The Weirdest Named Diet: The Ornish Diet
What Makes a Diet “Ornish”?
You will get to notice that diets are usually named after a certain geographic region, people, or the diet’s creator. The Ornish diet falls under that creator category, hence the unique name.
The Ornish diet was created by Dr. Dean Ornish and has been outlined in all of his self-authored books. It is also known as the Dr. Dean Ornish diet. The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health, is his most recent book and this guy is pretty strong in his beliefs.
The Ornish diet is a low-fat diet that resembles a Vegetarian or Vegan diet, similar to the Mediterranean diet. It aims to assist in losing weight with a greater focus on preventing or reversing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
To help you structure your diet, Dr. Ornish has created his own nutrition guide that categorizes food into 5 groups. From “Group 1″ which is the most healthful food to Ornish, down to “Group 5″ which is the least healthy. It’s all about living within the “spectrum” that Ornish has created. He encourages upping the recommended daily amounts of Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin D.
What Will I Be Giving Up with the Ornish Diet?
The Dean Ornish diet avoids all fried and processed foods. Ornish also is not a fan of any meat and fat. You are also supposed to avoid dairy products in the form of cheeses, creams and milk. Non-fat or low-fat desserts, such as frozen yogurt, can be eaten in moderation.
You gotta commit to a lifestyle that avoids anything with more than 2 grams of fat per serving such as: oils, margarine, dressings, avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. All alcohol must be avoided and all sugar and sugar derivatives (honey, corn syrup, etc.) are out as well.
Yikes, sounds like not a lot of options huh?
What Do I Get?
Despite the extremely restrictive nature of this Ornish diet, Dr. Ornish claims that there is no need to restrict calories on the Dr. Ornish diet. In fact, he admits that you will find yourself more hungry, more often. (Well DUH!).
He does recommend that you should eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains. That doesn’t seem to be a problem to get full on, but at what cost?
What Else Should I Know?
Dr. Ornish also highlights the importance of exercise and mental health, in the form of stress-management, as well. He encourages committing to cardio 30 minutes per day or 1 hour, 3 times per week. He also recommends strength training 2-3 times per week.
The Ornish diet plan is far below the Government’s recommended daily calorie intake that should be consumed from fat and therein lies a lot of the criticism that it receives. A lot of experts feel that the RDA isn’t even enough.
What’s the Skinny?
If you have read Know My Body at all, you know I am not a big fan of this diet. I am a big proponent for protein. It helps to maintain lean mass, keep you satiated, provide energy, maintain a strong heart and so many other things.
He promotes 70% of a diet should come from carbs. Many of these coming from grains. Again I am not a big fan of grains as we have talked about here. They spike insulin levels, promote more fat, and lead to many of the diseases that Ornish is talking about avoiding. People tried Ornish’s low-fat type of diet for 40 years and all it got us was more obese and more dead.
Can you tell how I feel about the Ornish Diet? Not the best named diet and not the best diet.
The next diet will touch a household name we all know well: Jenny Craig.