Just like keto, the Whole 30 diet gained huge popularity when it was first introduced to the public. So it’s not surprising that I see many members of online health group asking about keto versus Whole 30.
Both the keto diet and Whole 30 diet aim to help people lose weight easily and in the healthiest possible way. While some believe that the Whole 30 diet is better than keto, there are also those who think otherwise.
So let’s find out more about the Whole 30 Diet to better understand the difference between keto versus Whole 30.
What is the Whole 30 Diet?
The Whole30 Program advocates eating seafood, meat, eggs, and lots of vegetables. It prohibits drinking alcohol and eating sugars, grains, dairy, legumes, and other food additives within a 30-day period.
The program basically wants you to remove all the potentially inflammatory foods from your diet in favor of healthier and cleaner foods.
The program’s co-creator, Melissa Hartwig, has written about the diet in her book, The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom, and says,
“The idea of the program is to completely eliminate all potentially unhelpful foods from your diet for 30 days, then slowly and scientifically reintroducing them to see how your body reacts to them.”
The book also includes information about why certain foods are problematic and why it should be avoided. It also includes tips, recipes, Q&As, and pretty much everything you need to know about the diet.
Aside from weight loss, the diet claims to provide several other benefits. It can improve your energy, help you get better sleep, prevent digestive issues, make your skin flawless, and many more.
Given its many benefits, it’s not surprising why the Whole 30 diet has plenty of die-hard followers.
Keto versus Whole 30
Although the Whole 30 diet has worked for some people, there are those who believe that the keto diet is still a better and safer option. So let’s differentiate keto vs whole 30 and find out which of these diets can work best for you.
The main factor that differentiates these two popular diets is that the keto encourages people to eat fewer carbs (which are often the underlying cause of weight problems) but more healthy fats, while the whole 30 is more focused on eliminating junk and encourages eating “cleaner” food.
Let us dig deeper into the main differences of keto vs whole 30 to better understand this.
The keto diet, as you probably know, aims to put the body into the state of ketosis. At this state, the body will end up burning fats for energy instead of carbs. This is why followers of the keto diet have to limit their consumption of carbs to less than 30 grams per day.
Related reading: Keto Diet Versus Low Fat Diet For Weight Loss
The keto diet does not allow foods with high carb content, including some vegetables and fruits. It prohibits vegetables like carrots and potatoes due to their higher carbohydrate content. Check out the Basic Rules of Keto Diet to find out more about this.
Meanwhile, the Whole 30 program is often seen as a means to modify your body’s relationship with food. It will start with a 30-day period known as the “nutrition reset”. At this stage, all grains, bread, sugars, alcohol, legumes, and processed foods are prohibited.
Instead, followers are encouraged to eat healthy foods. Most of these are home-cooked meals that consist mainly of meat, seafood, veggies, and fruits.
Also, followers are advised not to weigh themselves during the first month. How difficult do you think that would be? The overall goal is to focus on how your body will feel with these changes and not on the scale.
Why the Keto Diet May Be Better
When comparing keto vs Whole 30, the ketogenic diet seems like a better choice. First of all, the keto diet is a doctor-recommended strategy. It was developed by medical experts to treat certain conditions like epilepsy and obesity.
There have been a number of studies made on keto to prove that it is indeed an effective strategy to help patients who are suffering from epileptic seizures. A typical meal in a keto diet includes lots of fiber and other essential nutrients coming from nuts and low carb vegetables . This is different from what the Whole 30 diet is endorsing.
On the other hand, a husband and wife team is behind the Whole30 plan. Although the first 30 days encourage people to eat healthy foods, the program does not end there. After the first 30 days, the program encourages dieters to slowly re-introduce foods that were formerly banned from the diet.
Some nutritionists are somewhat skeptical about the Whole 30 Program. Sharon Palmer, a nutritionist, and author of the book, The Plant-Powered Diet, has said that the Whole 30 diet could possibly induce food sensitivities. That’s because when you suddenly cut down on certain foods for a month, there’s a possibility that your body will react to them once you re-introduce these foods.
Another major downside of the Whole 30 Diet is that it is likely not sustainable for a lot of people. Remember that in order for your diet to be effective, you should be able to sustain it in the long run. In fact, if you check the Whole 30 website, their tagline says, “it’s only 30 days.”
Palmer believes that the Whole 30 Diet could make cravings worse. After the month-long deprivation, you could find yourself wanting to eat all your favorite sweets and this could mess up your diet.
Related reading: How A Low Carb, High Fat Diet Will Reduce Food Cravings
You might be inclined to think this about the keto diet but in fact it reduces cravings and you can eat sweet items that have been made with zero or low carb sweeteners.
While some might argue that the Whole 30 Diet is better when comparing Keto versus Whole 30, it’s worth noting that the latter is not backed by any science. Besides, one month probably won’t be enough to reset your body’s digestive system.
But this is not to say that the keto diet does not come with any downsides. This high-fat low carb diet may not work for everyone. While some people are able to switch their bodies easily into the state of ketosis, others have to go through some difficulties before entering into the fat-burning state.
So before starting any type of diet, whether it’s keto or Whole 30, it is always a good idea to talk to a nutritionist or health expert. They can recommend the best diet for you according to your health condition, lifestyle, and goals.