Ornish Diet

Developing a healthy diet you can maintain for life is a key part of managing heart disease. The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program customizes a heart healthy diet for you. Participants are surprised by how much they love the delicious and satisfying food plan.

Learn more about lifestyle and heart disease and the factors addressed by the Ornish program.

Ornish Diet Shows Results

U.S. News and World Report ranks the Ornish diet first in its Best Heart Healthy Diets rankings. The publication does so because making the recommended diet changes is scientifically proven to reverse heart disease.

A study in top health journal The Lancet showed the Ornish diet reversed serious artery blockages within a year. Five years later, people still on the diet maintained their progress. Learn more about the evidence of the Ornish program’s success.

Heart Disease Team Helps You

The Ornish Reversal Plan consists of 18 sessions with a team of specialized heart disease experts. Each 4-hour session includes a nutrition lecture and recipe demonstration with a registered dietitian.

You learn about foods containing protective substances to prevent heart disease. Your nutritionist also shows you how to incorporate delicious recipes into your daily menu.

Ornish Spectrum of Healthy Foods

World-renowned heart disease expert Dr. Dean Ornish created the national Ornish program. Dr. Ornish groups foods along a healthiness spectrum, or range, with Group 1 foods the healthiest and Group 5 foods the least.

Moving in a healthier direction along the food spectrum helps you look and feel better. To reverse heart disease, your goal is to choose as many foods as possible from Group 1.

Healthy foods in Group 1 include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Soy products
  • Whole grains, like brown rice and whole wheat
  • Non-fat dairy
  • Egg whites

Learn Healthy Recipes

Ornish Lifestyle Medicine provides many delicious recipes using heart-healthy ingredients. You also learn how to maintain the diet when eating out.

Ornish Care Specialists are available at 1-877-888-3091 to answer all of your questions. Call today to start.

Recipes and daily menu recommendations help you make good choices about what you eat. To achieve the greatest results, program participants are asked to follow certain guidelines:

  • Fat

    No more than 10 percent of your daily calories should come from fat. Fat should come from healthy, natural sources, such as:

    • Fish oil
    • Flax seed oil
    • Plankton-based omega-3 fatty acids
    • Nuts, like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, cashews and peanuts
    • Seeds, like flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
  • Protein

    Eat mostly plant-based proteins in your daily routine. Examples of healthy proteins include:

    • Tofu
    • Tempeh
    • Beans
    • Legumes
    • Non-fat yogurt and cheese
    • Egg whites
  • Carbohydrates

    The Ornish Reversal Program recommends limiting carbohydrates in favor of natural, unprocessed foods. Carbs to avoid include:

    • Sugar
    • Concentrated sweeteners
    • White flour, rice and pasta
  • Cholesterol

    To reverse high cholesterol levels, aim to limit your intake to no more than 10 milligrams per day.

  • Dairy

    Two servings per day of non-fat dairy products give you just what you need.

  • Sodium

    The Ornish Reversal Plan recommends a low-sodium diet. You do not have to eliminate salt, just use it in moderation.

  • Caffeine

    If you need your caffeine fix, you can still go for it. Enjoy a cup of coffee or two cups of green tea daily. You can also drink up to two cups of decaffeinated coffee per day.

  • Alcohol

    Overall guidance is to limit your alcohol consumption, but you can have one daily serving. That serving could be 1.5 ounces of liquor, 4 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer.

  • Vegetarian Diet

    To reverse heart disease, the Ornish Reversal Plan recommends eating a vegetarian diet. That means avoiding:

    • Meat
    • Poultry
    • Fish