What You'll Eat
There’s no one Ornish diet—the latest version is called the Ornish Spectrum diet for a reason—but the most healthful variations involve lots of complex, fiber-loaded carbs (think fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains) and little fat, especially the saturated kind, which raises cholesterol and your risk for heart disease. Even though foods are categorized into five groups from most to least healthful, nothing is technically off-limits—how you build your menu is up to you.
However, if you’re on the plan geared toward reversing heart disease—the one for which Ornish is best known—you won’t have nearly as many options. It severely restricts total and saturated fat. Most foods containing cholesterol or refined carbs, oils, excessive caffeine, and nearly all animal products besides egg whites and one cup per day of nonfat milk or yogurt are banned. Fiber and complex carbs are the kings on this regimen.
Ornish’s website and line of books serve up quite a few recipes, but you also can’t go wrong combing through reputable low-fat, heart-healthy sources.
Last updated by Kurtis Hiatt | December 12, 2013