January - March 2013 Edition: Naples Health

it up with The Wheatbelly Cookbook , published last December. While the books contain useful advice, their popularity points to the growing tendency to adopt a gluten-free diet because it might get rid of that belly roll you’ve been bothered by for years. Such an approach can lead to unwanted and unhealthy results. “If you do a gluten-free diet the right way, it can be OK,” McKernan says. “You’ll want to add other grains like quinoa, flax and buckwheat. But if you don’t follow the diet properly, you can become deficient in fiber, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium and vitamin D. All of those are usually found in fortified grain products.” A simple blood test can tell you whether you suffer from celiac disease. But talk with your doctor before embarking on a gluten-free diet, so that the test will be accurate. You’ll also want to reduce the gluten in your diet gradually, as some people do suffer from “wheat with- drawal.” The good news is that, if you do have gluten sensitivity, you now have plenty of choices to ensure a healthy and tasty diet.

fermented beverages and even in mak- ing malted milk and malt vinegar. Judith Mann is a Massachusetts-based registered nurse who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003. In response, she started Celiac Solution, a company to assist others in living a gluten-free life. Her website (celiacsolution.com) has a wealth of information gleaned from the American Dietetic Association and other respected sources, as well as her personal experiences. Mann reports that gluten can show up in such unlikely products as toothpaste, mouthwash, the glue on envelopes, the insides of latex or rubber gloves, art sup- plies, cosmetics and cleaning solutions. While gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin, Michael Picco, M.D., a physi- cian with the Mayo Clinic, advises that gluten-containing products not be used on the lips or around the mouth. A safer bet might be to avoid them completely. McKernan notes that an often over- looked source of gluten comes from cross-contamination. “Cross-contami- nation is big,” she says. “You don’t even want to use the same toaster as those who aren’t gluten-free.” She adds that a

person with celiac disease should buy condiments in squeeze bottles, to avoid gluten crumbs from falling off a utensil. Mann goes even further, suggesting that those with celiac disease claim their own shelves in the pantry and refrigera- tor—preferably on the top—to prevent troublesome crumbs from falling into their gluten-free foods. Separate utensils are also a must. The gluten fad Ever since Elisabeth Hasselbeck talked about gluten-free diets on The View , the idea has been embraced by celebrities and the public. Coincidentally, manu- facturers came out with more gluten-free products. That’s great for those who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. But it’s not so great for those who adopt the diet as the trendy thing to do. In 2011, William Davis, M.D., a preven- tive cardiologist in Wisconsin, published Wheatbelly , a book about the weight- loss and other health benefits possibly reaped by eliminating wheat from American diets. The book climbed to the top of the best seller lists. He followed

Gluten can show up in toothpaste, mouthwash, art supplies, cosmetics and cleaning solutions.

model: Betsy Opyt

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Naples Health | JANUARY-MARCH 2013

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