Ornish Diet

The one with just vegetables and low-fat foods
Monday , 02 May 2011
Ornish Diet
Carrie Underwood

CELEBRITY FAN: Carrie Underwood

WHAT’S INVOLVED: Not for those looking for a quick-fix, Dr Dean Ornish’s diet offers a healthy programme that’s followed at a realistic pace. Unlike the Aktins diet it doesn’t glorify the protein, in fact here the onus is on wholly vegetarian and low-fat products. Foods are divided into three categories: some that you can eat to your heart’s content, some you can eat in moderation and others that you can’t eat at all. The ratio is broken down so that 10 percent of daily calories come from fat (an average of 15 to 25g of fat per day), 70 to 75 per cent is from carbohydrates and 15 to 20 percent from protein. Products that are eradicated are sugar, nuts, meats, fish, refined carbs, avocado and alcohol!


  • To get your hands on a variety of good vegetarian cook books so that you don’t get bored with the usual veggie lasagne options
  • Make friends with your local greengrocer as you’ll be visiting them a lot to ensure your home is filled with the freshest fruit and vegetables

VERDICT: When combined with exercise you do see results. Yet, as with the Atkins and South Beach diet, eliminating entire foods groups is never beneficial for the body, in the long term it can lead to deficiencies. Ryan Penny, Clinical Nutritionist and Conditioning Coach for The Wellness Brothers, offers this advice: “The Ornish diet is simply a low-fat-high-fibre diet, which naturally means eating less animal and other fatty foods. In order to get less than 10 per cent of your calories from fat you’ll have to say goodbye to other foods like avocado, nuts and seeds.

The low-calorie density foods on the, ‘Eat as much as you want’ and, ‘Eat in moderation’ food lists mean that one can end up eating ‘more’ food (volume) than one would when eating from the ‘Foods to Avoid’ list. This explains, and to some extent validates, the ‘Eat more, weigh less’ claims. The programme does well to include plenty of exercise and highlights the important of stress management and relaxation. Stress can lead to difficulty losing weight due to both the changes in how the body functions as well as the tendency to eat to cope, which so many people have.

The Ornish diet is a good one for people whose genes indicate that very low fat will best suit them and those with heart and cholesterol problems. Beyond just weight loss, this plan is medially accepted by most people as a means to generally better health. It can be a challenge to stick to but is definitely worth a shot if you are someone who has a tendency towards clogged arteries, along with the clogged fat cells.”

Have you tried this diet? If so, let us know what you think in the comment box below.

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