Home Diet Dr. Dean Ornish Diet: Plan, Foods, Recipes, and Reversing Program

Dr. Dean Ornish Diet: Plan, Foods, Recipes, and Reversing Program

What is the Ornish diet?

The Ornish diet is a very rigid diet with a little hint of a vegetarian diet.  This system was developed by an American doctor, Dr. Dean Ornish, who is a reputable cardiologist. This doctor focuses on diet plans that aim at both the prevention and treatment of heart diseases and obesity issues. Dr. Ornish’s system is a rather strict diet that can be somewhat challenging to follow and incorporate into your lifestyle. You will have to become an ascetic. Let’s see what this diet is all about, and what are the limits and strengths of the Ornish diet.

The Ornish diet is recommended not only for a clear weight loss but also for both curative and preventive purposes.

It aims at limiting the consumption of fats in your diet; in fact, when you genuinely benefit from this kind of diet, you will notice the remarkably regulated levels of cholesterol in your blood.

At the same time, adopting this type of diet helps prevent the onset of very risky cardiovascular diseases, achieving a marked improvement even at the psychological and emotional level. Think of it as the great reversal diet.

More than a diet, therefore, Ornish has dictated the rules of a healthy lifestyle to follow especially if you want to lose extra pounds and stay healthy for a long time. If you suffer from diverticulosis, you may want to check the diet for diverticulosis flare up.

How does the Dr. Dean Ornish diet work?

The Ornish diet is a hyperglycemic and hypolipidemic diet, which is based on the theory (very debatable, as we shall see) that fats are the leading cause of:

  1. becoming overweight and
  2. developing cardiovascular problems.

So, the diet proposed by Ornish is composed of at most 10% of good fat, and contains few foods of animal origin. Even the proteins incorporated into this somewhat strict diet are relatively scarce, with the result that the carbohydrates reach 70-75%. You can also take a look at the Alkaline diet recipes.

The Ornish spectrum diet, therefore, provides for the almost total exclusion of foods containing saturated fats, oils, and animal products should be avoided (you can use extra-virgin olive oil but in small quantities), skimmed entirely milk and hard-boiled egg whites are approved. The Ornish diet is affluent in fiber and fresh food. So, your food list will have fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Small quantities of wine, cane sugar, and salt are allowed, but coffee is forbidden. The Ornish diet does not provide for the calculation of calories, but in fact, due to the strict constraints it imposes, it provides 1200-1300 kcal per day. This is a system different from the lemonade diet ingredients.

Ornish recommends moderate physical activity, 20-60 minutes of walking a day, and also advises you to practice meditation regularly, also giving importance to mental health and stress reduction as a tool to improve health, especially the heart. There are a lot of diet systems that are circulating these days, for example, the Wheat Belly diet food list.

Why should you follow the Ornish Diet? It will help you in the following

  • It is high fiber, so will increase the sense of satiety;
  • It is a low-fat diet;
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases;
  • You will feel better.

Why shouldn’t you follow the Ornish Diet?

  • Waivers: no red meat, coffee and must stop smoking;
  • Low taste meals, can use only a little bit of olive oil and salt (but you can fix that point using spices);
  • There is a lack of omega-3 and omega-6, you will have to introduce them with supplements;
  • Restricted diet.

Dr. Dean Ornish diet: the guidelines and secrets

Here we have some points of the Ornish diet; these points are critical if you want to follow the Ornish diet. The guidelines are based on the philosophy of the famous Dr. Dean and his diet.

  • Exclusion of fats. Both saturated (from meat and fish) and unsaturated (from dried fruit) are eliminated. These foods promote the increase in cholesterol and hence cause cardiovascular diseases.
  • Cereals and legumes. These are part of your diet because they contain both carbohydrates ( source of energy) and proteins.
  • Vegetables and fruit are your allies: This is mostly a vegetarian diet, so the primary foods that you can eat are vegetables and fruit, which are poor in fats and rich in vitamins and antioxidants. The presence of flavonoid in these foods in accordance to the last studies should reduce cardiovascular diseases.
  • No oil and vegetable fats are allowed, with only a little proportion of olive oil; you can’t eat egg yolks or full-fat milk.
  • No Smoking. To reach your result it is necessary renounce all your vices, including smoking. Stopping smoking will give you a lot of benefits preventing damages at the levels of lungs and arteries.
  • Yoga and physical activity. Starting physical activity like yoga is a step in forward to reach your goal. Also walking or running is a perfect activity. Yoga is preferred by the Dr. Dean because it helps to free your body and your mind from diseases, helping to concentrate and find energies. For those looking for a very low caloric intake weight loss program, you can take a look at the 1000 calorie diet before and after.

