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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Diet and Fitness Pritikin Diet

Pritikin Diet

Pritikin diet is a very low fat vegetarian diet which includes whole grains, fruits and vegeatables that results in improved cardiovascular health and weight loss.




The Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise was created by Nathan Pritikin. He has called the diet as Mankind’s Original Meal Plan as it includes only natural or minimally processed foods. Pritikin diet is low in fat and high in dietary fiber. It is low in protein content as well. The diet plan is very helpful to individuals with diabetes, obesity and cardiac ailments.


The principle is to fill the stomach with foods(fiber rich foods) which are healthy and low in caloric value. It can include fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Exercise and walking are highly recommended along with the diet.

Preferred foods

  • Brown rice
  • Millet
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • A wide assortment of dark green lettuces
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Beans (black turtle beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima and pinto beans)
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas


Some processed whole-grain foods like oatmeal are permitted. Even white-flour pasta is okay, as long as it is combined with vegetables to bring down the caloric density of the whole meal.

Other guidelines: Small portions of leen beef, chicken, fish and low-fat diary products are allowed.

Should have 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. Salt rich foods need to be avoided.


  • Low fat with plenty of fruits and vegetables, with no restriction in quantity of foods.
  • Good for heart health


  • Low fat diets may not promote satiety and can lead to overeating.
  • Practically not possible for majority of people to adhere to the foods prescribed.
  • Inconvenient for people who eat out.
  • Fiber rich diet produces lot of gas and can lead to bloatin


Several studies have been published since 1975, scientists at UCLA(University of California, Los Angeles) and other research institutions have found that Pritikin Program is effective in preventing the major diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. The Pritikin Program has been documented to improve cholesterol profiles better than cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins, and has also been found to normalize blood pressure.

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