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You may be surprised to know that actress and singer Gwyneth Paltrow shares more with Madonna than the gift of song. The two have been friends for more than a decade and the material girl may have influenced Gwyneth's palate. The two are both on a macrobiotic diet.
While neither has reported following the diet to lose weight, they have sung its praises for keeping them healthy. Madonna tells Larry King a usual dinner would include: "Fish, some kind of grains, some kind of cooked vegetable [and] salad." While Madonna's splurge is toast and strawberry jam, Gwyneth claims to love cheese and also enjoys eating chocolate chip cookies, though she admits that sugar makes her feel "pretty bad." She adds, "being macrobiotic is basically about eating local, organic, seasonal food that isn't processed."
The Verdict: For Real
Because of its focus on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, a macrobiotic diet is healthy and may lower the risk of several chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. WebMD expert Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD simplifies the diet as, "a mostly vegetarian diet that allows you to eat occasional meat or fish -- with rules governing eating, cooking, and lifestyle practices such as eating slowly and chewing food thoroughly." While vitamin and mineral supplements are not recommended by the diet, Dawn Jackson Blatner, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association advises seeing a registered dietitian to avoid nutritional deficiencies. She adds, "Nutrients of concern are vitamins D and B12, iron, protein, and calcium if you are not careful." If you are considering starting the diet, start slowly. Such an extreme change in the food you eat will take a huge commitment. Gwyneth admits to HuffingtonPost.com she fell off the wagon once, "…when I got pregnant with Apple I wanted french fries, grilled cheese, and yogurt, so it kind of went out the window."
A breakdown of the macrobiotic diet provided by WebMD is below:
Whole grains, especially brown rice: 50%-60%
Vegetables (and seaweed): 25%-30%
Fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, miso soup: 5%-20%
Soup (made from ingredients above): 1-2 cups/day