Celebrities don’t eat sugar?

by Brooke on September 28, 2010

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I find it amazing how many consumers listen to the nutrition advice given by celebrities!

I have heard numerous statements and comments made by celebrities lately about how they don’t eat any sugar.  These statements always make me smile!  I think it is because celebrities are so misinformed.

There are three main types of carbohydrates including: starches (also labeled complex carbohydrates), sugars (natural and added), and fiber.  Starches and sugars are broken down into simple sugar molecules in our body that we can then use for energy.  Carbohydrates are our bodies’ main energy source.  Now, you can definitely consume to many carbohydrates at a time, but avoiding them completely is impossible and not healthy.

Foods that contain carbohydrates are: fruits, grains, beans, starchy vegetables (corn, peas, and potatoes), milk, yogurt, and sweets.  Fruits contain a natural sugar called fructose.  Milk contains a natural sugar called lactose. Foods with little or no carbohydrates include: vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese, meat substitutes, and fats.    So as you can see…saying you don’t eat any foods with carbohydrates or sugar is just silly!

One of my girlfriends sent me the link to Perez Hilton’s blog  recently.  I have never viewed his blog before but this comment was worth the visit!

Kelly Osbourne was asked what her secret was for staying thin and she responded,

“I’ve completely changed the way I eat since doing Dancing with the Stars. A trick I’ve learned is to eat just a little bit of something that has no carbs and no sugar in it before you go to sleep because it keeps your metabolism going.  They say you should never eat before you go to bed, but I’ve found just having a tiny little snack — like half an apple or something like that — before you go to sleep really helps.”

This statement made me smile because:

1) An apple is a carbohydrate.

2) Consuming small meals every few hours will keep your metabolism going. However, those snacks can be carbohydrates too!

Here is just one more example of celebrities putting down sugar…even natural sugar.

In Jackie Warner’s new book, This Is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever): Eat More, Cheat More, Lose More–and Keep the Weight Offand on her TV show, Thintervention, she has stated that consumers are addicted to sugar and tells her readers and clients not to consume anything with more than 5 grams of sugar.

This is interesting to me for two reasons:

1) She is just a trainer not an RD.  Even if she is a great trainer, she doesn’t have the education or credential for giving nutrition advice.

2) I am just curious where she pulled this number from?  Here is a list of common foods with carbohydrates:

-A small piece of  fruit or ½ cup of chopped fruit = 15 grams of carbohydrate

-1 cup of milk  =12 grams of carbohydrate

-2/3 cup of yogurt =12 grams of carbohydrate

-1/2 cup of oatmeal  = 15 g of carbohydrate

– 1 slice of bread = 15 g of carbohydrate

-1 cup of winter squash and pumpkin  = 15 grams carbohydrate (thought I would throw in these fall favorites)

-1/3 cup of rice = 15 grams carbohydrate

This amount of sugar would limit some fruits, milk, etc.  That doesn’t sound right that an apple would be out of the question!

You need carbohydrates to function! 

  Make healthy choices!  

                                    Eat in moderation!

What celebrity quotes have you heard or read lately that sounded incorrect?

Photo courtesy of Kidayo.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Nour El-Zibdeh, RD September 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Thank you thank you for this post. It’s hilarious! Especially Kelly Osbourne’s comment. I think all these celebrities should not get into the business of nutrition because it just makes them–some of them–sound stupid. Sorry. They can talk about general stuff, but please not into the carb business. It’s such a complicated topic even for dietitians and health experts who spend their lives researching it!

I haven’t heard anything from celebrities, but I have to give Tyra Banks credit for always talking about healthy eating. Again, she always talks about common sense stuff and she often has her dietitian, Heather Bauer, on the show.

Few days ago, I overheard a lady at Panera bread tell her friend she’s doing a low carb diet so she’s not going to eat her apple. Then she ate her potato chips. So wrong!


Brooke September 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Thanks Nour! It is true, it takes Registered Dietitians 5 years of school to learn these nutrition concepts. I love the Panera Bread comment :) …maybe you should have properly informed her!


Staci Shell September 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Great post Brooke!


Jeni Lowe September 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Good post, Brooker! I think it’s hilarious when celebrities pull advice out of their asses and advise the public on ridiculous things. And wow your friend’s comment above about the Panera person is ridiculous. The things you hear people say… they make me want to intervene and say “umm, so actually that’s not correct…” but then I’d also have to admit that I’m eve’s dropping haha!

PS. I love the pic!


Brooke September 28, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Thanks for the comment Jeni! Yes, I love that picture too!


Steven H September 28, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Moderation is definitely key. Extreme diets that say “only eat X” or “never eat Y” are almost always bullshitting you.

Good article!


