Experts Ranked This Diet as the Overall Worst—but How Bad Is It Really?


Sakara Life

When I first heard about the Whole30 diet—which, according to the website, is "designed to change your life in 30 days"—I was intrigued. I've never been one for playing the long game; I thrive off instant gratification and results I can see in real time. As a beauty editor, though, I've been taught there's no such thing as a quick fix with dieting. Losing weight (and keeping it off) results from a lifestyle change that stems from healthy, educated choices over a long period of time. Despite that, I'll try anything once, because what if it really does change my life?

I started to deep-dive into research, reading article after article about the diet. Some praised the process, noting the Whole30 focuses on nutrient-dense, "real" ingredients and revamps the way you approach food.

Of the controversial diet, naturopath Taryn Forrelli says, "Some people don't realize how big of an impact a change in eating habits can have until they commit to a regimented plan. [The foods prescribed in the Whole30] encourage the good flora in your gut, also known as your microbiome, to flourish, which can provide a whole host of health benefits for digestion and beyond."

Others weren't sold. In fact, the U.S. News & World Report released a ranking of 38 different diets, and Whole30 was dead last. Dietitian and The Farah Effect founder Farah Fahad, MS, RD, wouldn't recommend it: "I'm not pro removing whole food groups. I subscribe to 'everything in moderation,' including rotating your diet. Would I recommend this? No. We are individuals—we have individual genetic make-up, hormonal balances, metabolisms, food tolerances, lifestyles, and loves of certain foods. Rules are for schools." She continues, "I don't like putting time frames on health. You do 30 days, and then what? That's not how the body works—you have to adopt long-term, sustainable healthy practices."

To get a handle on all the information (more than one million Google searches per month), I read the facts, testimonials, and rules posted on the Whole30 website and talked to a few nutritionists as well. Below, find five things to take into consideration before embarking on the Whole30 journey.

Would you try the Whole30 diet? Let us know in the comments below.