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

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 emphasizes eating healthier, which might make it the most sustainable diet yet.

What to Eat: Fruits
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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
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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
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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
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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
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What to Eat: Eggs

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

What to Eat: Nuts and Seeds
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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 Consume: Black Coffee
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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
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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
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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
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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
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What to Avoid: Grains

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Rye
  • Sorghum
  • Wheat
What to Avoid: Junk Food
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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
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What to Avoid: Carrageenan, MSG, and Sulfites

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

What to Avoid: Alcohol
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What to Avoid: Alcohol

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