The Ornish Diet Review: A Heart Happy Diet, Part 2

My Bariatric Life Health Guide

  • Read part 1 of the Ornish diet review.


    Heart disease is the leading cause of death

    for both men and women, but heart disease

    is preventable and controllable.


    Many health experts suggest that the Ornish diet might very well be the most heart-friendly diet available. The claims are impressive although these same experts put great emphasis on the point that a person will benefit from this diet only if the rules are followed. Not only do professionals maintain that adherence to the Ornish plan will protect your heart, but they also contend that a more rigorous version of the diet can actually reverse heart diseaseLearn all about Dr. Ornish's program in his book, Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease: The Only System Scientifically Proven to Reverse Heart Disease Without Drugs or Surgery.

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    The diet is also meant to be supplemented with aerobic activity, resistance training, and flexibility. Stress management is also incorporated as part of the plan and deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are suggested. 

    Outline of the Ornish Diet

    The Ornish diet is a low-fat plan that has variable aims. It is claimed that it can be used for weight loss, preventing or reversing diabetes and heart disease, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and the prevention and treatment of breast and prostate cancer.

    The premise of the diet is change; the more a person changes her current diet, the greater the number of health benefits. If a person is trying to lose only a few pounds, moderate changes or exchanges of one food for another will probably do the trick. If you are seeking major results, then major changes will be necessary. One cannot reverse heart disease with a few simple food exchanges, but research has shown it is possible to do just that at the more demanding end of the diet’s range of food choices.

    How the Ornish Diet Works

    The Ornish diet categorizes food into five categories, ranging from most healthful (group 1) least healthful (group 5). There is no specific diet in the plan, hence the spectrum of choices. The menu is strictly a matter of personal choice.

    The most healthy choices involve a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimal amounts of fat, especially saturated fat. If your effort is geared toward a reversal of heart disease, the options in this diet become restricted. There will be no foods allowed that contain cholesterol or refined carbs. Oils, great amounts of caffeine, and almost all animal products with the exception of egg whites and one cup of nonfat milk or yogurt per day are off limits.

    Sample Ornish Meal Plan


    A typical Ornish diet menu for the day might include a 2 egg-white vegetable scramble for breakfast supplements with 1/3 cup each of blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, and ½ cup of non-fat milk, and 1 slice of whole-grain bread.

    Lunch could consist of 1¼ cup of roasted-tomato soup,  2½ cups of Asian noodle salad with 5 grilled shrimp, and a slice of whole wheat peach griddle cake.

    Dinner might be 3 oz. of wild salmon, 1¼ cup of  butter lettuce/pear salad with vinaigrette, 1½ cup sweet corn, black bean, and tomato salad, 5/8 cup of peach bread pudding, and a glass of sparkling water.

  • Snacks include 2/3 oz. of dark chocolate, 3 apricots, 10 raw almonds, and ½ cup of plain non-fat yogurt.

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    Part 3 and my final post on the Ornish diet will offer a sample of a reversing-heart-disease meal plan as well as the key nutrients in the diet.


    The content provided here is for informational purposes only, and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. Please consult your physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

    Living life well-red,



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Published On: February 08, 2013