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Ornish diet Health Article

Synonyms

Cholesterol, Dean Ornish, diet, heart disease, high cholesterol, high fiber, low fat diet, prevention diet, reversal diet, vegetarian, whole grains.

Background

The Ornish diet is a low fat vegetarian way of eating with less than 10% of daily calories from fat (an average of 15 to 25g of fat per day), 70-75% from carbohydrates and 15-20% from protein. This diet encourages consumption of beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limits intake of processed foods, high-fat dairy products, simple sugars and alcohol.

Dr. Dean Ornish, a physician who has directed clinical research for the past 25 years, created this diet as a lifestyle modification to reverse existing heart disease by emphasizing foods that are very low in fat yet filling, such as high-fiber grains and legumes (i.e. beans and peas). In addition to the proposed heart healthy effects of the Ornish diet, patients may also lose weight. Based on Ornish's research, patients lost an average of 25 pounds over the course of a year.

Ornish has promoted two varieties of his popular way of eating to address health concerns of different people. The reversal diet is recommended for people with existing heart disease desiring to reduce their risk of suffering a heart attack or other coronary heart disease event. The prevention diet is advocated for otherwise healthy individuals with levels of LDL cholesterol greater than 150mg/dL or those with a ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good" cholesterol) that is less than 3.0.

The Ornish diets are completely vegetarian. Cholesterol and saturated fat are excluded; no animal products (except egg whites and nonfat dairy products) are allowed. All nuts, seeds, avocados, chocolate, olives, coconuts and oils are eliminated except a small amount of canola oil for cooking and oil that supplies omega-3 essential fatty acids. The Ornish diet also prohibits caffeine but allows a moderate intake of alcohol and salt. There is no restriction on calorie intake. Several small meals a day rather than three large meals is also recommended.

Several studies have compared various diets and their effects on cholesterol levels, heart disease and weight loss. Based on available research, the Ornish diet appears to be more successful in lowering the risk of heart disease than other diets, but has also been noted as one of the most difficult diets to follow because of the required lifestyle changes.

The Ornish diet is a low fat vegetarian way of eating with less than 10% of daily calories from fat (an average of 15 to 25g of fat per day), 70-75% from carbohydrates and 15-20% from protein. This diet encourages consumption of beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limits intake of processed foods, high-fat dairy products, simple sugars and alcohol.

Dr. Dean Ornish, a physician who has directed clinical research for the past 25 years, created this diet as a lifestyle modification to reverse existing heart disease by emphasizing foods that are very low in fat yet filling, such as high-fiber grains and legumes (i.e. beans and peas). In addition to the proposed heart healthy effects of the Ornish diet, patients may also lose weight. Based on Ornish's research, patients lost an average of 25 pounds over the course of a year.

Ornish has promoted two varieties of his popular way of eating to address health concerns of different people. The reversal diet is recommended for people with existing heart disease desiring to reduce their risk of suffering a heart attack or other coronary heart disease event. The prevention diet is advocated for otherwise healthy individuals with levels of LDL cholesterol greater than 150mg/dL or those with a ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good" cholesterol) that is less than 3.0.

The Ornish diets are completely vegetarian. Cholesterol and saturated fat are excluded; no animal products (except egg whites and nonfat dairy products) are allowed. All nuts, seeds, avocados, chocolate, olives, coconuts and oils are eliminated except a small amount of canola oil for cooking and oil that supplies omega-3 essential fatty acids. The Ornish diet also prohibits caffeine but allows a moderate intake of alcohol and salt. There is no restriction on calorie intake. Several small meals a day rather than three large meals is also recommended.

Several studies have compared various diets and their effects on cholesterol levels, heart disease and weight loss. Based on available research, the Ornish diet appears to be more successful in lowering the risk of heart disease than other diets, but has also been noted as one of the most difficult diets to follow because of the required lifestyle changes.

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