Russell Wilson Did 10-Day Dairy, Gluten, Red Meat Cleanse
- NFL star Russell Wilson said he did a 10-day cleanse, cutting out all dairy, gluten, and red meat.
- Those food groups may cause inflammation.
- A dietitian said Wilson would be better off by making long-term diet changes, similar to Tom Brady.
Russell Wilson says he gave his body a break from certain foods for 10 days, but he could do more good for his body if he made a longer-term change, dietitians told insider.
During an appearance with his wife Ciara on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the 33-year-old Seattle Seahawks quarterback said he did a 10-day challenge in which he cut dairy, gluten, and red meat out of his diet. Wilson added that Ciara didn’t take on the challenge, making his cleanse a bit harder.
“She’ll rub it in,” Wilson said. “I’ll go to the farmer’s market and she’ll be crushing a Philly cheesesteak in front of my face.”
Wilson said he is aiming to play until he is 45 years old, and spends $1 million per year on services and products that are geared towards helping him stay fit and durable. His personal dietitian previously said the quarterback eats nine meals and up to 5,000 calories per day on a low-carb, high-protein diet.
Avoiding gluten, dairy, and red meat is common among aging professional athletes. Tom Brady, Kevin Love, Joe Burrow, Andrew Whitworth, and Troy Aikman have all cut out at least one of those foods types, and some have given up all three for the long-term.
Still, following these restrictions for 10 days probably won’t do as much good for Wilson as a longer-term commitment to healthy eating more generally, according to two registered dietitians.
Cutting out dairy, gluten, and red meat may help certain people, but won’t help everyone
Dairy, gluten, and red meat are all “trigger foods,” according to registered dietitian Alix Turoff.
“Trigger foods” include dairy and red meat, along with common ingredients like sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and MSG. They may cause certain people with sensitivities or intolerances to these foods to develop digestive issues, skin issues, or migraines.
“Cutting out ‘trigger foods’ can let [someone] know if they might have a sensitivity,” Turoff told Insider. If they cut out dairy, gluten, and red meat and your symptoms go away or decrease, it’s a good indication that you might have some issue with one of those food groups. From there, you’d want to add them back in one at a time and monitor how you feel.”
Turoff added that the only long-term benefit a person could gain from Wilson’s cleanse is the knowledge of which foods to cut out going forward. Turoff and registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix said Wilson should add those foods back into his diet if his body isn’t sensitive to them.
“Cutting out gluten would have no benefit for someone who doesn’t have an intolerance to gluten or a medical condition,” Taub-Dix told Insider. “Cutting out gluten also eliminates many important foods like certain whole grains.”
Taub-Dix added that Wilson won’t gain any health benefits from following a diet for just 10 days. Someone would have to follow eating patterns for months and years to see any improvements to their health, she said.
“Healthy habits last longer than 10 days,” Taub-Dix said. “Instead of cleansing, try clean eating.”