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Gwyneth Paltrow's Diet: Healthy or Deadly Obsession?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 1

It is commonly known that Gwyneth Paltrow is an absolute health freak when it comes to fitness and diet. She once mentioned that she was compelled to lead a healthy lifestyle after seeing her father die from living an unhealthy lifestyle including smoking. Being healthy is great and all, but has Gwyneth tried to become healthy to the point that it’s become dangerous for her?


As some of you may know, Gwyneth runs a blog called Goop, which she uses as a platform for touting living a healthy lifestyle. In this blog, she talks about detoxes, healthy diets and exercises, to name a few topics. Now, some of her “healthy” recipes sound reasonable, such as her recipe for ginger chicken and butternut squash fries. Furthermore, she has a cookbook out that is called My Father’s Daughter. I personally have not had the chance to try out any recipes from the book. However, I have heard that there are some very delicious recipes in there, including one for chocolate chip cookies!


And yet I wondered, how many of her recipes did she eat herself? 

Extreme Dieting

On her blog, she writes about the need to lose a few pounds after the holidays while stating that she does fasts and detoxes during the year. Sure, she states that you should check in with your doctor before starting the detox, but with the seven-day elimination diet she provides in her post, I imagine it would be tempting for an individual to start the diet without consulting their doctor first. Afterall, Gwyneth looks great!


Here are some of her sample daily diets:

“7am (or upon rising): Glass of room temperature lemon water
8am: Herbal tea
10am (breakfast): Blueberry and Almond Smoothie
11:30am: Coconut water*
1:30pm (lunch): Salad with Carrot and Ginger Dressing
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds
6pm (dinner): Broccoli and Arugula Soup


Yikes. Here’s another one:

“7am (or upon rising): Glass of room temperature lemon water
8am: Herbal tea
10am (breakfast): Peach and Almond Smoothie (follow method for Blueberry and Almond Smoothie)
11:30am: Coconut water
1:30pm (lunch): Raw crudite (carrots, green beans, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini) with Carrot and Ginger Dressing
4pm (snack): Beet, Carrot, Apple and Ginger Juice
6pm (dinner): Cucumber and Avocado Soup”


If you look at both sample days, you’ll notice a trend where she drinks a ton of 

Kale Juice
her meals up, specifically at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. The only solid meal she’ll have is ate lunch time, which is hardly anything at all (only a meager salad). I would say that she’s consuming less than 1000 calories a day. According to the Livestrong website, the number of calories a female requires varies from 2,000 to 2,400 calories daily for females aged 19 to 30, and from 1,800 to 2,200 calories daily for females aged 31 to 50. Highly active women should aim for the upper end of the scale. Doctors recommend that women eat at least 1,200 calories daily to avoid nutritional deficiencies.


Knowing Gwyneth, she probably exercises intensely quite regularly, which means that she is getting less than half of the calories she requires daily while on this detox elimination diet! The worst part is that she advocates this diet openly on her blog. There surely must be some readers who have attempted this diet, or at least have thought about it.

Plus, if Gwyneth herself believes that she needs to “lose a few pounds of holiday excess”, what’s to keep the public from believing the same thing too? After all, Gwyneth is way below the average female weight, so this feeds into people’s belief that they need to go way beyond simply living a healthy lifestyle as well.


Now, some of you may be thinking: “But detoxes only last for a short period of time! How bad can they be?” or, “Detoxes are a great way to flush your system of toxins!”. However, scientists say otherwise. Detoxes have not been proven scientifically to be healthy for your body. A typical detox diet includes a strict diet of only fruit and vegetables, often in liquid form. Some detoxes also include using supplements to further increase the level of detoxification.

However, there have been issues linked with detoxification, such as being dehydrated, feelings of being tired or nauseous or dizziness. Some people claim that they are more re-energized after a detox diet. However, this could be due to a placebo effect, where people lead themselves into believing they are doing something healthy for themselves when they may not actually be doing so.

Detoxes are not necessary to lead a healthy life since toxins are automatically removed by the kidneys and liver. Instead of eating to excess and attempting to flush out the toxins, you’re better off on just living a mindful and healthy lifestyle that takes foods from a variety of food groups while upping the fruit and vegetable amounts. This will ensure your body is “cleaner” and that you receive the necessary nutrition from your diet.

Consequences of a Health-Obsessed Diet

Gwyneth Paltrow

So now that I’ve discussed Gwyneth’s crazy health diets and detoxes (in addition to her grueling exercises), some of you may be wondering, so what? Has she been facing health issues? As a matter of fact, she has been. Ironically, her health obsession is the very thing that leads to her health risks. She mentions in Goop that doctors tested her vitamin D levels, which were at the lowest that they had ever seen.  Gwyneth is in the early stages of osteopenia, which comes before osteoporosis, a disease that occurs from having brittle bones.

Osteoperosis is a bone disease that is more common in women than men. The causes of this disease are due to lack of calcium in the diet and too much exercise. As a result, of this disease, there is the risk of increased fractures.

In looking at Gwyneth’s diet, not only is it painful to follow, but also unhealthy in its risks of developing osteoporosis and being all-around vitamin-D deficient. If there’s one major takeaway, it is this: live a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising, but don’t take it to the extreme.



Apr 10, 2012 5:43pm
Great information! I agree that many diets are too extreme.
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