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

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

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace

Gabriel Sassoon
The economy expanded by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2014  

Government hails latest GDP figures, but there is still room for scepticism over this 'glorious recovery'

Ben Chu
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little