diet during pregnancy

This woman's controversial pregnancy diet is...bananas

Nov. 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM ET

Avelen:11 Blogger is on Extreme Pregnancy Diet
Instagram /
Avelen:11 Blogger is on Extreme Pregnancy Diet

Most of the time, nutrition experts advise people to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet, but this might be an exception. Blogger Loni Jane Anthony, 25, of Australia, follows a strict diet of mostly fruit, despite the fact that she is 26 weeks pregnant. She writes about her eating habits on her Aleven:11 Tumblr, and posts dozens of photos of her smoothie and salad meals as well as alarmingly slender bump selfies. According to an interview with news.com.au, she follows the 80:10:10 diet, one popular among pro athletes, which consists of 80 percent carbs from fruit, 10 percent protein and 10 percent vegetables. Breakfast might be five or more bananas, lunch five or six mangos, and dinner a salad.

Now some are saying she might be, uh, bananas for following such a strict, low-protein diet while trying to grow a person. Could she have "pregorexia," fear of gaining the weight that's a natural part of pregnancy? Nutritionist Fiona Hunter, who looked at her diet via the blog, told The Daily Mail that the diet could be dangerous to both her and her baby. “It’s desperately short in protein which is needed for growth and repair of tissues and several key vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and zinc. Because her diet only provides a small fraction of the calcium she needs—her baby will take calcium from her bones to build his or her bones which will leave Lori a greatly increased risk of osteoporosis later in life.”

According to the USDA, only about half your pregnancy diet should be fruit and veg, and should include whole grains, dairy products and protein, as well. Anthony describes herself as a former party girl who once had a very unhealthy lifestyle of drinking and fast food, but says the 80:10:10 diet turned her health and her looks around, giving her a very thin figure and clear skin. She even credits it for helping her get pregnant. “This lifestyle did great things for my reproductive system. I got my cycle back, my hormones balanced out and my skin improved and i got pregnant,” she writes. She’s clearly researched nutrition extensively, although some might question her information.

Most troubling, though, is the emphasis on how the diet has impacted her looks with little mention of how it’s impacting her baby, or what her doctor has to say about it. Never mind the risk it poses to pregnant women who might try to follow her lead: Despite the doubts health professionals raise, Anthony’s got more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, many of whom call her an inspiration.

Mom of two Sasha Emmons is a writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.

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