Red Eye star Rachel McAdams, 29, revealed disastrous dietary advice that has nutritionists and medical doctors shaking their heads in disbelief.
The actress, who appears opposite Cillian Murphy in the suspenseful Wes Craven-directed film now playing in movie theaters, is quoted – along with a number of other celebrities – in a recent story, “Diet Secrets of the Stars,” as saying that her love for sugar helps keep her thin.
“I drink maple syrup,” she told AOL, to explain how she keeps her slim figure. “Then I'm hyper so I just run around like crazy and work it all off.”
I caution Americans against adopting this foolhardy habit.
Telling people to drink maple syrup isn’t good diet advice. It’s a recipe for health woes galore.
Walter Willett, M.D., chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health says that “a little bit of maple syrup now and then on a whole wheat pancake would be just fine. [But] drinking maple syrup regularly is a terrible idea nutritionally. It is really no different than sugar or refined starch metabolically,” adds the author of Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating.
Fred Pescatore, M.D., author of The Hamptons Diet, contends that taking maple syrup beverage breaks like this ultimately could “lead to blood-sugar disturbances.”
Diet doctor Stuart Fischer, M.D. agrees. “A diet top-heavy in simple carbohydrates can easily lead to pancreatic insufficiency and/or insulin resistance, forerunners of diabetes.
"Celebrities who offer this type of `nutritional advice’ can encourage the worst habits their fans can think up....and a country staggering under the twin disasters of obesity and overweight should be receiving proper guidance from the medical community, not Hollywood `talent.’”
Moreover, maple syrup does not even have a low glycemic index, adds nutritionist Shari Lieberman, Ph.D. “Suggesting that this is keeping her thin is bizarre – except if this is the ONLY thing she consumes,” says the author of Dare To Lose.
Lick the Sugar Habit author Nancy Appleton, Ph.D. explains that “maple syrup and other sugars literally make the white blood cells go dormant or sleepy [which] opens the door to infectious and degenerative diseases.”
Vanessa Sands, editor-in-chief for LowCarb Energy magazine, also calls into question maple syrup as a “beverage of choice. What’s the main course? A bowl of sugar? Sounds more like an addiction than a [diet trick], doesn’t it?”
An earlier version of this post appeared on my SUGAR SHOCK! Blog.