during pregnancy

Is the Whole30 Diet Safe During Pregnancy?

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Trying to eat well during pregnancy can be a struggle. We hear it all the time: you’re eating for two! Give in to your cravings! Enjoy it while you can! Which is all well and good, and yes you should absolutely indulge every once in a while. But good nutrition is essential to having a healthy pregnancy. Lots of expecting moms commit to lifestyle changes when they get pregnant. One diet, Whole30, has become increasingly popular among pregnant women for it’s focus on whole foods and optimal nutrition. But is the Whole30 diet safe during pregnancy? Here’s what you should know.

We’ve talked before about the safety of going keto during pregnancy. So what’s the difference?

The big difference between the two is what they call for in terms of elimination. The keto diet is extremely low-to-no carb and high-fat and protein, which experts warn may not be ideal during pregnancy. On the Whole30 diet, while you are eliminating some foods, you’re simply replacing them with better options. You’re not counting calories or measuring your intake of certain food groups. Instead, you’re focusing on eating real, whole foods.

PREVIOUSLY: What Foods Should You Avoid During Pregnancy?

You’re allowed to eat carbs (in the form of potatoes, fruit, and veggies), and you’re allowed to eat healthy fats, proteins, and nuts and seeds. The Whole30 diet eliminates dairy (you can have coconut milk and and nut milks), added sugar, grains, legumes, junk food, and additives found in processed foods.

So is the Whole30 diet safe during pregnancy?

Registered dietician and women’s health expert Stephanie Greunke says absolutely! In fact, she worked with the folks at Whole30 to create an entire program specifically designed for expectant mamas. The Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program guides Whole30’ers through every stage of motherhood, from preconception to postpartum recovery. Greunke says that pregnant women can do the entire Whole30 program, as outlined in the rules, without modification. But she does have some additional recommendations.

PREVIOUSLY: Overview and Importance of Prenatal Vitamins

Above all, listen to your body, and follow its cues! If you’re hungry, eat. That’s the main concern with doing Whole30 during pregnancy: not eating enough. Make an effort to include healthy fats with every meal, and don’t skimp on protein, veggies, and fruit. Fruit is usually limited to two servings per day on a normal Whole30, but pregnant women are encouraged to eat more if they need.

You may also want to modify the meal planning guide for Whole30. Instead of three large meals a day, eat smaller meals throughout the day, and snack as needed. Remember, the goal is not to lose weight, but to improve the way you eat. Snacking is also discouraged on Whole 30, but again, you’re making a human, so snack away!

Is the Whole30 diet safe during pregnancy? Absolutely! Think of it less as a diet, and more as a lifestyle change. Follow their pregnant mama program, and you’re good to go.

(Image: iStock / gpointstudio)