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The Ornish Diet is a somewhat popular diet that was developed by Dean Ornish M.D. in his book Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease. It is a diet that is specifically formulated to reverse heart disease but has recently been used as a weight-loss program. This vegetarian diet emphasizes low-fat, filling foods, including legumes and other high-fiber choices.


The Ornish Diet is a very strict one. It places very strict limitations on all foods containing more than very slight amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat. Meat and fish are not allowed, although nonfat dairy products and egg whites are permitted in limited quantities. This diet promotes complex carbohydrates (fruit, grains, etc.) and limits simple ones (sugars, honey, alcohol.) The most controversial part of the diet is its prohibition on nuts and fish, which some researchers claim actually protect the heart. Despite the general exclusion of fish, Ornish highly recommends the consumption of Omega-3 isolated fish oil to achieve part of a regimented fat intake. The Ornish diet is 10% fat, 20% protein, and 70% carbohydrates. According to his book "Eat More, Weigh Less," the typical American diet is 40% fat, 20% protein and 40% carbohydrates. To complement his suggested diet, Dr. Ornish advocates physical activity and meditation.