Summer September 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm

California is one of the few states that doesn’t require a “nutritionist” to have the RD credential. I kind of understand that now… the bureau of professional regulation would be overwhelmed with the offenses taking place in Hollywood alone… morons. Meh. Let them eat cake.


Aaron Flores, RD September 30, 2010 at 2:31 am

Great article Brooke. Jackie Warner and her new show Thintervention are really disturbing from a RD’s perspective. It’s a shame that someone with no credentials is able to give advice but what’s worse is that people really listen. I wrote about the topic also on my blog. Check it out and let me know what you think. http://bvmrd.blogspot.com/2010/09/thintervention-definetely-not-bvm.html


T October 1, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Thanks for the laugh! It is crazy how misinformed people are on topics.


Brooke October 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Your welcome!


agirlandhercarrot October 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Hi Brooke,
Thanks for visiting my blog! I’m a virgin blogger and am loving it! This article is so great! Where on earth did you find the sugar lip photo? Love Love Love it. I will keep your site on my radar. I had a friend tell me she was told oatmeal is bad because it’s a carbohydrate and she needs to eat a high protein diet and avoid all carbs….oye! The things we dietitians deal with. :-)


Brooke October 14, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Hi Jennifer, Thanks! It is amazing what misinformation people hear or read. I found this picture on Flickr Creative Commons. Hope you are having a nice week :)


Selina April 24, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Hi. While I think this article has good intentions it very one dimensional. While celebrities may not be doctors, they do have access to information from some of the top nutritionist and health experts in the world. And I don’t necessarily believe that one has to be a nutritionist to have valid information about nutrition and to share what there personal experience has been. I am not a nutritionist but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that avoiding sugar as much as possible has a profound impact on health, fitness, and beauty. How do i know this despite not being a nutritionist? I have done extensive research as well as read research from many highly regarded doctors and nutritionists who get to the core of health issues. And I have personally experienced the transformative power of eliminating processed sugars and even greatly reducing my intake of fruit. When it comes to fruit I eat mainly relatively low fructose fruits such as grapefruit and berries. I go to a local farm and buy organic meats and eggs and try to buy as many organic vegetables as possible. And, here’s the real mindblower to that average person , I don’t eat grains or beans! And yes there are thousands of people who eat and live and flourish this way. In fact many of them turned drastic health situations around by doing this. There is alot of misinformation out there, but it is not from people who eschew sugar.


Brooke April 30, 2012 at 3:59 am

Great point, but celebrities’ credibility rarely comes from their nutrition expertise. For someone wading through all of the information out there, it can be easy to follow a trusted favorite actor who may not be properly trained to educate on proper nutrition practices.


rissy April 29, 2012 at 6:48 am

I don’t think what Jackie meant was natural sugar, I think what she actually meant is refine sugar that you find in any candy and such. I’m sure she’s smart enough that fruits and even veggies have natural sugar in them. Not all sugar are the same.


Brooke April 30, 2012 at 3:47 am

Hi Rissy, You are right; but even if she did mean “added sugar” the problem is that this message too often gets lost in translation to a lay audience. I can’t tell you how many of my clients misunderstand information that they saw on tv or read in a book. My concern is what people take away from the book, not what was intended.

Nonetheless, you make a great point.


Rick June 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

To many people over do it or under do it. The media is full of crap. Train don’t strain and eat healthy. I believe one of the biggest problems in our food is corn. Specifically corn sugar. Try not to consume anything that has corn in it for 1 week. Including ingredient made from corn. If you do you will see how big of a problem it is. You will feel better to. Not saying corn is the only problem but its a big one.


Mr. O July 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Carbohydrates are the main fuel source for most Americans, but that doesn’t mean they are the body’s preferred fuel source. That would be fat. We evolved eating less than 100 grams of carbs a day. Those come from vegetables……not grain based products. Fat, both in the diet and from our own body is the preferred fuel source. Fueling on carbohydrates is a recipe for metabolic syndrom and Type II Diatbetes.


Brooke July 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Hi Mr. O,

Thank you for commenting! I agree with you that vegetables have small amounts of carbohydrates and we don’t only have to eat grains to consume them. Carbohydrates can be consumed by eating: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, beans, etc. However, carbohydrates are our bodies preferred fuel source, because it is our most efficent energy source. Consuming large quantities of any macronutrient (carbohydrate,protein,fat) could lead to chronic disease, not just carbhodyrates.


Aima A. January 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Hi Brooke,
I just ran into your blog and absolutely love it! I am currently in my dietetic internship and have had patient’s question “what is a carbohydrate?” In fact, I educated a patient on cho counting that refused to believe that bean are considered a carb! In NJ there is no licensure for RD’s, so unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist.” Hopefully, this will change soon, and RD’s can make more of an impact in educating the public.


Brooke February 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Hi Aima, I hope your internship is going well! Thanks for leaving a comment. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see a blog post on :)


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