The Ornish Diet

ornish diet

The Ornish diet was developed by Dr. Dean Ornish and published in his book ‘Eat more weigh less’. It is basically a high carbohydrate whole foods diet which includes walking and meditation, and has had notable success in reversing heart disease (arterial clogging was reversed in 82% of patients in one study).

I have nothing against the good doctor but it amazes me that he has become something of a poster boy for the medical establishment with this diet. When Nathan Pritikin developed a similar diet many years ago he was treated as a pariah and scorned.

The two diets are very similar, being almost vegetarian (Pritikin allows some chicken and fish, Ornish allows some dairy and eggs). They are both high in fibre and extremely low in fat. They are both high in complex carbohydrates and include an exercise programme in conjunction with the diet.

The Diet

• Consume 70-75% of your diet as complex carbohydrates and

• The diet allows you to eat fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and soy products in any quantity

• Egg whites, non-fat milk and non fat yoghurt are allowed but all other dairy products are excluded

• Absolutely no meat, chicken or fish

• No vegetable oils, avocadoes or nuts and seeds because of their high fat content

• No coffee or alcohol

I have no doubt that this diet will reverse heart disease as the Pritikin diet was also well known for its beneficial effect on the heart. However, over time people adhering to the Pritikin diet were finding that they developed other diseases like arthritis and cancer. I suspect that the Ornish diet will produce the same results in time.

Given that we know that hunter gatherers were stronger, taller and healthier than the farmers who came after them and since we can assume that those farmers were eating whole grains for many thousands of years until recently, it seems a backward step to adopt a diet of this nature.

However, if you have heart disease it may be worth a try and with this diet you will also have the support of your doctor, but remember hunter-gatherers were free of heart disease as well and they ate a diet high in protein, with moderate levels of saturated fat, low to moderate carbohydrate levels (mainly from fruit and vegetables) and stayed healthy.

To follow the Ornish diet appears to me to be a step backwards to the time when we began suffering a lot of the ills of civilisation. So, I would say there are better diets than this one for

Lifetime fitness and an electric physique

However, like the Pritikin Diet it does appear to reverse heart disease and if you are a sufferer then maybe it is the right diet for you.

If you want to find out more you can buy the book by clicking on the link below. Good luck.

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