Ornish diet food list

Let’s see how you can compose a typical example of Ornish diet and so what food you should buy and consume. You can also look up several recipes.

Legumes: the Ornish diet is mainly composed of legumes associated with whole pasta or brown rice to complete the amino acids complex. In that diet legumes should often be consumed, three/four times per week. Legumes are great options for the heart healthy diet menu.

Soy: This is another ingredient which can’t be missed in your food list; soy sauce, for example, is an excellent replacement for oily sauces. This element can be a part of the Macrobiotic diet plan.

Yogurt: It is rich in lactic ferments, and it could be consumed in several meals during the day to increase the macronutrients intake or just for a quick snack.

Cereals: Rich in fiber supply that sense of satiety, really useful in every low-calorie diet.

Dr.Dean Ornish program: sample diet menu and example

Here is an example of a sample diet menu diagram illustrating some variations for all the meals of the day:

Day 1:

  • Breakfast: you can choose between a cup of skim milk or an orange juice to be served with a slice of whole bread. Even low-sugar teas or infusions are allowed;
  • Snack: a centrifuge of fresh fruit or vegetables;
  • Lunch: you need to alternate a portion of fish or lean white meat cooked lightly and without dips, or thin slices (bresaola, turkey) or even natural tuna or hard-boiled egg white. Always add raw or cooked vegetables, to be seasoned with little olive oil, also a wholemeal bread;
  • Snack: a jar of yogurt or fresh fruit;
  • Dinner: alternate cereals and rice, add seasoned vegetables to the cereal dish, or legume soups . Also for this meal, it is recommended to eat raw or cooked vegetables.

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: you can have half a cup of 0% fat greek yogurt or egg whites (which are recommended from Dr.Dean), also some fresh fruit if it is off-season is even better.
  • Snack: grilled turkey meat seasoned with cumin and cayenne pepper and lime.
  • Lunch: natural canned tuna in water with half a cup of celery and tomatoes. Brown rice as a source of carbohydrates. This meal can perfectly fit the 30 day diet meal plan.
  • Snack: Thin slices of bresaola with 0% fat ricotta cheese, and some slices of toasted bread.
  • Dinner: You can make a salad bowl with fresh onions, tomatoes, lettuce. Also, a shredded chicken breast and some toasted bread diced. Season everything with a tiny quantity of olive oil and paprika.
  • Snack: a cup of low-fat yogurt and a banana. You can choose to have some Greek yogurt.

If you don’t want to consume much dairy products, you can replace them with soy products like soy milk and yogurt. Also, tofu and seitan are a good choice.

Always drink some glasses of water during the day; water intake is essential to transport the nutrients to the cells and for better digestion.

Pills to have a healthier approach to the dean Ornish Diet program

  • Caffeine Pills. Many diet pills contain caffeine as their primary ingredient; or, come in the form of a herb. We all know that caffeine increases your metabolism, but not enough to create a significant weight loss, as by from the Office of Dietary Supplements. However, herbs that may contain caffeine might help you lose weight and can be a part of your weight loss plan. However, caffeine-containing diet pills might cause some side effects that are not major; these include nervousness.
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 supplements. As said before there is a lack of these essential nutrients, without eating any type of fatty fish like salmon there is a short portion of food which can provide these nutrients, but this type of foods contains fats (like seeds).
  • Green Tea is your perfect hot or cold drink option that does contain caffeine. The tea also contains catechins, which are phytochemicals that may increase metabolism. Green tea is a source of nutrients that help you burn calories. It doesn’t help you lose much weight, according to a 2012 study published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic reviews.

Pills that you don’t need following the Ornish Diet

For example, you will not need any vitamin and minerals supplement. That’s because it is a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.