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Saturday, June 16, 2018
Whole30 Think of Whole30 as a month-long eating reset where you focus on eating only whole, unprocessed foods and cutting out all added sugars, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, grains, most legumes and peas, soy products, dairy, and processed foods with certain additives. The Whole30 concept is based on the premise that our highly processed, modern diets trigger inflammation, hormone imbalances, and subtle food intolerances that may be having a cascading effect on health, as well as appetite and food choices. By eating “clean” for 30 days, an individual can then assess what foods they really miss, as well as identify potential effects that foods may have on their body when adding them back. Foods during the 30 days include all vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds (including nut milks and nut butters), eggs, fish, meat, poultry, and some oils and fats.
The Good: For the most part, the food choices provide a framework for nutrient-dense, whole foods to become the focus of your diet. This eating plan isn’t called a weight loss plan, since the emphasis is more on restoring health and balance in the body, but most individuals do lose some weight. The guidelines also mimic what research suggests be done to reduce inflammation and chronic diseases risk. A temporary “reset” with whole foods is really helpful after eating periods of less healthy eating like after the holidays or vacation because 1) your body is usually craving whole foods at that point and 2) it’s usually eye-opening realizing how many chemicals, added sugars, and other less health components you’ve been consuming.
The Bad: A lack of calcium and vitamin D intake is the only major concern from a nutrition standpoint, and these could be met other ways with proper planning. Temporarily removing dairy as part of a bigger plan is often a helpful approach to calm the body and identify food intolerances and issues, but most individuals can usually add all or some dairy components back after 30 days. Legumes are off-limits, and so is peanut butter.
Bottom line: The 30-day time frame makes drastic eating changes (many that we know we all need to do) seem doable, and meal plans typically provide adequate energy.