Paltrow, 40, graces the cover of the magazine's 2013 World's Most Beautiful People issue, which will hit newsstands Friday.
Larry Hackett, the magazine's managing editor, appeared on "Good Morning America" today to discuss Paltrow's selection. He said the magazine chose Paltrow because she's relatable as a wife and mother who balances personal life and her career. He also said she's family-oriented, grounded, close to her mother and looks great.
Hackett called Paltrow a gorgeous exemplar of what a beautiful woman is today.
In the cover story, Paltrow, who has two children with her musician husband, Chris Martin, said she'd "never been more surprised or flattered" when she learned she would grace the special issue's cover.
Paltrow, a health-food enthusiast and author of the new cookbook "It's All Good" also revealed her secrets to remaining so fit.
She says sleep and exercise are the best tips for looking great.
During the day she has coffee with cream, adding that she cannot give that up "no matter what." She has a smoothie with lots of protein and good fats for breakfast, and grazes during the day, snacking on nuts or an avocado. She'll have a light salad for lunch, and she eats whatever she wants for dinner, she said.
"It's why I exercise for two hours every day," she told People. "Because I want to enjoy my life and I love pasta. Like last night I came home and had a fresh baguette and cheese. And a martini. I don't believe in depriving yourself."
She doesn't get on scales. "I think it creates a bad psychology," she said.
Paltrow also set the record straight on rumors that she eliminated carbs from her children's diets.
"No, no, no, that's ridiculous. You should see how much bread and pasta we have in our house," she said.
Paltrow also talked about the lingering grief of a miscarriage. She said she still missed the child she lost, but was grateful that she had two healthy children.
Also on the Most Beautiful Women list are actresses Kerry Washington, Connie Britton and Linda Gray.
Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez were previously named World's Most Beautiful by People.