By Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutritionist Blogger, Jeni Tackett RD, LD
You may have heard about the Whole 30 Diet and wondered if it’s worth your time. The diet has you swear off sugar, alcohol, and processed foods for 30 days. A diet that strict is destined to result in weight loss for most people!
The problem is the restriction on healthy foods like legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) and soy products (soybeans, tofu, edamame).
When healthy foods are forbidden on a diet, I fear that people will always feel guilt when they eat these foods and miss out on key nutrients in their diet.
For example, if you follow the Whole 30 Diet and cut out black beans and hummus from your diet, you are restricting the fiber and magnesium from beans, and you may always have a guilt associated with eating these foods in the future.
Whole 30 is a gimmick. Instead of following this strict plan, take the positive messages and limit processed foods, sugar, and alcohol rather than villainizing healthy foods like legumes and soy products.
- Focuses on whole foods instead of processed foods. Americans rely on too many processed snacks: cookies, cakes, chips, and crackers. Eliminating processed foods alone would be a good goal for a diet.
- Requires that you grocery shop and prepare foods at home which is an important lifestyle habit for a healthy diet.
- Encourages fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats.
- Eliminates alcohol and added sugar which is a positive diet change.
- Strict and does not allow dairy products, legumes, grains, or soy products. Legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils are high in fiber, a good source of protein, and low in fat. Excluding legumes is difficult for any vegetarian and not necessary for weight loss.
- Eliminating dairy products reduces calcium and vitamin D in the diet. While many dairy products are high in saturated fat (whole milk, 2% milk, and many cheeses), there are benefits to having Greek yogurt and other low fat choices as options in the diet.
- Too strict: The Whole 30 diet is a 30-day strict challenge. The diet is too strict to sustain, and if you “slip up” you have to start over.
- Portion control: You must learn to control the portions of grains and dairy products for weight control rather than eliminating so many foods from the diet.
- Transitioning: The Whole 30 Diet should promote weight loss for many people due to the elimination of so many foods. The question is can you then transition to a diet where you eat foods in moderation rather than eliminating so many foods.
If you follow the Whole 30 Diet, when you are done with the 30 days add back in whole grains (whole wheat bread, quinoa, oats), legumes (beans, peas, lentils), and soy products (soy beans, tofu), and low fat dairy if desired (low fat Greek yogurt, 1% milk), but keep the habit of avoiding most processed foods. Continue the healthy habits such as eating more at home and preparing meals with real food.
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Unity Point-Trinity. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|