A pregnant woman's raw, plant-based diet consisting mainly of fruit and water is causing a stir online because some consider such an extreme way of eating unhealthy for an expectant mother.
Loni Jane Anthony, a 25-year-old Australian woman who is 26 weeks pregnant, made headlines after giving an interview to News.com.au about her atypical diet, part of which includes a morning meal of 10 bananas.
The nutrition plan is called the 80:10:10 Diet, which is 80 percent carbs, 10 percent fat and 10 percent protein. It was founded by Dr. Douglas Graham, a raw foodist who doesn't associate the plan with fruitarianism.
Anthony, who claimed to have had health problems in the past because of her poor diet, told News.com.au that transforming her eating habits about three years ago saved her life. Now, her average day starts with warm lemon water in the morning, followed by either half a watermelon, a banana smoothie or whole oranges, then five or six mangos for lunch and a large salad for dinner. She said she has an alcoholic drink once every five months.
"[This diet] wasn't for weight loss or for a quick fix. I was internally really sick; I was killing myself slowly," Anthony told the website, adding, "Some days, even on my Tumblr, the amount of questions I get asked is just insane. I'm like 'why are people so interested in me? I'm just sitting here eating my bananas. I'm not anyone special.'"
She documents her unique meals on Instagram and has already garnered more than 100,000 followers. According to NYU Local, the 80:10:10 diet has become a hot topic on Instagram.
From Anthony's Instagram account:
But the young mom-to-be's diet has some raising their eyebrows and wondering if the meal plan is healthy for her unborn child.
"I feel uncomfortable with Loni’s 'transformation' because it doesn’t sound safe for her baby," blogger Ami Angelowicz of The Frisky wrote. "I’m not a doctor, of course, but common sense and the little knowledge I have about nutrition tells me that you have to consume more than bananas and mangoes each day when you’re eating for two. I really try not to concern myself with what other people eat (or how much CrossFit they do), but it seems irresponsible to glorify the extreme fruitarian lifestyle for pregnant women."
A commenter questioned if her banana intake could lead to hyperkalemia, or high potassium in the blood. Information from the Mayo Clinic on the condition, however, does not suggest it would.
Others, like Mommyish blogger Eva Vawter, doesn't think Anthony's diet is anyone's business. Vawter wrote that even if the 6-month-pregnant woman "ate 90 bags of Cheetos and had an IV of Mountain Dew hooked into her vein" it still wouldn't be anyone's business.
The Mayo Clinc advises pregnant women to maintain a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. It also says that nutrients like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, protein and iron are important during pregnancy. These can be obtained via foods like spinach, beans, milk, yogurt, salmon, eggs, lentils and poultry.
On her Tumblr page, Aleven:11, Anthony said her lifestyle change "did great things" for her reproductive system and hormones, although she emphasized that she has no expert knowledge in the reproductive field.
When asked if she has modified her diet since the pregnancy, she responded: "my eating habits are still the same as when i wasn’t pregnant. have eaten more cooked food for dinners during the pregnancy but other than that still on a high raw high card plant based lifestyle [all sic]!"