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Diet developed by Dr. Ornisha is fairly strict, although you don't need to count the calories when applying it. It will work if you don't like meat and don't want to starve yourself. In the United States, this diet is treated not only as a slimming diet, but is also a treatment method that is reimbursed for patients with heart disease.

The Ornish diethas been breaking popularity records overseas for years. Doctor Dean Ornish is a cardiologist known in the United States. He was famous for having cured a group of patients suffering from atherosclerosis through diet, without the use of drugs and complicated surgeries. He created his method of feeding in the 1970s and kept improving it over the next several years. It not only causes weight loss, but also prevents cardiovascular diseases. He described the assumptions of his nutritional program in the book "Eat More, Weigh Less", which was published in Poland in the first half of the 90s. Today, in the United States, apart from Dr. Atkins' diet, Wagi and Zone, one of the most popular ways to lose weight.

Dr. Ornish compatible with metabolism

According to Dr. Ornisha diet depends on three factors:

  • low-fat plant-based diet (vegetarian),
  • moderate physical activity.
  • love and harmony as well as good relationships with others.

All these elements are equally important and guarantee a happy life. And happy, we make better decisions, including what we eat and how we spend our time.

According to Ornish, our metabolism was formed over a dozen thousand years ago, that is at a time when there was little food and when we did not know where our next meal would come from. The body had to store calories (turned into fat) for worse times. Today we have access to food almost all the time, but our bodies have not yet adapted to it. That is why fasting and 1000 calorie diets will not work in the long run. Why? When the number of calories supplied is reduced, metabolism also slows down.The Ornish dietdoes not promise a quick weight loss. You can lose about 5 kg a month.

Plant products as the basis of Dr. Ornisha

The basis of Dr. Ornish's program is plant-based products. The diet islow-fat, rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates. The daily menu is to consist of 10 percent fat, 15 percent protein and as many as 75 carbohydrates (in commonly accepted dietary standards 45-50 percent are carbohydrates, 20-25 percent protein and 30 percent fats). From animal products, Ornish only allows non-fat milk or yoghurt and egg white. Vegetable products: vegetables and fruits, pulses, nuts, grains, you can eat freely.

In Dr. Ornisha has no place for smoking, so the condition of success is to quit the habit

The nutrition program is simple: don't count calories, eat so much until you feel full. However, you only need to eat permitted foods, often and in small portions. Thanks to such a system and a large amount of fiber, you will not feel hungry so often.

Dr. Ornish divided all products into 5 groups. The first group includes the he althiest ones, in the fifth group - those that are best to give up.

Group 1: foods you can eat freely

Products rich in good complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins, fresh, seasonal and regional (long transport reduces their quality):

  • whole grain cereals
  • vegetables
  • legumes
  • fruit (all, no exceptions)
  • egg white
  • zero-fat dairy products

Group 2: foods you can eat in moderation

Products also he althy, but containing more fats:

  • nuts
  • seeds
  • oils (mainly rapeseed oil)
  • avocado
  • canned vegetables
  • dairy products with a fat content of up to 1%
  • decaffeinated drinks

Group 3 - foods you shouldn't eat every day

Products containing refined carbohydrates and oils as well as saturated fatty acids that we do not eat every day:

  • processed carbohydrates
  • moderate amount of sweets
  • dairy products (2%)
  • oils with a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3
  • soft margarines
  • selected fish, incl. tuna, cod, herring, salmon, and seafood

Group 4 - foods you can eat occasionally

  • full-fat dairy products
  • mayonnaise
  • margarine
  • cakes
  • cookies
  • pancakes
  • fish
  • poultry

Group 5 - the least he althy products that you should give up completely

  • egg yolk
  • butter
  • cream
  • fried poultry and fish
  • red meat and offal
  • alcohol

Who is the Ornish diet for

The diet is recommended for people who are overweight or obese, at risk of heart disease, with high cholesterol, hypertension and some cancers, e.g. prostate, breast, lung and colon. Provided, however, that they can do without a ham sandwich, schnitzel for dinner or traditional scrambled eggs (you can only eat protein). It is a completely meatless diet. The use of it can therefore be considered by vegetarians: present and future. The diet will also work for those whose digestion of fats is associated with digestive problems (flatulence). Who shouldn't follow this diet, especially on their own? First of all, children, teenagers, as well as pregnant women, people with anemia, celiac disease, or osteoporosis - the Ornish diet, despite the "eat at will" principle, belongs to restrictive diets, so it is not balanced. It is worth remembering that any major change in nutrition should be consulted with a dietitian or doctor, especially when we are undergoing treatment.


A he althy mind is a he althy body

The cardiologist warns that diet alone is not enough. Physical activity is essential to lose weight and is included in the dr. Ornish a lot. In his opinion, the best results are achieved with cardio exercises - e.g. yoga, Pilates, swimming, cycling, brisk walking. He recommends breathing and relaxing exercises. You need to exercise every day for 30 minutes or an hour 3 times a week.

A very important element of this therapy is taking care of positive emotions. So relax and apply techniques that help reduce stress. That is why Ornish recommends, inter alia, meditation. She also advises to regularly attend support group meetings. According to the doctor, our biggest problem is the feeling of loneliness, lack of closeness and understanding, and hence the short path to mood disorders and depression, and consequently to eating disorders.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dr. Ornisha


  • It is based on fresh, unprocessed or as little processed and local products as possible, without enhancers and preservatives, and these are the he althiest.
  • It's convenient because it doesn't require counting calories.
  • May lower cholesterol (low in fat).
  • It contains a lot of vegetables and fruits, so it provides a lot of vitamins, especially antioxidants, which inhibit the aging processes and support repair processes in the body.
  • It is rich in fiber, therefore it provides a feeling of fullness for a long time and improves digestion.


  • For peoplewho have not followed a vegetarian diet so far, composing meals can be troublesome and expose them to deficiencies of certain ingredients (e.g. vitamin B12, which is a source of animal products. The diet may also lack iron.
  • In people with hypersensitivity, increasing fiber can cause digestive problems. The risk is reduced as you increase the amount of fiber gradually.
  • It contains a lot of fruit, i.e. simple sugars. After a meal, you may feel hungry too quickly and your blood glucose level spikes too quickly. In addition, sugars are stored in the form of adipose tissue, and the secreted insulin blocks glucagon, the hormone responsible for burning fat.
Worth knowing

Who is Dr. Ornish?

Dr. Dean Ornish is a cardiologist known in the United States. He became famous for clinical trials which proved that the application of his program of lifestyle changes inhibits the development of many civilization diseases, including heart disease and prostate cancer; in some cases they can also reverse without medication or surgery.

Ornish also proved that changes in lifestyle also affect genes. He argues that they activate those that stop diseases, and "turn off" others, increasing the likelihood of developing serious diseases. As? Changing our lifestyle can increase the production of an enzyme that extends our telomeres - the ends of the chromosomes that determine how many years we live. As our telomeres get longer, so does our life. He described his nutritional recommendations in a book called "Eat More, Weigh Less".

Sample menu in the diet of Dr. Ornisha:

Breakfast: Cereal with low-fat yogurt, fresh orange juice

2nd breakfast: New potato salad with low-fat kefir dressing and chives

Lunch: Noodles with vegetables

Afternoon tea: forest fruit with skimmed whipped cream

Dinner: Dark bread with tomatoes and capers (2 slices)

Drinks: Water, tea, coffee, skim milk, natural juices without sugar

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