Q:

How do you eat well according to the Dean Ornish diet?

A:

Quick Answer

Dean Ornish promotes a "spectrum" of food choices divided into groups numbered 1 through 5. Foods in groups 1 through 3 tend to be more healthy foods, while foods in groups 4 and 5 tend to be less healthy.

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Full Answer

The Dean Ornish diet is easily tailored to specific goals. Eating well according to the diet varies based upon those goals. Groups 1 through 3 in the spectrum are considered the most healthful foods and emphasize eating fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates and simple proteins. Organic, fresh vegetables and fruit are preferred, though canned and dried are also acceptable. Organic is a preference within the diet for all foods.

Groups 4 and 5 are listed as the lesser choices in terms of health and are foods it suggests consuming less often. These groups consist of products high in fat content. Bacon, mayonnaise, fried foods and dairy products that are full fat are examples of foods to avoid in high quantities. If the aim is heart health or weight loss, these are all foods that would not fit "eating well."

Less stringent diets can be followed within the spectrum if the goal is simply to eat healthier. The Dean Ornish diet allows for indulgences that vary depending on the reason the diet is being followed. It points out that foods from the first three groups can be made unhealthy through over eating or poor quality ingredients, and that groups 4 and 5 can be made more healthy through choice of ingredients.

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