Pros and Cons of the Whole30 Challenge
The Whole30 nutrition challenge is wildly popular. But can it really deliver on its promises? Nutrition Diva examines the pros, cons, and alternatives.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions and emails about the Whole30 diet, including one from Jazmine, who wrote:
I have recently been researching the Whole30 diet promoted by Melissa Hartwig. I have been reading her book and getting very excited, until I saw that the diet was ranked 38th out of 38 in US News and World Reports annual diet ranking. I have found your balanced, real-world, science-based approach to nutrition to be a breath of fresh air in the often murky waters of fad diets and I trust your opinion, so what do you think? Is the Whole30 healthy? Or harmful?”
What Is the Whole30 Challenge?
For those who may not be familiar, the Whole30 is a popular 30-day nutrition challenge created by Doug and Melissa Hartwig and promoted on their website (whole30.com) and through their several best-selling books.
The Whole30 is described as a whole foods approach. But the challenge is not just to eliminate processed and packaged foods from your life for 30 days. You are also instructed to avoid beans and legumes, dairy products, sugar (including natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup), alcohol, all grains, and starchy vegetables like potatoes.