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The Pritikin Diet and Heart Health: 10 Things You Should Know

By    |   Wednesday, 20 Jul 2016 03:07 PM

The Pritikin diet, also called the Pritikin Principle, aims at weight loss that contributes to heart health. Many foods in the diet come from heart-healthy sources.

Nathan Pritikin introduced the Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise in 1979, developing it as a way to fight heart disease. His son, Robert Pritikin, continued with his late father’s work.

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Here are 10 things to know about the Pritikin diet and how it may provide heart health:

1. The Pritikin diet emphasizes weight loss and lowering harmful cholesterol, factors in heart health. The diet also lowers blood pressure, registered dietitian Kathleen Zelman tells WebMD, citing a Washington University School of Medicine study.

2. The low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet recommends starting a meal with salad, soup, fruit, or whole grains. The high fiber in these foods satisfies the appetite and helps avoid eating higher-fat foods.

3. Whole, unprocessed foods are encouraged. Fatty fish, such as salmon, is recommended with limited meats, especially red meat.

4. Sodas and other high-calorie drinks are not allowed in the Pritikin diet. Alcohol is also avoided except for a daily glass of wine, which research suggests is heart healthy.

5. Refined grains, refined sugar, and salt are minimized in the diet.

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6. The diet is very low-fat, MedicineNet.com notes. While the American Heart Association recommends a diet include 25 to 35 percent of calories from fat, the Pritikin diet requires less than 10 percent, which might be difficult for some people.

7. Low-calorie dense foods, such as apples or brown rice, are encouraged six to seven times a day. They can fill you up without the weight gain of high-calorie foods.

8. The limits on fat and sugar in the diet, which contribute to its blandness, could make it difficult for some people to follow.

9. There may be a shortage of vitamins D, E, and B-12 in the diet, according to Everyday Health, which adds the Pritikin diet might also lower HDL, the “good” cholesterol that removes harmful LDL cholesterol from the blood.

10. The Pritikin program includes an exercise plan in which walking and strength training are promoted, both important parts of a healthy heart.

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The Pritikin diet, also called the Pritikin Principle, aims at weight loss that contributes to heart health. Many foods in the diet come from heart-healthy sources.
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2016-07-20
Wednesday, 20 Jul 2016 03:07 PM
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