But Gwyneth is right about eating carbs

Remember that obesity is far more prevalent than our so-called ‘starvation’


There’s a peculiar irony in naming a cookbook It’s All Good and including recipes that deny the use of ingredients most of us would describe as “good”.

You know, sugar, dairy, wheat, alcohol, red meat, and so on. Gwyneth Paltrow, that great patroness of self-denial, has produced the aforementioned It’s All Good. The Hollywood actress, it has been said in the past, eats naked in front of a mirror, follows a strict macrobiotic diet and has kale shakes while all around are guzzling down lattés. If we take the usual measurement of 70 per cent of what’s written about celebrities being hokum, she’s a bit of a foodie control freak. But then, if I was being filmed in high-def, from all angles, wearing a swimsuit, I might put down the glazed doughnut, too.

In diversifying her career to take in movies and (that nebulous thing) lifestyle, she writes and blogs about food. And now, in efforts to publicise this new cookbook, Paltrow has been quoted as saying that she denies her family carbohydrates and, as a result, “we’re left with that specific hunger that comes with avoiding carbs”.

She might as well have said that she encourages little Apple (9) to do the 5:2 fasting diet, or gets Moses (6) to slip a honeyed mouse down his throat after every meal, to judge by the reaction. “She’s starving her children!” bellow the headlines.

Let’s hold that thought.

The full quote starts with the word “Sometimes when my family is not eating pasta, bread or processed grains like white rice…” but that’s been conveniently sidelined. It’s undoubtedly true that children need carbohydrates – just like all the other food groups – to help them grow. They need to replace the energy they expend Tiggering around. But do they need white bread, mountains of pasta pesto and bags of crisps? No. Do they need a Chinese ready-meal with dazzlingly white rice? No.

Obesity, let’s remember, is far more prevalent and damaging than this so-called “starvation” – even if that’s what it were, which it’s not. We all know that children – even the ones belonging to movie- and rock-star parents – eat pizza and burgers and the like when they go to parties. They seek out junk food – we did, didn’t we? – and a responsible parent provides balance. Note her use of the word “sometimes”, too.

A cursory glance at Ms Paltrow’s recipe output reveals that there is stodge, it’s just the starry kind that most of us buy, sigh over, and never cook, such as red rice, sweet potatoes and cannellini beans. Oh, for a private chef.

So, not that she needs it, let’s cut Gwyneth some slack. Dieticians and doctors advise us to start eating only when we identify hunger (more usually it’s thirst) and stop eating when we feel satiated. It sounds more palatable coming from a bloke in a white coat than a star in a white designer dress, I guess.

Twitter: @lisamarkwell

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
With an eye for strategy: Stephen Fry’s General Melchett and Rowan Atkinson’s Edmund Blackadder  

What Cameron really needs is to turn this into a khaki election

Matthew Norman
An Italian policeman stands guard as migrants eat while waiting at the port of Lampedusa to board a ferry bound for Porto Empedocle in Sicily. Authorities on the Italian island of Lampedusa struggled to cope with a huge influx of newly-arrived migrants as aid organisations warned the Libya crisis means thousands more could be on their way  

Migrant boat disaster: EU must commit funds to stop many more dying

Alistair Dawber
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own