Today I’m talking about a topic I get asked about so frequently, Whole30. Here are the facts, the pros, the cons.
- Whole30 is a 30-day ‘nutrition challenge’ - it allows you to eat veggies, fruit, meat/fish, & nuts. It strictly prohibits legumes, grains, dairy, sugar, & alcohol. After 30 days you reintroduce eliminated foods one at a time. Snacking and smoothies aren’t allowed & you can’t remake your fav ‘junk foods’ into healthier versions (i.e. can’t make a brownie with dates, cocoa powder, & nuts cause it looks like a brownie…)
- CLAIMS: It will end unhealthy cravings/habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, & balance your immune system.
- RESEARCH: There’s currently no evidence-based research supporting the claims stated by Whole30.
- No calorie counting, no weighing yourself.
- Focus on whole foods, fruits & veggies, removes highly processed foods/added sugar.
- Could encourage people to get involved in prepping own meals, cookbooks offer simple recipe ideas
- Health claims not supported by research. This is a big reason it’s ranked in last place as worst diet by US Health News.
- Eliminates entire food groups & claims removing these will boost energy, improve gut health & immune system. Whole grains & legumes are rich in fiber (prebiotics), decrease inflammation, increase good gut bacteria & decrease cholesterol levels.
- It isn’t the best way to identify food intolerances. There’s no saying whether a food you’re having issues with was even eliminated. Out of the top 8 most common food allergies, only 4 are excluded.
- It’s all-or-nothing/no room for error mentality. If you eat any restricted foods, you must start over at day 1. If you’re at risk or have a history of disordered eating, this program can be detrimental to mental & physical health.
Bottom Line: If you drink a lot of alcohol, try cutting it out for 30 days. If you consume tons of sugar, try cutting sweets out for 30 days. Don’t eliminate entire food groups cause a diet tells you to. A diet that bans legumes & whole grains but allows as much red meat as you want should make you question the health claims.
Think beyond 30 days – cultivate a healthy lifestyle that incorporates whole foods, mostly plants, and please don’t ever drown yourself with guilt & shame if you eat a gram of sugar.
The below video is taken from my instagram, which you can follow here.