Pop Culture with Tatiana


The UK’s National Health Service warns against Gwyneth Paltrow’s COVID diet

Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow launched Goop back in 2008 as a weekly newsletter, and over the last decade it has grown into a wildly successful wellness website. However both Goop, and by extension Gwyneth, have drawn criticism over the years for some of their more fringe opinions like the benefits of vagina steaming.

I don’t want to bad mouth them too much because they’ve also worked to normalise things like postpartum care for new moms, being sex-positive for women and a strong emphasis on mental health care.

But in this case, Paltrow recently wrote on her blog that contracting Covid-19 had left her with “some long-tail fatigue, brain fog and inflammation”. It’s not clear when she was diagnosed but as part of her recovery, the Hollywood-star-turned-lifestyle-guru said she was on a mainly ketogenic and plant-based diet, with no sugar or alcohol. She fasts until 11:00 every day and takes infrared saunas.

The method of intermittent fasting merely involves eating all of your calories in an eight-hour window. And the ‘Ketotarian’ diet is a plant-forward meal plan that puts the body into a state of ketosis to burn fat and not sugar.

But a senior NHS leader has reminded influential stars like Gwyneth Paltrow of their “duty of responsibility” when talking about Covid treatments. NHS England’s Prof Stephen Powis said some of her methods were “really not the solutions we’d recommend”.

“In the last few days I see Gwyneth Paltrow is unfortunately suffering from the effects of Covid. We wish her well, but some of the solutions she’s recommending are really not the solutions we’d recommend in the NHS.

“We need to take long Covid seriously and apply serious science. All influencers who use social media have a duty of responsibility and a duty of care around that.”

Experts caution that barely any expensive wellness interventions, touted for COVID-19, are based on good science.

The 48 year old actress has been promoting functional medicine expert Will Cole’s new book “Intuitive Fasting” on her Good Podcast and personal Instagram page. Despite referring to himself as “Dr” Cole, he has not been to medical school. Paltrow wrote the forward of the book, which combines multiple intermittent fasting protocols and a customised food plan to “reset the body”.

‘Of all the different ways of eating I’ve tried on over the years – from macrobiotic to vegan to I’ll-spare-you-the-details cleanses – here is what has worked for me: eating intuitively,’ Paltrow wrote ‘When I eat what feels right to me, I feel my best.’  

She recently wrapped up the first of four weeks, which was more or less just following a bone-broth diet, that was designed to give her digestive system a rest and begin rebuilding a healthier gut. 

However, experts have repeatedly emphasised that no specific diet routine is proven to prevent or treat COVID-19.

While Paltrow’s low-carb keto diet, for example, could help you to cut out unhealthy processed foods and stabilise your blood sugar, a few weeks of carb-cutting won’t make much of a difference, and certainly won’t protect you from the virus.

Similarly, intermittent fasting while linked to a promising array of health benefits (including lower inflammation), isn’t proven to help against COVID-19.

In fact, some forms of fasting could even be detrimental in a pandemic, since fasting can increase levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, potentially dampening your immune system according to Dr. Caroline Apovian, co-director of the Center for Weight Management and Wellness at Brigham and Womens Hospital.

While COVID remains a short-lived sickness for many, others have found the effects last for weeks or months. According to the British Medical Journal, long COVID is thought to occur in around 10% of people infected, and concerns have been raised that there is not enough to support the sufferers.

In other news,

Gwyneth Paltrow also made the news recently when she was mocked by fans after insinuating she pioneered wearing face masks.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, the actress was praised for sharing a selfie wearing a mask back in Feb. 2020. The remark prompted the star to insinuate that moment was the starting point of mask popularity.

“This is a familiar pattern in my life,” Paltrow said. “I do something early, everyone is like: ‘What is she doing? She’s insane.’ And then it’s adopted by the culture.”

Fans immediately furrowed their brows at Paltrow’s confidence.

But it’s been a while that Paltrow and shock value are two peas in a pod. 

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