August 26, 2008

Celebrity Diet Secrets: Britney Spears

I could care less how a celebrity dresses on the red carpet or how their hair looks when they're buying Advil at their local drugstore at 1 AM.

I do, however, like to keep tabs on what they are telling the media about nutrition and health.

Not so much because I think I'll stumble upon some revolutionary new concept, but because many times their eating habits and "tips" -- which many people often apply to their own lives -- are far off the mark.

Take Britney Spears' latest statement to OK! Magazine:

"I'm the healthiest I've been all my life.

My diet has a lot to do with my getting into shape. I have no sugar. I don't eat fruit or even fruit juice because of the sugar.

I eat chicken and salmon and rice. I eat avocados. I'll have egg whites for breakfast and sometimes turkey burgers for lunch. I try to do just 1,200 calories a day. It may sound like it's
not much, but it's actually a lot of food if you eat the right things."

Some of those concepts are NOT OK with me.

Let's start with the positives. She has clearly realized that a daily intake of Cheetos and Frappuccinos won't do much to help her get back in shape.

Additionally, avocados and salmon are a great way to get healthy fats.

Now, onto the "not so great" attributes.

I'd like to think Britney is pointing out just a few of the foods she eats, rather than her daily staples. Otherwise, she is on the fast track to boredom with such a small selection.

And, hello, where's the fiber?

My main frustration, however, stems from her claim that, in order to keep a sugar-free diet, Britney has cut out fruits and fruit juice.

Fruit juice, I can understand. After all, most fruit juices are simply sugar (in this case, fructose) water with vitamins. Since they are in liquid form, they don't do much in terms of satiety, either.

But giving up fruit? I can't think of any reason to do that.

Think about it for a minute. Doesn't it sound slightly ridiculous to say, "I'm eating healthy, so no more fruit in MY fridge!"?

A medium sized apple only contains 90 calories, but also provides fiber, phytonutrients, and a variety of vitamins.

Please don't mistake that recent study about fructose intake and weight gain to mean you should never have fruit.

The fiber in whole fruit offsets the sharp rise in blood glucose you get when you drink pure fruit juice juice.

Besides, a whole orange provides significantly lower levels of fructose than a glass of OJ.

So, Britney, please don't fear. A banana in the morning or some kiwi in the afternoon will not lead you astray.

Thank you to reader Kristin MacBride for sending along Britney's quote.


Anonymous said...

Haha Loved this post!! It's neat to hear a nutritionist pick a part a so called amazing celebrity diet plan. I think many people often think that if it is a celebrity, that he/she must have professional help (trainers, nutritionists, etc.) which provide flawless advice....therefore making the "celebrity's diet" much more attractive. I appreciate you taking the time to disagree with Brit's diet....and I think it'd be fun and interesting if you did this more often.

P.S. Loved the "About the Author" post!! So neat to hear your story! Thanks for sharing!

Andy Bellatti said...


Glad you enjoyed the post!

If you want to read similar posts, scroll about halfway down the page to "Labels" (on the far right hand column of the page) and click on "Celebrity Diet Secrets."

Happy reading!


Anonymous said...

She claims to be the healthiest she's ever been, yet she's always photographed with a cigarette in her hand. I guess, like many people, she only equates health with the foods she eats and not overall lifestyle choices.

Erica said...

No fruit? that is totally ridiculous. Who is her nutrionist? I don't see how any nurtionist any good conscious could tell someone not to eat fruit. Great blog!

Anna said...

I am not exactly sure what Britney's nutritionists are telling her to eat for her 1200 calories per day, but I don't think eliminating (or limiting significantly) fruit from one's diet is such a terrible idea, IF fruits are replaced by vegetables.

When comparing nutritional data for 100g of broccoli to 100g of apple, for example, broccoli clearly wins out. Furthermore, broccoli has a bit less calories than the apple (18 cals less per 100g), less sugar (8g less) and significantly more of every vitamin and mineral. Analyzing 100g of sweet red pepper yields similar advantages over the apple. Sure, there are other fruits out there, but this brief comparison shows that by replacing fruits with veggies, one would not miss out on vitamins/minerals, would cut down on calories a bit, and would most likely feel fuller per gram consumed. As far as phytochemicals are concerned, veggies have plenty to offer. When I make a salad, I usually make sure it's as colorful as possible - greens (lettuce, spinach), tomatoes (red), bell peppers (red/yellow/orange/green), garlic, etc., so as to include a variety of phytonutrients.

I wouldn't swear off fruit for the rest of my life, but I can see how a dieter would feel she's getting more bang for her calories out of veggies vs. fruits, especially on a 1200 calorie diet. Just my 2c.