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Get With The (Ornish) Program

Get With The (Ornish) Program

Reversing heart disease through diet and lifestyle

If eating your way out of health problems and heart disease sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. Kind of. But with Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease—a lifestyle program and specialized diet—it is possible to slow or reverse heart disease without relying on medication or surgery.

What Is The Ornish Program?

Developed in 1977 by Dr. Dean Ornish, the Ornish Program is a scientifically proven program designed to reverse heart disease and improve quality of life through sustainable and affordable lifestyle changes, such as a plant-based diet and regular exercise. And unlike fad diets that come and go with the seasons, the Ornish Program’s effectiveness has been documented and the results subjected to more than 35 years of peer review.

In that time, the Ornish Program has been proven to:

  • Reduce risk of adverse heart-related events
  • Decrease frequency and severity of chest pain/li>
  • Reduce or eliminate need for medication/li>
  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure/li>
  • Help patients lose weight, exercise more, and live actively/li>

The program has even been credited with helping combat prostate cancer and Type II diabetes.

How Does The Ornish Program Work?

More than just a diet, the Ornish Program is also about adopting sustainable and healthy lifestyle changes that lower stress and increase activity, so that all three aspects work together to enhance general health. As such, meditation practices, yoga exercises and other stress-reduction techniques play an important role, as does encouraging daily exercise and stretching.

But you can’t outrun a bad diet and no amount of lotus pose is going to do it either, so a low-fat, plant-based diet is a key component to the program. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are encouraged, while animal products are restricted, with the exception of egg whites and small amounts of nonfat dairy. Seeds and nuts are limited, but not eliminated, as is caffeine, alcohol, carbs and sugar.

How Do I Get With The Program?

Through Sarasota Memorial, which has been offering the program with great success for nearly a decade.

Although it is possible to adopt the Ornish Program on your own, and there are detailed descriptions of the diet available online, an important aspect of the Onish Program, as a whole, is the support system and accountability provided by the group.

At Sarasota Memorial, the cornerstone of the Ornish Program is a nine-week course held in small sessions, where participants learn from the experts about proper nutrition and effective exercise, practice stress reduction, get tips on meal preparation, and develop a social support system of fellow Ornish Program attendees. This support system becomes even more important when the nine-week course ends and participants need some external accountability to help keep them on track.

Because while the Ornish Program can work wonders for heart health, it all hinges on a legitimate lifestyle change. Potentially a lifesaving one.

Get Started Today

To learn more about the Ornish Program at Sarasota Memorial click here. To speak with one of Sarasota Memorial’s certified Ornish Program specialists, call (941) 917-6139.

For general information about the Ornish diet and program, visit Copywriter, Phil Lederer

Written by Sarasota Memorial copywriter Philip Lederer, MA, who crafts a variety of external communications for the healthcare system. SMH’s in-house wordsmith, Lederer earned his Master’s degree in Public Administration and Political Philosophy from Morehead State University, KY, and needs to stop eating a whole box of donuts in one sitting.

Posted: Feb 13, 2024,
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