Cricketing legend Shane Warne’s death due to cardiac arrest in Thailand recently has opened a debate about the Australian’s “ridiculous juice diet” and how it could have contributed to his demise.
For records, 52-year-old Warne had finished a 14-day “juice cleanse diet” a day before his shocking death at a luxury villa on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand on Friday (March 4), due to cardiac arrest. There have been speculations about what could have caused the tragedy, but there is no concrete evidence to suggest that his extreme diet routine could have caused his death.
In the backdrop of this incident, health experts have once again warned against “extreme” diets. Warne’s manager James Erksine told an Australian media house that the former cricketer was on a “ridiculous” juice “diet”. Warne was himself very vocal on Instagram about his 10-day “operation shred”, saying he was committed to “get back” into shape.
Warne the foodie, once
Warne, however, did not have a very long association with diet and super-healthy foods. There are several posts on Instagram that suggest he was a foodie like all others. He loved ice creams, hot chips, baked beans and pie among others. He was also known to enjoy his mug of beer very often. In fact, Warne had finished his 14-day juice diet a day before his death and started consuming solid food. Australian media reports suggest his last meal was the classic Aussie staple of Vegemite on toast.
Sydney-based clinical nutritionist Leilani Finau told news.com.au that juice cleanses are meant for short-term use and if followed over a long period of time, could have “detrimental effects” on health. “Juice cleanses are typically only used, or advised to be used, for 1-3 days,” she said, adding that juices lack in calories and macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein, fat etc. which the body needs. Juices also do not have vital fibres, a nutrient lacking in the modern diet.
Low-calorie diet can damage body metabolism because in the absence of sufficient calories, everything slows down for the body to cope.
How does a juice diet work?
Those on juice diet consume only juices (fruits and vegetables) for a specific period of time. Besides consuming soups and juices, the believers these days also resort to water fasting. The main objective is to lose weight. Some health experts say these are extreme measures and making small lifestyle changes is a better way to slim down.
Melissa Meier, a Sydney-based dietitian, said juices may contain excess sugars and lack the most important gut-loving fibre, which is found in whole foods. These juices also lack in protein, which is extremely important for building protein in the body and sustaining energy.
“By limiting your diet so much that you completely exclude entire food groups (grains, proteins and dairy), you’re also missing out on many essential micronutrients your body needs to work properly. It’s not good news,” Meier wrote for bodyandsoul.com.au some time back.
Warne’s earlier experiments with crash diets
In 2021, Shane Warne is believed to have benefitted from a “traditional Chinese medicine”, which helped him lose 14 kgs of weight.
“I’ve dropped 14kg, I’m trying to lose another three or four more to get down to 80kg but I haven’t had any work done to my head. I haven’t had, whatever they call it, fillers, injections and all that sort of stuff!” Warne had told a media house in May last year.
Traditional Chinese medicine involves a mix of acupuncture, Tai Chi and herbal products. Though the medicine has existed for thousands of years, there have been safety issues associated with its application.
Warne has in the past dabbled with “tea diets” as well that would continue for a month on a stretch, revealed his son Jackson. “…Because when he looks in the mirror and doesn’t like what he looks like, instead of doing a diet and stuff, he tries this tea and loses weight like that,” Jackson told an Australian media house.
Notably, the legendary cricketer was banned from playing for a year in 2003 after taking a slimming pill that resulted in him testing positive for banned diuretic drugs.
As per latest reports, the post-mortem or autopsy of Shane Warne has been completed at a Thailand hospital and his family is preparing to fly his body home for a state funeral in Australia.