Tom Brady’s $200 Cookbook Is One Big Farce

There's little scientific evidence to support his restrictive and expensive diet.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speaks with members of the media before an NFL football practice, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. The Washington Redskins are to play the Patriots Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Foxborough. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Photo via AP

Tom Brady wants to sell you a cookbook for $200. The problem, besides the exorbitant price tag, is that there’s little evidence to back up his famously stringent diet.

Brady has taken another step in his apparent quest to become America’s health czar, offering an (already sold-out) $200 “nutrition manual” on his website. The book features 89 “seasonally inspired recipes”—including staples such as avocado ice cream and sweet potato gnocchi with escarole—as well as a cover made from natural maple.

Over the last couple of years, Brady has spoken passionately about his unorthodox diet and training regimen. In a 2014 interview with Sports Illustrated, Brady said he eats different foods in the summer and winter in order to “maintain balance and harmony” through his metabolic system—just like all of us, right?

“Take that diet. It’s seasonal, which means he eats certain things in the winter that are considered ‘hot property’ foods, like red meat. In the summer, when it’s time for ‘cold property’ foods, his diet is mostly raw,” Greg Bishop writes. “He subscribes to the 80-20 theory—but it’s not 80 percent healthy food, 20 percent unhealthy. It’s 80 percent alkaline, 20 percent acidic. … That’s why teammates always see him with hummus, raw snack bars packed with nutrients and what one teammate calls ‘that birdseed s—.'”

In January, Brady’s personal chef told about the quarterback’s peculiar demands, saying TB12 doesn’t eat tomatoes, eggplants, mushrooms, or peppers because they’re supposedly not anti-inflammatory. Brady doesn’t even eat fruit, only electing to have a banana in his smoothie once in a while.

If those eating habits sound ludicrous to you, you’re not alone. Mike Roussell, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, went as far as to call Brady’s diet “absurd” in an op-ed for Men’s Health, saying it’s “full of buzzwords, not science.”

“Brady avoids tomatoes because of the inflammation they cause. That makes literally zero sense,” Roussell writes. “Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. A 2012 study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research showed that a meal containing tomatoes reduced levels of inflammation and oxidation following the meal.”

According to Roussell, Brady’s diet is effective because it’s low in added sugar, high in vegetables, and moderate in lean protein—or, in other words, for the reasons any diet would work.

In addition to the murky reasoning behind Brady’s nutritional beliefs, it’s simply not feasible for the average person, who doesn’t have millions of dollars in the bank or a personal chef, to eat like the quarterback on a daily basis.

Brady’s diet may work for him, but it’s nearly impossible to emulate. That’s assuming, of course, that you would even want to give it a try.