WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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fitness & health "don't self diagnose" 154 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 4 E L E N A T H E W I S E / D R E A M S T I M E . C O M gluten-free baked goods five or six years ago. (This means that the restaurant has two separate kitchens to make sure the gluten-free products are not cross-contaminated with other baked items.) She estimates that 60 percent of her customers are interested in gluten-free baked goods. Given all this interest, why are traditional health care providers cautious? According to Web MD, "Gluten itself doesn't offer special nutri- tional benefits. But many of the whole grains that contain gluten do. They're rich in an array of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron as well as fiber." So by going on this diet you may be omitting nutrients your body needs. In addition, Dr. Mukherjee stresses that eating gluten-free, processed foods can deprive your body of necessary nutrients, vitamins, and fiber. "That's because a lot of gluten-free foods are not fortified with vitamins and minerals," she says. "My advice is that if people decide to go on a gluten-free diet, they eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (nat- urally gluten-free), take fiber pills, plus take a gluten-free multi-vitamin." "Most importantly," she says, don't self diag- nose. "People should not take the decision to follow a gluten-free diet lightly. They should discuss it with their doctor." Another local expert is more blunt. Linda Nikolakopoulos, a registered dieti- tian at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, notes: "If you don't have celiac disease or NCGS, removing gluten from your diet is not going to benefit you." And in fact, she adds, it can lead to vitamin deficiencies, especially with children. A gluten-free diet is essential for the approximately one percent of the population who have celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disease that causes significant damage to the small intestine when someone with the condition eats foods with gluten. This can result in diarrhea, anemia, bone pain, and sometimes a severe skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis. This diet is also used to treat people with what's relatively recently been diagnosed as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS). People with this disorder don't have celiac, but have a difficult time metabolizing gluten and can experience symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, and constipation. Dr. Rupa Mukherjee, a gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, says current studies indicate that approximately three to six percent of the population has this sensitivity. Even though there is a relatively small group of people that clearly do benefit from going gluten-free, the Huffington Post estimates that gluten-free living appeals to about 30 percent of American adults. This diet is also popular locally. Sue Khudairi, co-owner of the Dorset Bakery and Café in Wellesley, started offering certified Quinoa

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