The Ornish Diet is part of the Ornish Reversal Program. It is a comprehensive lifestyle strategy focused on a plant-based diet. It is supported by decades of high-quality research and is covered by a wide range of health insurance providers.
In this article, we discussed The Ornish Diet, including whether it improves health and helps in weight loss.
What Is The Ornish Diet?
Dean Ornish, MD, cardiologist, and founder of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute developed the Ornish Reversal Program.
Ornish Is A Pioneer In Lifestyle Medicine, Focusing On:
- A whole food diet
- Regular physical exercise
- Stress management
- Good socializing to prevent, cure, and reverse disease
Over the period of decades, Ornish and colleagues have done several studies proving how food and lifestyle changes can quickly and efficiently benefit health – even saving lives.
His program is now officially known as Dr Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease. It is the first integrated lifestyle medicine program designed to reverse heart disease and other diseases like early prostate cancer, diabetes, and depression. Because of its proven success, Medicare has reimbursed treatment under “Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation” since 2011. Many private medical insurance organizations, including Highmark Inc, Anthem, also reimburse it.
This Program Encourages Participants To Eat Properly, Worry Less, Move More, and Love More. It Focuses On Four Aspects Of Life:
- What you eat
- How much physical exercise you do
- How you deal with stress
- The amount of love and support you’ve gotten
Does The Ornish Diet Plan Work?
The Ornish Diet plan can lead to beneficial results. These include increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fiber and decreased refined carbs, salt, and alcohol consumption. The diet is excellent for those who have chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes who want to improve or maybe reverse their condition.
To identify the effectiveness of the Ornish Diet effectiveness in the prevention and treatment of various diseases, Dr. Ornish has conducted a number of studies. These include heart disease, prostate cancer, diabetes, weight reduction, and depression.
The Lifestyle Heart Trial, one of the most groundbreaking investigations, was the first randomized clinical trial aimed at curing heart disease without medications or surgery. Over six years, the study monitored 48 individuals with severe coronary heart disease. After five years, individuals who followed a healthy lifestyle, similar to the suggestions stated in the Ornish Diet, had lower rates of cardiovascular disease. Those who did not follow the lifestyle change continued to suffer from the progression of heart disease.
In terms of weight reduction, according to one research, following the Ornish diet plan can result in considerable weight loss due to the beneficial lifestyle changes that come with the diet.
Pros and Cons of the Ornish Diet
- A significant advantage to the Ornish plan is that you will obtain the necessary amount of fruits, vegetables, and fibre for an adult based on the USDA’s 2010 dietary guidelines.
- The majority of the recommended meal plans are also low in salt, which is beneficial for most adults.
- You will consume less sugar, processed carbs, and alcohol because they do not give nutritional advantages. Also, you will take more essential nutrients required for a weight reduction or disease-prevention diet.
- You consume foods that are low in acid and high in minerals. So this popular diet can improve your bone health and help you avoid osteoporosis.
- Exercise regularly promotes heart health and helps in the management of chronic diseases.
- Because the diet is extremely low in all forms of fat, it might be difficult to maintain long-term.
- The Ornish Diet limits your intake of unsalted nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to heart health. In addition, if used carefully, unsalted nuts and nut butter can improve the taste of meals while also making you feel fuller.
- If menus are not properly prepared, the diet might be insufficient in calories, B12, and iron. Vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy cell metabolism.
- You may become hungry due to not eating meats and sweets, making it harder to stick to the diet plan.
Foods To Consume and Foods To Avoid
The Ornish Diet is a lacto-ovo-vegetarian eating plan that emphasizes whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Foods To Consume
As Part Of The Ornish Diet, You Can Eat The Following Foods:
Fruits: Apples, kiwi, grapefruit, bananas, oranges, berries, pears, pomegranate, melons, and apricots.
Vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, peppers, cauliflower, kale, garlic, spinach, onions, and zucchini.
Legumes: Kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, and pinto beans are all legumes.
Whole Grain: Quinoa, barley, farro, amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, and oats.
Protein: Tempeh, tofu, and egg whites.
Also, you can eat garlic, parsley, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cilantro, and nutmeg.
Foods To Limit
The Diet Also Permits for Limited Amounts Of The Following Foods:
Nuts and Seeds: Cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds (3 or less modest daily servings).
Low-fat packaged foods: Whole-grain crackers, whole-grain cereals, and veggie burgers.
Caffeinated Beverages: Limit yourself to one cup of coffee each day or two cups of black tea/decaf coffee.
Dairy products (2 servings or less per day): Skim milk, nonfat yogurt.
Fats: Olive oil, butter, vegetable oil, avocados, coconut oil, canola oil, and olives.
Refined carbohydrates (2 servings or less per day): Biscuits, white bread, pancakes, white pasta, crackers, flour tortillas, white rice, white sugar, honey, agave, brown sugar.
Alcoholic beverages (up to one serving per day): Wine, beer, and liquor.
Processed Foods: High-fat convenience meals, baked products, fast food, potato chips, and pretzels.
Foods To Avoid
Here Are Some Things To Avoid While On The Diet Plan:
- Beef, lamb, goat, and veal
- Seafood options include salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, anchovies, shrimp, and lobster.
- Poultry includes chicken, turkey, goose, and ducks
- Egg yolks
The Ornish Diet: Sample Menu
Breakfast: Cereal made with whole grains, fat-free yoghurt, and orange juice
Lunch: Baked potatoes packed with spinach, and broccoli and fat-free cheese. Potato salad with fat-free dressing; or green salad with fruit.
Dinner: Bread with tomatoes and capers, whole-wheat spaghetti with veggies, and wine-soaked peaches for dessert
Drinks: Coffee, water, tea, skim milk, and juices
The Bottom Line
The Ornish Diet is a low-fat, lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet that claims to have significant health advantages.
Aside from being simple and easy to follow, some evidence shows that the Ornish Diet may help in losing weight and prevent chronic illness.
However, it is low in good fats and may be deficient in some vitamins and minerals, increasing your risk of nutritional deficiencies.
As a result, if you wish to try the Ornish Diet, make sure you plan it properly to avoid negative health impacts.