The Ornish Diet

The Ornish diet

What is the Ornish Diet?

The dean Ornish Diet emphasizes a vegetarian eating plan that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and limited refined carbohydrates, animal proteins, and fat. The diet is best known for its claims of preventing and reversing heart disease. The Ornish diet is actually tied for the top spot with the Mediterranean diet as the best heart-healthy diet of 2019.

Unlike other diets and weight loss plans out there, the dr Ornish Diet plan also focuses on the mental side of weight loss by including stress management techniques. Stress reduction is a core element of the dr Ornish diet, as he recommends deep breathing, yoga, and meditation.

Dr. Ornish also encourages performing a variety of exercises, including resistance training, stretching, and aerobic workouts aswell as strengthening your relationships with family and friends is also key, as they can positively affect your health.

For every detail on the Ornish Diet here is book and ebook writen by the man who created the diet and walks you through it all step by step: The Ornish Diet book

The Ornish Diet

Benefits of the Ornish Diet

Heart Health

The main attraction of the dean Ornish diet is that you can improve your heart health on this diet and even prevent and reverse heart disease. Numerous tests have been done on the Ornish Diet and have shown that this type of plan can reduce and eliminate heart disease, even in patients thought to be terminally ill.


There are no special health risks associated with the Ornish diet, as long as basic nutritional needs for protein, carbohydrates, and nutrients are met.

Weight loss

You are likely to lose weight if you are compliant with the Ornish Diet due to cutting out fats and eating more fruits and vegetables but you might also be hungry due to eating much less fat than you’re used to.


Although the Ornish diet limits the types of foods that are consumed, it does not actually limit the amount of food you can eat. Eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can usually satisfy hunger.


No specialty foods are required on the dr Ornish diet plan, and the foods you need are readily available. Sometimes they can be more expensive for example quinoa pasta, but you also save money by cutting out meat. In addition, there is no calorie-counting or food-tracking, which may be appealing to some people.

Drawbacks of the Ornish Diet


Eating a low-fat, vegetarian based diet still allows for balanced nutritional intake, as long as attention is paid to iron and omega-3 fatty acid intake. However, cutting fat down to 10% of daily recommended intake is challenging for most people.


For that reason (the restriction on fats, not to mention refined carbs, alcohol, and caffeine), some people may find it difficult to follow this diet for the long term.

Time commitment

Eating vegetarian based diets can take a lot of prep and cooking time. You also may need to learn how to cook differently, without meat and saturated fats. Also, most convenience foods and meals such as McDonald’s are off-limits on this diet.

What to eat on the Ornish Diet

You will use vegetarian sources of fats, such as olive oil, for cooking.

  • • Fruits and vegetables – This diet is vegetarian based, so prepare for plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, however restrictive you want to make your version of the Ornish diet, fruits and vegetables are always needed. That’s because they’re nutritious, fiber-rich and clear of heart-unhealthy saturated fat.
  • • Whole grains – Whole grains have been linked to better heart health, so the Ornish diet plan is filled with recipes that include whole-wheat pasta, bread and more. On this diet, you must swap refined carbohydrates for whole grain versions such as whole-wheat bread instead of white, for example.
  • • Legumes, Seeds, and Nuts – Legumes are a good source of protein in a plant-based diet. More nuts and seeds are available on the prevention plan.

What not to eat or is limited on the Ornish Diet

  • • Meat, Poultry, and Fish – Fill up on fiber from whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes instead. Many animal products are high in fat – and especially saturated fat – which puts them at the unhealthy spectrum with this heart-healthy plan.

On the reversal Ornish diet, no animal proteins are allowed, since they contain saturated fats. On the prevention plan, some fish is included since it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

  • • Eggs – Egg whites are allowed, but not yolks, because of their cholesterol content.
  • • Dairy Products – Small amounts of non-fat milk or yogurt are allowed.
  • • Processed foods – Fast food, potato chips, packaged pastries, ice cream, tend to be packed with fat, so they don’t align with this low-fat plan.
  • • Alcohol  – A glass of wine is OK with dinner, since Ornish emphasizes the importance of strong relationships – just don’t drink too much to keep your heart and waistline happy.

Ornish Diet Sample meal plan for 1 day

For a book and ebook full of 125 detailed menu plans like the one below and how to make them click here: The Ornish Diet cookbook

Breakfast: Whole-grain cereal with fat-free yogurt and orange juice

Lunch: Baked potatoes stuffed with fat-free cheese and spinach and broccoli; potato salad with fat-free dressing, or a green salad with fresh fruit

Dinner: Bread with tomatoes and capers, whole-meal pasta with vegetables, and peaches in wine for dessert

Drinks: Water, tea, coffee, skim milk, juices

Does the Ornish Diet work?

The Ornish Diet does work as you are very likely to lose weight if you follow the Ornish Diet and also can improve your heart health on this diet so if you’re struggling with heart disease, you may want to give this diet a try.

Following the Ornish Diet can also lead to some more positive outcomes, such as increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fiber and reduced intake of refined carbohydrates, sodium, and alcohol. The diet is great for people living with chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, who are looking to improve and potentially reverse their condition. And because it draws additional focus to stress reduction, and social support, the Ornish Diet can be good for people who are seeking to improve their overall health.

If you are still considering trying the dean Ornish diet here is a book and ebook written by the man who created the diet and will walk you through it all to help you make up your mind: The Ornish Diet book

But remember the only person who can make change happen is you, so I highly recommend you at least try it for yourself.

Anyone who is considering a major change to their diet should always talk to a doctor first.

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