Ornish Diet

Ornish Diet

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The Ornish Diet has been developed by Dr. Ornish originally for use by his patients.

While many weight loss diets are low-fat, some fall into the category of being very low fat (where only 10-20% of the calories come from fats).

Dr Dean Ornish wrote a book called Eat More, Weigh Less. The Ornish Diet he prescribed is basically vegetarian.

Dean Ornish’s Diet Outline

Meat, poultry, and fish aren’t recommended. The only dairy allowed is fat-free yogurt, milk, fat free cheeses, and egg whites.

Foods not allowed are; all fats, oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, refined carbohydrates (including sugar, white rice, and white flour).

Other than these ‘banned’ foods, the diet allows you to eat all you want without any weighting or measuring. What’s left is predominantly fruit and vegetables, and grains.

Sample Meal Plan

Whole grain cereal with fat-free yogurt
orange juice
Baked potatoes stuffed with fat-free cheese and spinach
Potato salad with fat-free dressing
Green salad and fresh fruit
Bread with tomatoes and capers
Wholemeal pasta with vegetables
Peaches in wine
Water, tea, coffee, skim milk, juices.

Too Restrictive?

All extreme or restrictive diets are difficult to follow and The Ornish Diet is just that.

They also run the risk of depriving the body essential nutrients and minerals. Restricting fish, nuts, and seeds immediately cuts of any source of Essential Fatty Acids such as Omega 3.

He eliminates many foods that are now considered some of the healthiest foods a dieter can eat, such as avocados and walnuts. We’ve learned a lot about fats since this book was published and his advice is pretty outdated.

It is good to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, but current research into nutrition and causes of obesity is beginning to show us that cutting out all fat is not necessarily the way to go.

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

  • Hongu, N., Wise, J. M., Gallaway, P. J. (2014). Healthy Fats: Tips for Improving the Quality of Fat Intake. link
  • Lawrence, G. D. (2013). Dietary fats and health: dietary recommendations in the context of scientific evidence. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, 4(3), 294-302. link
  • Michas, G., Micha, R., Zampelas, A. Dietary fats and cardiovascular disease: Putting together the pieces of a complicated puzzle. Atherosclerosis, 234(2), 320-328. link

Last Reviewed: April 2, 2017

Watch the video: Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program: Stress (August 2022).