Heart Protective Diets

The late Nathan Pritikin, M.D. advocated a diet very high in carbohydrates and with his son Robert Pritikin, created The Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise.

A diet that included 30 minutes a day of exercise.

A diet based on unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes (beans ) whole grains (brown rice), starchy vegetables (potatoes), lean meat, and seafood.

The goal of this approach is to lower dietary fat consumption, which they reduce to a scant 10 percent of calories inorder to lower the risk of obesity and heart disease.

Their guidelines also restrict the amount of protein consumed to 15% of total calories.

According to them, extreme high carbohydrate regimens drastically reduce plasma lipids.

This, they believe is, a significant advantage to individuals at risk for heart disease.

According to them, low fat diets improve the lipid profile of an unhealthy dieter based on their very restrictive eating pattern.

Dr. Dean Ornish developed a program that goes even further than Dr. Pritkin's program.

Ornish advocates that only 5-10% of calories should be derived from fat and 10% from protein.

In his book, Eat More, Weigh Less Dr. Ornish offers, according to him, a spiritual and authoritarian approach to achieving a healthy heart.  

Dieters on his plan increase their carbohydrate intake as a consequence of reducing fat intake, not by willfully increasing complex carbohydrate consumption.


Ornish’s Spartan theory od dieting removes all oils from the diet.

Ornish rejects olives and its oil as well as all fatty acids.

Ornish refuses to appreciate the importance of gustatory pleasures nor the usefulness of foods that contain fat.

Ornish’s followers have developed a cult-like devotion to ant-fat principals and believe that along with meditation and moderate exercise they can reverse coronary heart disease.

This diet, according to its adherents, is useful for adults who smoke, have high cholesterol levels or suffer from diabetes.

On the other hand, it offers no benefit to already healthy individuals and its restrictive obsession with fat, removes many of the pleasures of eating.