As we plan ways to surprise our loved ones with gifts of gratitude and appreciation this Valentine’s Day, it is important not to forget about the most important Valentine of them all: our own hearts. Show your heart love this Valentine’s Day with the Ornish Diet!

The Ornish Diet is the perfect Valentine’s present gift for your heart.  The benefits of this diet go beyond weight loss. It aims to prevent or reverse diabetes and heart disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent and treat prostate or breast cancer. It is scientifically proven to make you “feel better, live longer, lose weight, and gain health.”

The book The Spectrum (2007) by Ornish Diet Founder Dean Ornish, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Insittute in Sausalito, describes the necessary nutrition, exercise, stress management, and emotional support options for your desired health goals.

Ornish believes that food can be organized into five groups, Group 1 being the most beneficial to your health and Group 5 being the most detrimental. For example, high-fiber, whole grain bread may be in Group 1 or 2 where as a white flour, high fat biscuit would be in Group 4 or 5.

Before beginning the low-fat diet, try to categorize the foods you normally consume on a daily basis into the five groups. Note of the amount of food you to put into each category and when and how much of it was consumed to identify your healthy and unhealthy habits. Predictably, the majority of your diet choices should fall under Groups 1 and 2 on the Ornish diet.

The diet allows you to create your own exercise regimen that includes aerobic activities, resistance training, and stretches when it is most convenient for you. Stress management is also a major factor in the diet. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and time with family and friends are all advocated for optimal results.


-Emily Freeman

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