Gwyneth Paltrow’s kids eat low carb, dietitians predictably panic

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow says that her kids are on a low-carb diet – no bread, pasta or rice – as she thinks that is good for them. Predictably a few old-school dietitians immediately panicked.

The kids risk “nutrient deficiencies” warns one dietitian and another says that they “won’t be able to think straight as their brain won’t be functioning”. There is no end to the hysteria or the old myths that are dusted off. It’s even noted that Paltrow’s kids are thin (!) as if that must be bad. Apparently overweight kids are so common today that people are worried when they see a child without weight issues.

Fortunately more and more people are seeing through the nonsense. Nobody needs bread or pasta as long as they eat real food until satisfied (when on low carb this means more fat). And no, the brain does not quit working. It has never happened in reality, only in some book that dietitians are taught to memorize in school.

Here’s a great article about the Paltrow debate: Why Gwyneth Paltrow’s no-carb diet for children makes perfect sense

Earlier about food for kids


  1. Chris Parkes
    The biggest problem is that it is being reported that she said that her kids are often hungry following this diet and this immediately takes away from the core message against carbs.
    Reply: #2
  2. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor
    If that's true it means they are not allowed to eat enough fat. Shouldn't need to be hungry. That's low-carb low-fat starvation.
    Reply: #13
  3. Ryuukun
    I've just checked out some conversations about this article and it seems that the vegans are on the march again posting their paid studies and telling everyone that they're going to die when they eat like that.
    They also take out the "Dr. Atkins died of an heart attack" argument again.
  4. Fiona Jesse Giffords
    When you are on a low carb diet means it doesn't mean you are not taking healthy meals. I think she is making her kids more powerful and strong with low carb diet. It can boost their self-motivation.
  5. I think this is awesome, celebrities can be incredibly influential.

    If you look at Google Trends, "vegan" gets so much more media mentions than "paleo" or "low carb." Paleo is trending pretty heavily though, despite the lack of media attention.

    I think one of the key reasons veganism is so popular today is all the celebrities that are doing it. Oprah did it, Natalie Portman, Ellen Degeneres, now Bill Clinton and many, many more..

  6. Shelly
    Oh my God! I've been doing low carb for a year, and my children and my husband (none of whom need to lose weight, so they get more carbs than I do, but healthy ones) all eat low carb with me. Not only has my husband's chronic heartburn gone away, but ALL of us lost our seasonal allergies, my eldest daughter lost a skin condition she's had since she was little (and no one knew what it was or could get rid of it), my youngest daughter's *serious* eczema is completely eradicated (my youngest was *always* sick, too - at least once a week she would wake up puking and even the pediatrician couldn't figure out why she was doing it - but no more!) but ALL of us seemed to gain "brain power" - I don't know how else to word it. It's like our brains *work better*. All of my kids' grades have gone up (skyrocketed up is more like it), and the ADHD-like behavior has gone away. I can say (for myself) that I feel like Wonder Woman - I think so clearly now it scares me sometimes. And don't get me started on how much energy we all have, on a lot less sleep.

    Oh, and I've lost weight, and my hair has started growing back - so no need to get me out in thyroid medication or anti-stress pills (like my doc was going to prescribe for me, because he thought the reason I was losing so much hair was one or the other).

    I should also mention that my husband's doctor is of the "low fat, no bacon, only 2 eggs a week" ilk. 6 weeks after my husband started following low carb with me, he had bloodwork done, and his good cholesterol was high, and his bad cholesterol had dropped like crazy. My husband told him he'd stopped taking the medication he was given, and the doctor told him "whatever you're doing, keep doing it!" The doc still doesn't know why, because if he did, he'd blow a gasket.

    Anyone who says that this is bad for you needs to pull giant pharm out of their butts and look at the real picture. There is NO WAY that this is bad for you.

  7. Justin B
    Yeah, don't read the comments. You'll just get a headache. Its all the usual stuff that gets wheeled out when something like this makes news. Atkins' death cause and death weight seem to constantly be brought up. No matter how many times people provide links to the official reports of how he died, and his weight upon entry into the hospital (not his end weight after they tubed in a bunch of carb juice), people just cannot accept facts.
  8. C. Buck
    Unfortunately, the article goes on to imply whole grains, brown rice, and fruit are part of the low carb diet.
  9. "Apparently overweight kids are so common today that people are worried when they see a child without weight issues."

    The same if your child is not taking any medications. I had to convince my children's school that my kids really are healthy and they don't take any medications. They thought it was the strangest thing that my kids don't need medications and they thought we were weird..I can't believe people think you're strange if you don't take medicine..I tried to tell them that's because of our diet but that was like talking to a wall..

    Reply: #26
  10. Ondrej

    Time to re-evaluate?

