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Want to Try the Whole30 Diet? Here's Everything You Can and Cannot Eat

Popsugar logo Popsugar Alicia Lu

a store filled with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables on display © Flickr user Masahiro Ihara With so many diets out there today, it can be overwhelming choosing the right nutrition regimen for yourself. If you're not sure which one to go with, the Whole30 plan might be a good place to start since it's only a 30-day commitment.

The goal of the Whole30 diet is to eliminate certain food groups that might have a negative effect on your health — not just weight — from mysterious aches to chronic fatigue.

Then, after the 30 days are up, you'll hopefully have a better idea of which foods you should permanently cut out and which ones you can reintroduce to your diet.

Unlike many diets that focus on eating less, the Whole30 diet emphasises eating healthier, which might make it the most sustainable diet yet.

What to Eat: Fruits

a pile of oranges sitting on a table: What to Eat: Fruits © Flickr user Dious What to Eat: Fruits

-Apples

-Apricots

-Avocados

-Bananas

-Blackberries

-Blueberries

-Cantaloupe

-Cherries

-Clementines

-Cranberries

-Figs

-Grapefruit

-Grapes

-Honeydew

-Kumquats

-Lemons

-Limes

-Mangoes

-Nectarines

-Oranges

-Papayas

-Passion Fruit

-Peaches

-Pears

-Pineapple

-Plums

-Pomegranate

-Raspberries

-Strawberries

-Tangerines

-Watermelon

What to Eat: Vegetables

a store filled with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables on display: What to Eat: Vegetables © Flickr user Masahiro Ihara What to Eat: Vegetables

Pretty much any vegetable is allowed, except for corn, lima beans, peas, and other legumes.

Artichokes

Arugula

Asparagus

Acorn squash

Beets

Bibb lettuce

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Butternut squash

Carrots

Cauliflower

Chives

Collard greens

Endive

Eggplant

Fennel

Green beans

Jicama

Kale

Okra

Onion

Pea pods

Pumpkin

Radicchio

Radishes

Red-leaf lettuce

Snow peas

Sugar snap peas

Summer squash

Sweet potatoes

Swiss chard

Tomatoes

Watercress

Winter squash

Zucchini

What to Eat: Unprocessed Meat

a piece of cake: What to Eat: Unprocessed Meat © Flickr user Matt Barber What to Eat: Unprocessed Meat

You can have any type of unprocessed meat, but look for these labels in order to choose the healthiest options:

Cage-free

Free-range

Grass-fed

Grass-finished

Natural

No added hormones

No antibiotics

Organic

Pastured

Sustainable

Vegetarian-fed

What to Eat: Unprocessed Seafood

a pile of food: What to Eat: Unprocessed Seafood © Flickr user Exotic Departures What to Eat: Unprocessed Seafood

You can eat any unprocessed seafood you want, but try to stick to wild-caught options. Canned tuna is also OK.

What to Eat: Eggs

an egg on a plate: What to Eat: Eggs © Flickr user Seph Swain What to Eat: Eggs

Try to stick to cage-free, pastured, and organic eggs.

What to Eat: Nuts and Seeds

a pile of fruit: What to Eat: Nuts and Seeds © Flickr user fdecomite What to Eat: Nuts and Seeds

The Whole30 diet allows tree nuts but not peanuts because they are actually a legume. Here are all the nuts you can eat:

  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Flax seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamias
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts

What to Eat: Oils and Fats

a close up of a bottle: What to Eat: Oils and Fats © Flickr user Joy What to Eat: Oils and Fats
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Duck fat
  • Ghee and clarified butter
  • Lard
  • Olive oil
  • Palm oil
  • Sesame oil

What to Consume: Black Coffee

a cup of coffee: What to Consume: Black Coffee © Flickr user Vesselin Dochkov What to Consume: Black Coffee

You can have coffee as long as you don't add dairy or sugar. However, you can add coconut milk, almond milk, or milk derived from any other ingredient on the OK list.

What to Avoid: Sugar, Added Sugar, and Artificial Sugar

a piece of food: What to Avoid: Sugar, Added Sugar, and Artificial Sugar © Flickr user Tom Coates What to Avoid: Sugar, Added Sugar, and Artificial Sugar

This one might be one of the most difficult groups to eliminate since there is added sugar in many food products, but here's what to avoid:

  • Agave
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Splenda
  • Stevia
  • Sugar
  • Xylitol
  • Any products with added sugar

What to Avoid: Dairy

a half eaten piece of cake: What to Avoid: Dairy © Flickr user Frédérique Voisin-Demery What to Avoid: Dairy

Sadly, you'll have to say goodbye to cheese for 30 days. Here are all the dairy products you can't eat:

  • Butter (except for ghee and clarified butter)
  • Cheese
  • Cow milk
  • Cream
  • Goat milk
  • Ice cream
  • Kefir
  • Sour cream
  • Yogurt

What to Avoid: Legumes

a bowl of fruit: What to Avoid: Legumes © Flickr user Marco Verch What to Avoid: Legumes

Most people are not familiar with the surprising list of foods that fall under the legumes category. These include:

  • Adzuki beans
  • Anasazi beans
  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Fava beans
  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans (all soy products are off limits)

What to Avoid: Grains

a bowl of food and a fork on a plate: What to Avoid: Grains © Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski What to Avoid: Grains
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Rye
  • Sorghum
  • Wheat

What to Avoid: Junk Food

a pizza sitting on a table: What to Avoid: Junk Food © Flickr user Nick Amoscato What to Avoid: Junk Food

This one is purely psychological. Even if you make healthier versions of your favorite comfort food using Whole30-approved ingredients, the diet aims to challenge your cravings for these foods. Here are some popular foods you'll have to cut out for the month:

  • Biscuits
  • Candy
  • Cereal
  • Cookies
  • Cupcakes (or sweets of any kind, really)
  • French fries
  • Pancakes
  • Pizza (sorry)
  • Potato chips
  • Waffles

What to Avoid: Carrageenan, MSG, and Sulfites

a close up of food: What to Avoid: Carrageenan, MSG, and Sulfites © Flickr user Marco Verch What to Avoid: Carrageenan, MSG, and Sulfites

Avoid any processed foods that contain these three ingredients in any form.

What to Avoid: Alcohol

a glass of wine: What to Avoid: Alcohol © Flickr user Billy Millard What to Avoid: Alcohol

Slideshow: 15 Most Dangerous Diet Fads You Should Avoid at All Costs

It might be painful to read all the various libations you won't be able to enjoy, so just remember: no alcohol allowed.

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