Jennifer Aniston is eating bread again — and that’s a good thing, say experts. Here’s why.

·3-min read
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 19: Jennifer Aniston attends the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Jennifer Aniston on the red carpet. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Jennifer Aniston says “bring on the bread basket.”

In a recent interview with People, the Friends star shared that she is changing up her longtime lower carb diet in favor of cutting herself some slack.

"[I] started to give myself a break, allowing yourself to have pasta, a sandwich," Aniston told the outlet. "Everyone's very afraid of the bread basket, and I'm no longer afraid. As long as it's all done in moderation."

Aniston’s protein and vegetable-heavy diet is one she’s talked about at length before. In a 2016 article for ELLE, she spoke about how a typical day of eating includes salad, egg whites and avocado. She admitted that it was her then-husband, Justin Theroux, who finally convinced her to indulge in pasta as a rare treat. "I don't know whether I should thank him or hate him for that,” she joked at the time.

That same year, she explained to Yahoo of her diet, “I’m good at keeping my starches to a minimum. I don’t like ‘white’ foods, and I’ll always cut back on some breads if I’m trying to slim down for something special.”

Now, however, pasta and bread aren’t the occasional treats they once were — and experts gave a thumbs up to Aniston’s decision.

“It’s important to eat a variety of foods that contain protein, carbs and fat because each macronutrient plays a unique role in helping our bodies and brains function optimally,” Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, nutrition therapist, and the author of Unapologetic Eating, tells Yahoo Life. “Plus, carbs are satisfying, and they taste good! If you try to avoid carbs, you’ll likely find yourself constantly craving them, which is distracting and leads to an unhealthy relationship with food. On the other hand, when no food is off-limits, any intense cravings or obsessive thoughts you have about food will likely fade. Chances are, you’ll end up eating a balanced diet without overthinking it.”

Dr. Amy Lee, Head of Nutrition for Nucific, adds, “Carbohydrates are our body’s main source of energy, but you need to feed your body the right carbs in order to fill it with the right fuel. Returning to a more balanced diet can help you feel more energized and ensure you’re getting the right amount of nutrients every day, but understanding portions is important to actually have a balanced diet.”

While there’s certainly no reason to fear the bread basket, Dr. Lee points out that in order to get the most satisfaction out of eating carbs, you should focus on ones that are high in fiber.

“There is nothing wrong with bread in general,” she notes, “but sometimes, it is the type of bread we end up eating that is the issue. Bread made from white flour and sugar which makes up the majority of our meals isn’t the healthiest option. And when we are at a Mexican restaurant, we may end up eating the basket of chips and salsa followed by three to four more tortillas that come with our entrée. It is this mindless eating of carbs that gets us in trouble.”

Still, Rumsey warns that it’s never a good idea to cut out any food group completely.

She tells Yahoo Life, “While someone may be able to restrict carbs in the short term, eventually this restriction causes a boomerang effect and our body's starvation response wins out, typically leading to binge-type behavior on carbohydrate-rich foods.”

Fortunately, Aniston doesn’t have to worry about that anymore: There are no food rules in place for this star.

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