Nutrition experts have sounded another note of caution around fad diets after will.i.am revealed he is a proud “liquitarian”.
The Voice coach, 46, said in an interview that, since Christmas, he has only eaten solid food on specific days of the week and doesn’t chew at all on a Monday.
Instead, he gets the bulk of his sustenance in liquid form – drinking a juice “every other hour”.
In other words, the Black Eyed Peas frontman will only eat peas if they’re pureed and in a glass.
He told Jessie Ware’s Table Manners podcast that on Fridays he allows himself salad with avocado, then on Saturdays he indulges in pancakes and a vegan burger, and on Sundays he goes “really rambunctious” with vegan salads and pastas. “Sundays are like my heavy carb day,” he said.
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However, turning to the rest of the week he continued: “On Monday I juice, Tuesday I juice, Wednesday I juice with a salad, Thursday I juice with a salad, and Friday I juice with an avocado. Then that all repeats.”
The 46-year-old justified his strict regime: “I have a juice every other hour so I’m full of energy and I’m getting all the supplements that I need, I’m getting all the vitamins that I need.”
He added playfully: “And my skin is, well look at this,” prompting compliments from his hosts.
“This is not a filter, child.”
Will.i.am says he needs no filter thanks to his naturally glowing complexion
However, dietitians are far from convinced by this no-chew diet.
Nutritionist Rosie Long told Indy100: “A liquid diet really isn’t something I would recommend people following. Firstly, there is no benefit of consuming liquid foods over and above solid foods and there may be some pretty unpleasant side effects and potentially dangerous health effects if someone chooses to do this long term.
“One thing I’d really like to stress is that there is nothing wrong with eating solid food or chewing. In fact, the act of chewing our food is entirely natural and does have benefits. Chewing sends signals to our brain letting us know we’re eating, and it can help us to know when we are full.
“The main concern of relying on a juice diet is the lack of fibre. Whilst smoothies maintain some of the fibre from fruits and vegetables, juices tend to remove it. Fibre is really important to maintain healthy gut function and low fibre intake is associated with an increased risk of developing bowel cancer. In Bowel Cancer Awareness month, it’s crucial that we understand that cutting fibre isn’t a healthy way of eating!
“Another concern of an overly ‘juice-based’ diet is the consumption of free-sugars. I’m not sure what Will.i.am’s juices consist of but generally speaking its only advisable to consume one 150ml glass of fruit juice a day. It’s very likely that drinking a juice every other hour will result in a huge amount of sugar over the day.
“I’d always issue caution when getting nutrition advice from celebrities, they are not the experts in nutrition so you’re better off getting your advice from Registered Nutritionists or Dietitians.”
That’s you told, Will.