    "[T] ake a close look at the studies in which the low-carb diet caused greater reductions in insulin. Despite the marked differences in insulin output, there was no difference in weight or fat loss! Among the metabolic ward studies, the trials by Grey and Kipnis, Golay et al, Miyashita et al, and Stimson et al all found greater reductions in insulin on the isocaloric low-carb diets – but no difference in fat loss … . Among the free-living studies, Golay et al, Torbay et al, Noakes et al, and Meckling et al all found greater reductions in insulin on the low-carb diets – but again, no difference in fat loss… . The participants in these free-living studies were given dietary advice intended to make the high- and low-carbs isocaloric. If insulin, and not calories, was the key factor in fat loss, then there should have been a clear and decisive advantage to the lower-carb group every single time. There wasn’t. The reason for this is that the insulin-makes-you-fat theory is rubbish. It is calories, not insulin, that determine whether or not you will lose fat."

  11. Ondrej
    “A key point that must be made is that the research is not sufficient grounds to be dogmatic about low-carbing in the first place. On the whole, studies do not match protein intakes between diets. Adequate protein intakes have multiple advantages (ie, LBM support, satiety, thermic effect), and they simply end up being compared to inadequate protein intakes. Thus, it's not lower carb intake per se that imparts any advantage, it's the higher protein intake. Once you match protein intake between diets, the one with more carbs is actually the one with the potential for a slight metabolic advantage.

    Furthermore, the majority of the research compares dietary extremes (high-carb/low-fat/low-protein versus low-carb/high-fat/moderate protein). The funny part is, the majority of long-term trials (12 months or more) STILL fail to show a significant weight loss difference. Note that these trials use the sedentary obese, so in the fit population, any weight loss differences would be even more miniscule. Once again, keep in mind that the lack of significant difference in weight loss is seen despite unequal protein intakes between treatments.

    There's a large middle ground here that tends to get ignored by the 'metabolic advantage' folks, who are incorrect to begin with. It's always either-or for them, when in fact, individual carbohydrate demands vary widely. For some folks, low-carb is warranted. For others, it isn't. It always amazes me how hard that concept is to grasp for low-carb absolutists.

  12. Troy Wynn
    Were all of the studies calorie restricted? Got any RTC's comparing a calorie restricted high carb low fat diet to a unrestricted calorie low carb/high fat/moderate protein? I have seen such studies: Here's what they said.....

    SAN ANTONIO — An intermittent, low-carbohydrate diet was superior to a standard, daily calorie-restricted diet for reducing weight and lowering blood levels of insulin, a cancer-promoting hormone, according to recent findings.

    Intermittent, low-carbohydrate diets were superior in lowering blood levels of insulin, which can lead to cancer.
    Low-carbohydrate diet two days per week resulted in greater weight loss than standard daily dieting.

    So, in this study a calorie restricted standard diet failed to meet the weight loss of an intermittent low carb diet. I can eat ad lib on a low carb and lose fat more so than a standard calorie restricted diet?

    Here's another one:

    What about cardiovascular risk factors? Seems like low carb high fat diets consistently improve HDL, LDL particle size and low triglycerides. Does that matter?

  13. Emma
    "Sometimes when my family is not eating pasta, bread or processed grains … we're left with that specific hunger that comes with avoiding carbs".

    I think she's talking about that real hunger that I know I feel when I'm really hungry for food and not that craving , constant "hunger" for something sweet or starchy you get when you eat a lot of carbs.

    That quote was just unfortunate because no one that hasn't tried a LCHF diet will be likely understand what she means.

    That's just what I think. ^^

    Reply: #16
  14. Galina L.
    " no bread, pasta or rice" doesn't sound like a low-carb diet for me. There are sources of carbohydrates besides the ones with high GI.
    I am a LCarber, but my other family members are just junk-food-free.
  15. Justin B
    Ondrej, Fat loss alone isn't all that we care about, and it shouldn't be. The truth is that in clinical trials, LCHF diets produce the lowest incidence of disease and early death when compared to other diets. The point is that you can either go hungry micro-managing your calories, or you can eat till you're happy. Both ways can produce weight loss, but I know which one I prefer.
  16. Troy Wynn
    Exactly. fast burning carbs will give you that ravenous or intense hunger, Low carb, high fat you just know you are hungry but it's not a bother. That's what I took away from it.
  17. LDL-Richard
    Why deprive a child of potatoes, sweet-potoes, oatmeal, corn, etc. Doesn't make any sense. Outrageous. Unrefined starchy staples are healthiest food for humans to consume. Low in fat, rich in fiber and other nutrients.

    BTW, Doc. Did you see the new study? I know you dislike epidemiology but love (Atkins funded) RCTs.

    Effect of fruit restriction on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes – a randomized trial

    Replies: #19, #20, #22, #25
  18. bill

    From that study: "...with no difference between the groups..."

    What's your point? Are you saying this is why we shouldn't 'deprive' children
    from eating starch?

    If you want to eat starch, go ahead and eat starch. More power
    to you.


