Confession – have you ever tried a wacky celebrity diet? Or hoped that by eating just like Gwyneth or Jennifer you will finally have found all the answers to a perfect diet that works?
I tried a few of them when I was in my teens. Having a large following and a platform of fame gives celebrities an audience for their sometimes hairbrained and bizarre nutrition-related notions. Unfortunately, some of these notions can be downright dangerous.
For parents with teenagers, it’s especially important to be aware of the celebrity role models their adolescents admire. Teens are particularly vulnerable to the lure of fad diets especially when they are supported by a favorite celebrity. It’s important to help teens evaluate the safety and sensibility of a nutrition lifestyle to make sure that they aren’t missing out on vital nutrients during this essential period of growth and development.
I was interviewed as a nutrition expert recently for an article in Insider Magazine examining the safety and legitimacy of Kourtney Kardashian’s “detox diet.” My nutrition hackles get raised every time I hear the word “detox diet.” Even the idea of a “detox diet” is a massive misconception. Happily, our bodies are well equipped to get rid of toxins, no matter what we eat. It’s a myth that we suffer from a build up of toxins in our liver and kidneys. These organs are quite capable of detoxing our systems on their own. Yet people still get really excited about and attached to the idea of cleansing their systems from the inside out.
Apparently, Kourtney’s doctor found elevated levels of mercury and lead in her system which kicked off her interest in following a “detox diet.” However, her dinners on this diet include fish far more than twice per week. Which is an odd choice if you’re trying to reduce the level of mercury in your system. Frankly, the only type of “detox diet” that will actually help improve your health is one that eliminates or limits processed foods that are high in sugar, saturated or trans fat and sodium. But I wouldn’t call this a “detox diet,” I’d just call it eating more sensibly. In any case, how to define a “detox diet” is a great topic of conversation for teens and a learning opportunity that can help set them up for lifelong healthy eating.
The larger takeaway is that we need to be careful about where we get nutrition guidance and information. There is a staggering amount of misinformation out there, and a staggering number of people who put their nutritional health in the hands of a celebrity like Kourtney rather than a trained registered dietitian nutritionist. Read the full article.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this! Feel free to comment below…
Cheers to your good health,