Healthy Hollywood: Ask Keri Glassman - Is Gwyneth Paltrow's Elimination Diet Too Extreme?

Nutritionist Keri Glassman, who regularly shares her expertise on Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live, is answering your nutrition, diet and health questions.

Want to know whether the 5:2 diet is right for you? Or, what should you eat before a workout? Ask Keri anything, HERE!

“What’s your take on Gwyneth Paltrow’s diet? Do you think some processed carb such as pasta/bread (even whole wheat) has a place in your ideal diet?” – Ayako C.

Keri says…

Gywneth’s diet. Wow it is getting A LOT of attention lately, especially with the release of her new book, “It’s All Good.” In case you haven’t heard, Gwyneth went on an elimination diet because she felt awful on a diet and lifestyle of wine, fries and sleeping pills (shocker!). So now many of you want to know if you should follow in her (extreme) footsteps in order to lose weight and feel better overall. Here’s what I have to say…

What is an elimination diet, you ask?

A doctor or registered dietitian will often put someone on an elimination diet to remove specific foods or ingredients because they may be causing allergy symptoms. Common allergy-causing foods include milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, and soy. It is pretty straightforward how this works. Remove these items from your diet, carefully food journal and write down any and all reactions you may have to the foods you are eating. Next, add foods back in one at a time and watch carefully for reactions. If you have a reaction, well, then you just may have an allergy (or an intolerance or sensitivity) to that food. It is certainly not a perfect measure of a true allergy but it is a useful investigation tool often used by doctors and registered dietitians. Now back to Gwyneth…

What is her specific elimination diet all about? She tossed out coffee, alcohol, dairy, eggs, sugar, shellfish, potatoes, wheat, meat, corn…oh, and certain veggies like tomatoes and bell peppers! And of course all processed foods. That’s quite the laundry list of foods, and some of you may be wondering what else is there left to eat?! The thing to remember is that this was a temporary change in her diet — this is not her new lifestyle. In fact, she reported doing this only a few times a year, for only a few weeks, and then she returns to a balanced diet.

Can you be healthy eating a diet of fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds and grains all the time? Yes. Are these the types of foods we should all be incorporating into any diet? Yes. But was Gwyneth run down and did she have a panic attack because she was eating too many fries? Probably not. In fact, some would argue that going on an extreme elimination diet was completely unnecessary, and she may have had just as much success in feeling better by simply cleaning up her diet a bit and slowing down her schedule.

Back to your original question. Is there a place in a diet for processed carbs…There is no place in a diet for processed carbs regularly but there is a time and place when having a bowl of pasta or a slice of white bread is certainly fine (unless of course you have a real condition like celiac disease). But, there is a regular place in your diet for whole grains like my faves quinoa, millet, and amaranth and even my lesser faves like whole wheat bread (yes, I know even whole wheat bread is processed but that is a whole other topic!).

Don’t feel like you need to turn to an extreme elimination diet for a ‘quick fix’, instead eliminate some of the bad lifestyle habits you may have gotten yourself into. Get to bed early tonight, make yourself a healthy breakfast like eggs and avocado with a slice of whole grain toast, pack a green rich salad with lean protein for for lunch, take 8 minutes to breathe deeply at work…You get it… And if you are interested in checking out more on how Gwyn and the fam are chowing down, check out her new book!

-- Terri MacLeod & Keri Glassman

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