  19. Troy Wynn
    2 or more pieces of fruit per day vs. no more than 2 pieces of fruit. I dunno. not liking this experimental design.
  20. John2
    LDL-R, did you read your study? Table 1? What is the difference in the amount of fruit consumed by the two groups? 8 grams, mostly water. Nice study.
    Reply: #21
  21. John2
    Oops. I retract my comment.
  22. Justin B
    Richard, did you take science class in middle/high school? I don't know about you, but I was taught that epidemiological studies can only lead you to a hypothesis, and that they cannot, in any way, lead to a conclusion. Ever.
  23. Alan
    Are there any publications which examine the question of whether or not children need more, not less, fat and protein than do adults?
  24. yuma
    @ ondrej: You can quote studies ad nauseam and they don't mean squat when compared to Dr. Eenfeldt LCHF clinical experience with hundreds if not thousands of patients.

    And he is not the only one. For example, Dr. Davis has successfully treated THOUSANDS OF PATIENTS and the late Dr. Wolfang Lutz (author of Life Without Bread), who died at 97, successfully treated patients OVER SEVEN DECADES.

    And you want us to believe your "studies?" Give me a break!

  25. Zepp
    Why deprive children of a high fat food?

    Gosh.. isnt it better to have a GBP directly at birth so those kids can eat what ever there parents give them.. or?

    Then we dont need to read a dicussion like this!!

    Is there anyone.. beside dieticans, that think she is giving her kids a bad diet????

  26. Jennapher
    Wow that's pretty scary... I'm only 27 but even when I was in school the only kids that had meds were us crazy ADHD kiddos..

    Oh and P.S. ADHD is now another thing I can add to my list of things that LCHF helped with... Thanks Andres!

  27. Thought readers here may enjoy this new paper which explains how we have got into the current position.
    Food for Thought: Have We Been Giving the Wrong Dietary Advice? Free full text paper downloadable as PDF from link.
    Since 1984 UK citizens have been advised to reduce total dietary fat intake to 30% of total energy and saturated fat intake to 10%.
    The National Institute of Clinical Excellence [NICE] suggests a further benefit for Coronary Heart Disease [CHD] prevention by reducing saturated fat [SFA] intake to 6% - 7% of total energy and that 30,000 lives could be saved by replacing SFAs with Polyunsaturated fats [PUFAs].
    20 volumes of the Seven Countries Study, the seminal work behind the 1984 nutritional guidelines, were assessed.
    The evidence upon which the NICE guidance was based was reviewed. Nutritional facts about fat and the UK intake of fat are presented and the impact of macronutrient confusion on public health dietary advice is discussed.
    [ Findings:
    The Seven Countries study classified processed foods, primarily carbohydrates, as saturated fats.
    The UK government and NICE do the same, listing biscuits, cakes, pastries and savoury snacks as saturated fats.
    Processed foods should be the target of public health advice but not natural fats, in which the UK diet is deficient.
    With reference to the macro and micro nutrient composition of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy foods the article demonstrates that dietary trials cannot change one type of fat for another in a controlled study.
    The evidence suggests that processed food is strongly associated with the increase in obesity, diabetes, CHD, and other modern illness in our society.
    The macro and micro nutrients found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, are vital for human health and consumption of these nutritious foods should be encouraged.
  28. Its really about simplifying your lifestyle and that it includes the food you eat and give to your children. I don't get hung up about this and that diet, there are so many it makes my head spin - and as a busy mum I don't have the time.

    We made the simple choice of eating whole natural foods, and omitted any food that came in a packet - of course I don't deny them the odd treat. Its that simple really, and none of my kids have a weight problem.

  29. Libby at
    I've just written an article on how to feed low carb kids. Without a doubt, the number 1 question I get asked once people discover we eat low carb, wheat free and sugar free – is what on earth do you put in their lunch boxes????
    My advise is to give up sugar and flour is the number 1 step. These are nothing but nutritionally devoid stodgy fillers. Give your children real food, do small changes or your kids and your husband will probably go nuts at you. It takes time, but so worth it.
  30. LINDA
    Message to Libby

    I have just looked at your 'DITCH THE CARBS' Website, there are some brilliant recipes on there, which I can't wait to try out !! Many thanks

  31. Galina L.
    I wouldn't put a child without any health issues on a LC diet. It could make him/her too sensitive to carbohydrates when he/she eats outside home in social situation. I am a LCarber myself and a mother of a son who is 21 now. He was raised in a junk-free house.
  32. erdoke
    It depends on what we call LC. For some people even removing soda, refined sugars and white flour is extremely "low carb". I would feel comfortable with this scenario and maybe limiting the consumption of the most sugary fruits by my children would not hurt as well. Percentage wise going from a 40-20 % refined-fibrous carbohydrate diet to a 10-30 % one is already a huge difference.
  33. Bea
    Thank goodness for this article. How can low carb possibly be bad??? Today for dinner we had baked chicken breast (lemon pepper) with baked raddishes, kale and fresh green beans, as well as green and yellow squash (steamed) with cauliflower and steamed corn on the cob. How is this bad??? I'll tell you that it has something to do with an outdated food pyramid that was most likely created during the depression era when kids were literally starving to death and staple foods such as milk and bread (carbs) were used to fill and satiate people. It worked then on starving children but we don't have an all time high in childhood obesity because 75% of my kids plate is veggies no it's because if I serve them based on the food pyramid it'd be a plate of 75% carbs.

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts