The Ornish Diet supports heart health and can be arranged to aid in weight loss or preventing and reversing chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.
Dean Ornish, a professor of medicine at the University of California, developed the program that includes nutrition, exercise, and stress management.
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Here are 14 things to know about heart health and the Ornish Diet:
1. The Ornish Diet was named the best heart-healthy diet by experts for U.S. News & World Report
in ratings of 38 diets that help people lose weight along with lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides, the fats in blood.
Ornish puts foods into five categories from the healthiest to the least healthy. The healthiest, for example, would be whole-grain bread with higher-fat biscuits as the least healthy.
The diet to reverse heart disease is considered Ornish’s most popular, but it has strict guidelines with very little saturated fat allowed.
Plenty of fiber and complex carbohydrates make up a good portion of the diet.
People can eat as many beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and grains as they want, Everyday Health notes
Foods with cholesterol or refined carbohydrates, meats, oils, and excessive caffeine are to be avoided. The diet allows egg whites and one cup a day of nonfat milk or yogurt.
Smaller meals throughout the day are encouraged to satisfy the appetite.
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The Ornish Diet features exercise as a part of heart health with at least 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week or 60 minutes three times a week.
Stress management includes yoga, meditation, and social contact.
Smoking or excessive drinking is not allowed.
The diet promotes heart health because people consume fewer calories and saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol levels that lead to heart disease.
A five-year study showed subjects lost an average of 24 pounds on the Ornish Diet with most keeping the weight off, Everyday Health reports.
The avoidance of fatty foods, meat, and processed foods can make the diet difficult for some people to stick to the program.
The Ornish Diet works for people needing to lower the risk of developing heart disease, Dr. Brunilda Nazario tells WebMD
. People may need to plan and to seek nutritional advice when beginning the diet.
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