Everyone is buzzing about this power couple since their personal chef revealed what the NFL superstar quarterback and his supermodel wife eat from day to day. Is this “super” eating plan all it’s cracked up to be?
According to multiple reports, Tom, Gisele and their kids munch on a diet that’s 80 percent organic vegetables and 20 percent lean meats and wild salmon. Whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa are also part of the plan.
There are also some major diet no-nos, including white flour, white sugar, caffeine and dairy. Rumor has it that Tom avoids most fruits and that there are few or no nightshade vegetables (like tomatoes and eggplant) on their grocery list; fungus like mushrooms are also banned, for their potential to increase inflammation.
The benefits of plant-based diets are numerous. Eating a wide variety of vegetables and whole grains contributes substantially to fiber intake and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plant-based foods are also loaded with cell-protecting antioxidants and phytochemicals (plant chemicals that fight and prevent disease).
Any nutrition expert will tell you that cutting back on highly processed foods made from white flour and white sugar does a body good, and that lean meat and fish are top picks for protein intake.
Poor nightshade veggies are getting a bad reputation! Tomatoes and eggplant are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, and there is little scientific evidence to support that they are pro-inflammatory or are harmful in any way.
This diet is also incredibly restrictive, and cutting out entire food groups (such as dairy) can leave you at risk for nutrient deficiencies, including bone issues from lack of proper calcium and vitamin D.
Let’s also not forget that it all sounds well and good to eat only organic foods and to chomp on culinary creations such as vegetable sushi and raw granola, but not everyone can afford these ingredients — and furthermore, not everyone has their own personal chef!
Bottom Line: It’s not about eating (or not eating) specific types of produce — it’s about sticking to a healthy eating plan that you actually enjoy for the long haul, plus kicking your own butt in the exercise department. Be inspired by Tom and Gisele’s dedication, but don’t think you must eat in this fashion to be healthy.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.