Nutrition

Ornish Diet

It’s hard to imagine that low-fat diets like the Ornish Diet were popular just two decades ago given the emphasis on animal proteins and high-fat meals in today’s trendy diets like paleo, keto, and Whole30.

The Ornish Diet, which has the support of former President Bill Clinton, is an illustration of how various low-fat diets can be successful when used properly. The Ornish diet plan is tied for ninth place with the Nordic diet in the list of the top 10 overall best diets according to U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of the best diets for 2019.

Let’s look at what makes the Ornish Diet programme unique in a time when low-fat diets are discouraged.

What is the Ornish Diet?

The Ornish Diet was developed in the early 1990s by Dean Ornish, MD, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and the creator of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute.

The Ornish Diet, which is based on Dr. Dean Ornish’s 1995 book Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, emphasises a vegetarian eating regimen that includes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables as well as a limited amount of refined carbohydrates, animal proteins, and fat. You should only consume 10% of your calories as fat. The diet is most well-known for its promises to stop or reverse heart disease. In fact, it shares first place as the year’s greatest heart-healthy diet with the Mediterranean diet.

The Ornish Diet, in contrast to other diets and weight reduction programmes out today, emphasises the mental component of weight loss by adding stress management techniques. Dr. Ornish stresses the importance of deep breathing, yoga, and meditation for reducing stress.

Dr. Ornish also suggests engaging in a range of exercises, such as stretching, weight training, and aerobic exercises. It’s also crucial to strengthen ties with loved ones and friends and to develop a sense of community support because these things can improve your health.

How does Ornish Diet work?

Increased intake of fruits, vegetables, and fibre as well as decreased intake of refined carbs, salt, and alcohol are some advantages of the Ornish Diet plan. For those with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease who want to get better and possibly reverse their condition, the diet is fantastic. The Ornish Diet may also be beneficial for those looking to enhance their overall health because it places more emphasis on exercise, stress management, and social support.

Numerous studies about the Ornish Diet’s effectiveness for the prevention and treatment of various diseases, such as heart disease, prostate cancer, and diabetes, as well as for weight loss and depression, have been conducted by Dr. Ornish.

The Lifestyle Heart Trial, one of the most revolutionary studies, was the first randomised clinical trial to focus on treating heart disease without using drugs or surgery. The results of the study, which followed 48 patients with severe coronary heart disease for six years, showed that after five years, cardiovascular disease was reduced more in those who maintained a healthy lifestyle, which is similar to the advice given in the Ornish Diet. People who didn’t adopt the new lifestyle, on the other hand, continued to develop heart disease.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, adopting the Ornish Diet plan can result in significant weight loss because it encourages healthy lifestyle changes. There isn’t a significant difference in weight loss between low-carb and low-fat diets, such as the Ornish Diet, despite some studies demonstrating that low-carb, high-fat diets are significantly more effective for losing unwanted pounds in the short term.

What to eat on the Ornish Diet plan?

The Ornish Diet focuses on making wiser food decisions rather than cutting calories. Two distinct diet plans are available through the program: a lax prevention diet and a stricter reversal diet.

Depending on the individual’s goals, the prevention diet can include a moderate amount of fish, skinless chicken, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Contrarily, the reversal diet’s guidelines call for consuming no more than 10 percent of one’s daily calories from fat and no more than 10 milligrammes of cholesterol. In addition, it advises consuming no meat, fish, or poultry, no caffeine (aside from green tea), little sugar, salt, or alcohol, and just one serving of soy per day.

Avoiding saturated fat from animal proteins and whole milk is advised by both eating plans. Dr. Ornish advises consuming lean protein from nonfat dairy products, soy, and egg whites along with complex carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

The downsides of the Ornish Diet?

Although the Ornish Diet does not restrict calories, it severely limits the consumption of fat and animal protein, which can result in decreased meal satisfaction as well as iron and vitamin B12 deficiency. Long-term adherence to the reversal diet, which is essentially vegan, may be challenging for some people. Depending on the foods that individuals choose to eat, the diet may also contain very few calories and specific nutrients.

How to begin the Ornish Diet programme?

Start by replacing chicken and beef with plant-based proteins like tofu, beans, lentils, or tempeh since both diet spectrums call for limiting animal proteins. The Ornish Diet encourages you to consume more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains during meals and snacks, much like the Flexitarian Diet does.

Use portion control when eating nuts, avocados, and olive oil if you’re following the prevention diet plan, which permits some healthy fats. This will help you avoid consuming too many calories. Work with a registered dietitian who is familiar with the Ornish Diet if you’re following the reversal diet plan to make sure you’re getting enough calories and nutrients each day.

Always consult a registered dietitian or your doctor before beginning a new diet. They can suggest the best weight-loss strategy for you based on your dietary requirements and way of life. It’s also important to note that the Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease is covered by Medicare and Medicaid as part of their coverage of intensive cardiac rehabilitation programs. For people with type 2 diabetes, some private insurers also cover the Ornish Diet program; if you’re interested, talk to your doctor.

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