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Ornish diet for holistic health

What is the Ornish Diet?

Dean Ornish, MD, developed the Ornish diet, which stresses eating nutritious, plant-based, whole foods while reducing animal products and processed meals. It is essentially a vegetarian diet low in fat, processed sugar, and animal protein. This diet, in conjunction with the three pillars of love and support, regular exercise, and stress management, is intended to be a preventative method for reversing cardiac disease and achieving long-term weight loss.

Ornish diet meals should consist mostly of plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. Meat, fish, and poultry are not permitted on this diet; however, dairy products and eggs can be included in meals. 

Is the Ornish Diet Healthy?

Ornish nutrition comprises foods with anti-cancer, anti-heart disease, and anti-aging properties. The diet should activate protective genes while suppressing those that promote inflammation, oxidative stress, and oncogenes that promote prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. Unlike most fad diets, research up to this point has shown that the Ornish diet is healthy as it has lower markers for cardio-metabolic risk, likely as a result of the reduced fat intake. This diet has been shown to aid with weight loss as well, and while it is not a calorie-counting diet, it allows one room to control portions and consume even fewer calories.

What you should keep in mind:

Example Ornish Diet Day Menu

Ornish meals do not need to be complicated and can even be made using ingredients that can all be found on the Woolworths Catalogue. Below is an example of such a meal:

Breakfast: Egg white and vegetable frittata, garlic-roasted potatoes, 1 cup fresh strawberries.

Snack: Green Smoothie with Pineapple and Mint.

Lunch: Sandwich with hummus and vegetables on whole-grain bread, apple

Snack: 5 roasted almonds

Dinner: A leafy green salad with spinach, mushroom lasagne, roasted asparagus, and cocoa truffle dessert. 

plant-based foodsOrnish diet meals consist mostly of plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes

Ornish diet food items to keep in your pantry

The idea of the Ornish diet is to make information and alternatives available to allow people to  make educated decisions. The focus is not always on food, but also on how and when you eat food. The food categories are classified from healthiest to least healthy, with the healthiest being fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, soy products, and nonfat dairy, and the least nutritious being refined carbohydrates and sugar-loaded processed and packaged foods. The Ornish diet encourages people to consume more healthful foods, especially if they wish to slow the onset of chronic illness.

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