The Ornish Diet Review: A Heart Happy Diet, Part 3

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • Read part 2 of the Ornish diet review.

    Reverse and Prevent Heart Disease


    The Ornish diet plan for reversing heart diseaseis the plan for which the Ornish diet is best known. You may learn all the details of the Ornish plan 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. Ornish and his team of researchers were the first to recognize that heart disease could not only be prevented but could be reversed through dietary and lifestyle changes

    In a random trial of 48 heart disease patients, the Ornish program to reverse heart disease reversed blockages in arteries after one year and continued to do so after five years. The conditions of the control group was worst at both markers. The diet also has been successful to lower blood pressure and decrease both total and LDL cholesterol.

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    The Ornish Spectrum


    If you plan to work the high end of the Ornish diet spectrum, be prepared to spend more. Produce, whole grains, and fish all add up.

    A menu for the day using the reversing-heat-disease plan might include a breakfast of 1¾ egg-white zucchini frittata, 1/3 cup each of blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries, ½ cup of non-fat milk, 1 slice of whole grain bread, and 1 cup of tea or deaf coffee.

    Lunch might be 1-7/8 cup of mango-beet salad, 1-7/8 cup of vegetarian chili, an 1 slice of corn bread.

    Dinner could be 1-7/8 cup of fennel and arugula salad with fig vinaigrette, 2 cups whole-wheat penne pasta with roasted vegetables, 2-1/3 cup cup of fruit and yogurt trifle, and a glass of sparkling water.

    Snacks would be 5/8 cup of green guacamole, 6 whole wheat pita bread wedges, and ½ cup of red grapes.


    Dr. Ornish has published numerous books on the Ornish plan. Two of the books focus on menu planning and recipes:

    Compliance With Dietary Guidelines

    The Ornish diet holds up well when compared to accepted dietary guidelines. There are no reported health risks associated with this plan, although one should always speak with a physician before beginning a diet.

    While government recommendations for daily calories from fat are 20-35 percent, the Ornish diet is most likely to fall below those numbers. The diet also meets government standards for daily calories from protein and carbohydrates although the reverse heart disease diet has slightly more calories from carbohydrates.

    Key Nutrients of Concern

    The point of concern regarding these nutrients is that many Americans do not get enough of one or more of them. The Ornish diet meets or nearly meets the recommendations for them all.

    Fiber - Getting the recommended daily amount helps a person to feel full and enhances digestion.

    Potassium - Potassium counters the effect salt has on elevating blood pressure, decreases bone loss, and reduces the potential for kidney stones.

  • Calcium - Calcium builds and maintains bones as well as making blood vessels and muscles function correctly. Females and people over the age of 50 should give extra effort to meet the government recommendation of 1000-1300 mg.

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    Vitamin B-12 - B12 is important for proper cell metabolism.

    Vitamin D - Although sunlight may meet the need, those who fall short should take a supplement or incorporate specific foods into their diets to lower the risk for bone fractures.


    You should always consult with your physician before introducing any changes to your diet or level of physical activityThe content provided here is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. 


    If you enjoyed this sharepost, you also may wish to read, "Eating a Healthy Diet that Protects Your Heart."


    Living life well-fed,



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    The Ornish Spectrum

    The Ornish Spectrum 

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Published On: February 08, 2013