pain in her lower back, chest and neck and couldn’t stand being touched for fear of pain. A professional woman with a character to take on anything in the sales world. Examining her showed she had a short leg she was not aware of causing a lifelong distortion in her pelvis and spine, a food sensitivity to her most common daily food wheat and gluten (also found in oats) which would link potentially to brain chemistry and depression, poor absorption of minerals and vitamins, poor blood sugar balance leading to exhaustion and finally changes in her hormone balance due to the crossover between blood sugars and hormones released. Consequently her periods were irregular.


The solution? 2 pills? 20 pills? Relatively simple but not immediate. I gave her one month to avoid ALL wheat and gluten, put a heel lift in her shoe and manipulated both softly and moderately the joints that had been misaligned for years. A plan for further care was made along with confirmation that she was seeing a councilor to resolve historical issues that drove her beyond her tolerance into burnout. Various therapies I use from chiropractic to cranio-sacral will be used and I am anticipating a great journey for this lady to a place where she has changed her life and is off antidepressants, enjoys abundant energy, beams with health and probably suffers manageable minor pains but one tenth of what she is experiencing now. Odd visits to us during the year as an ‘MOT’ will keep things rolling and keep her on track with her wish (similar to a dentist check up). This will be entirely relative to her discipline in the programme but one great change to be involved in as a chiropractor. A life turned around.


The alternative? For her to take pain killers given by a high street pharmacy or GP, akin to covering up the red light on the car dash and keeping on driving. A sure fire way to an early demise, more pain, more depression and further misunderstanding of the subtle communication between ourselves and our body which we only get once we start the journey of self repair, self management and optimization. And why not? Its just prioritizing a bit of time for ourselves, it’s not selfish but rather respecting what has been given to us and loving ourselves more!


So who looks after us, when and where do you go? That’s where a good chiropractor comes in so why not give one a try? You just call up, book an appointment and the journey begins…

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