She's usually the picture of health, but when Gwyn was rushed to hospital after collapsing in New York just weeks ago, fears were raised for the slender star's wellbeing.
Looking desperately pale as she was taken into Mount Sinai hospital by hubby Chris Martin, a clearly weakened Gwyneth lay slumped in a wheelchair, sparking speculation that the actress was very ill. But what exactly was behind the cause of Gwyneth's mysterious collapse? Star Style investigates...
Nil By Mouth?
When Gwyneth refused to accept hospital food, the rumour mill went into overdrive. Why wouldn't she eat? Later that evening however, a mystery bag of food was delivered to the ailing actress in her hospital bed, from New York raw food store, Organic Avenue.
Said to contain packages of tiny ready-meals, the delivery was reported to be part of a live food fast Gwyneth was following - and despite her weakened condition, refused to break.
Released from hospital and back at home less than 24 hours later, Gwyneth's rep said, ‘‘Everything is fine" - but could her overly strict fast have been the reason for her sudden collapse?
The Side Effects
The more restrictive the fast, the quicker you'll lose weight (or most often, water). But the unwanted side-effects, which include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue and skin problems are more than enough to put you off. While a strict regime like Gwyneth's will help you shed the kilos quickly, fasts are not recommended as a long-term weight-loss plan.
Undergoing a one or two day detox fast is said to be a great way to cleanse the body and flush out any toxins, and detox devotees claim they have more energy, clearer skin, and reduced stress levels after detoxing. However, simply cutting out caffeine, alcohol and processed food, and eating fresh, whole foods washed down with plenty of water will work wonders for you on the inside - and out. And what's wrong with good, old fashioned diet and exercise? It works!
Food For Thought
Gwyneth has been a long-term devotee of the macrobiotic diet. Based around fruit, veg, wholegrains and soy, it cuts out all meat, dairy and sugar and has helped Gwyneth maintain her enviably trim figure. But, swapping her macrobiotic diet for a low-calorie, five-day organic fast based on only salads and fresh fruit juices is said to have starved her body of the vital nutrients she needed, which experts believe lead to her hospitalisation. Back on the macrobiotic feast then pronto, we say!
The severity of a fast can vary widely. There are fasts which include surviving on only water for days on end and fads such as the lemon and cayenne pepper diet, (based around a maple syrup drink), which is favoured by celebs like Beyonce, while healthier short-term regimes cut out vices such as alcohol, caffeine and all processed foods in favour of fresh juices and fruit and veg to detox the liver and cleanse the body.
Whilst fasting can be dangerous if taken to extremes, new research reveals that skipping meals one day a month can actually be good for the heart. Fasting for at least 24 hours cuts the risk of coronary artery disease by up to 40 per cent, as the break from food is said to help ‘re-set' the body's metabolism, helping it to work more efficiently.
Health-conscious celebs like Matt McConaughey swear by this kind of detox, and he fasts twice a year in a bid to rid himself of toxins."Fasting is a way to pull back, go back and check on what you really need," he insists.