Gwyneth Paltrow has long been an eyebrow-raising figure in the wellness space. The actress and Goop founder’s latest polarizing practice? Intermittent fasting before a bone broth lunch.
“I usually eat something (at) about 12, and in the morning I’ll have some things that won’t spike my blood sugar – that’s why I like coffee,” Paltrow, 50, said on a recent episode of the “Art of Being Well” podcast. “But I really like soup for lunch: I have bone broth for lunch a lot of the days.”
After those online took issue with the star promoting such a low-calorie diet, Paltrow responded and her wellness company doubled down this weekend with a tongue-in-cheek post declaring “bone broth for all.” “I’m tellin’ you,” Paltrow commented on the post.
While experts say there’s no problem with promoting bone broth, there’s something left to be desired about the way Paltrow spoke about it.
As all eyes are on Paltrow this week amid her ski trial, we’re asking experts for the verdict on her bone broth claims.
What are the benefits of drinking bone broth?
This isn’t to say consuming bone broth is a bad idea – nutrition experts agree it has numerous health benefits.
“Bone broth may seem like a new fad, but in fact it’s been a revered source of nutrition for tens of thousands of years,” says Dr. William Li, a Harvard-trained doctor, researcher and author of “Eat To Beat Your Diet.” “Why it’s become more popular today is there are these New Age health attributes that have been assigned to bone broth and different groups that make marketing claims about their own bone broth.”
The clear broth, which is made from boiling animal bones, contains calcium, magnesium, zinc and more.
“You’re getting collagen; you get iron, you get protein, so as a base, it does give you a good amount of nutrition,” says registered dietician Dalina Soto.
Is bone broth a complete meal?
The key words are “as a base.” Alone, bone broth can give a nutrition boost to breakfast or as the base of a healthy lunch or dinner, but experts are quick to point out that bone broth is not a meal by itself.
“It’s a nutrition-rich version of hot water. By no means is it a sound source of daily calories,” Li says. Even for those looking to bone broth as a filling, low-calorie option to aid in weight loss, it still doesn’t replace full meals.
Li offers some bone broth-based recipe recommendations that incorporate all the health benefits of bone broth while including enough carbohydrates, protein, fat, veggies and calories to sustain a person until their next meal:
- Vegetable stew
- Bean chili
- Minestrone soup
- Tonkotsu ramen
Gwyneth Paltrow’s history of problematic diet messaging
In response to criticism over sharing her limited diet, Paltrow said in a since-expired Instagram Stories video that she didn’t mean for her menu to be advice for the general public. Rather, it was intended as just “a transparent look at a conversation between me and my doctor” to share what has worked for her in the aftermath of long COVID, which Paltrow said has caused inflammation in her body.
“This is not to say that I eat this way all day every day,” she said. “By the way, I eat far more than bone broth and vegetables. I eat full meals. And I also have a lot of days of eating whatever I want and eating French fries and whatever. But my baseline really has been to try to be healthy and to eat foods that will really calm the system down.”
Paltrow, the author of five cookbooks, has a history of spreading sometimes ill-informed ideas about diet and wellness culture. Past bogus claims include selling $120 bio-frequency healing stickers Goop claimed included the same materials as NASA spacesuits (which NASA denied), promoting vaginal steaming (which doctors warn can be harmful to the body) and offering vaginal jade eggs purported to balance hormones and regulate menstrual cycles (for which Goop was fined $1450,000 for unsubstantiated medical claims).
And it’s not just Paltrow – Hollywood has a sordid reputation for pushing unhealthy diet ideals in the name of health. Paltrow’s ex-husband Chris Martin, for example, recently said he no longer eats dinner, a habit he says he picked up from Bruce Springsteen.
Dalina Soto | Anti Diet Dietitian on Instagram: “Hola 👋🏽 hola chulas. I figured today would be a good day for a re-introduction since so many are new here and then see one post, make assumptions without understanding nuance and then things spiral 🌀😂 👩🏽🦱 My name is Dalina, I am a bilingual registered dietitian. Si, hablo español. 🍚 on this page I celebrate la cultura. All cultures, but specifically my Latinx foods. My parents are Dominican and it’s the food I grew up eating and loving. When I became a dietitian I started watching my mom cook. Like really cook. And realized all the amazing ingredients she uses that the wellness world doesn’t realize because they’re only worried about shrinking and erasing us. 🎉But I decided to embrace the ingredients and teach positive nutrition. Because I refuse to erase our traditions and ingredients that give us so much. 🪴 I believe in body autonomy and you having the right to do what works for you without judgement. I’m here to educate and share nutrition. I am not a weight loss page, because I refuse to sell fad diets or gimmicks. & I will never judge you for wanting to lose weight or losing weight. If you’re looking for restriction then I am not the dietitian for you. You’re free to find one that will restrict you. But I, myself will teach how to add nutrition & find health & stability. That’s what I practice & offer. 🌵I fight against diet culture and the narratives & stereotypes that people assume about our foods and teach you the nutrition in them to manage any chronic condition. 🙋🏽♀️this is who I am. A food loving RD. Just trying to change the world and helping you make the best decision for you and your cuerpo.”
Despite celebrities and popular online wellness influencers collecting large followings, Soto warns against putting the responsibility on a single person to teach everyone else the perfect diet or lifestyle. Two things can be true at the same time: Paltrow sharing the benefits of bone broth can be helpful, and attempting to follow the restrictive diet she first mentioned can be dangerous.
“On social media, you need to have real critical thinking skills,” Soto says. “We shouldn’t put influencers or anyone on a pedestal of thinking they know everything best and what they do is what we do. … Pick and choose what works for you.”
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