Goop’s new guide helps you make healthy choices at Chipotle, Starbucks and Panda Express
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Actress and wellness entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop website has been accused of pedaling dubious health advice in the past. Remember the claim that there might be a link between wearing underwire bras and breast cancer or most famously, that so-called “vagina steaming” helps balance hormone levels?
That said, much of the advice in a recent Goop guide to fast food eating actually makes sense, according to nutritionists. “She’s not saying ‘eat fast food,’ but that in our culture, people do eat these things and shouldn’t be uneducated about it,” says Nikki Ostrower, a self-professed food addict turned nutrition expert at New York’s NAO Nutrition. Indeed, the guide is targeted at haggard moms during the summer travel season, when the only options seem to be the McDonald’s or KFC stands at the airport or highway rest stop.
Goop divides the major fast food chains into three categories—those that are relatively healthy, the “tricky, but doable” and restaurants where one should just give up hope of maintaining a diet. Ostrower thinks that the first category is pretty spot-on. It includes tips such as ordering salad with brown rice at Chipotle and Starbucks, and rice with steamed veggies at Panda Express.
She has two qualms. First, with the recommendation to get sandwiches at Subway. “It’s still white bread” that’s carb-filled, she says. Ostrower also doesn’t like the tip to sprinkle your Wendy’s chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, instead suggesting one squeeze a lemon over it.
Ostrower has little to say about the second group, which includes grilled chicken sandwiches at McDonald’s and gluten-free veggie pizzas with no cheese from Domino’s. She thinks it’s OK but generally best to avoid.
In the last category though, “you might as well not bother,” says Ostrower. After all, who’d eat semi-healthy farmhouse salad with bacon and cheese at Arby’s in favor of curly fries? Or even consider the 50-calorie fudge bar at Dairy Queen in place of a sundae?
A Paltrow fan, Ostrower thinks highly of this guide. But even she adds that it’s no substitute for advanced dietary planning. “Don’t be hungry beforehand” since it increases the temptation to make bad food choices, she says. Failing that, it’s not that hard to bring nuts, peanut butter, fruits and veggies onto a plane.
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