The Pritikin Lifestyle – Eliminating High Blood Pressure
Written by Eli Ben-YehudaOn February 4, 2024
There are so many diets advertised that promise amazing results with no effort. I want to tell you an important truth and it goes far beyond dieting, it affects your whole life. “No Effort Equals No Results”. Any diet that requires nothing from you is not based on science.
It is based on somebody finding a way to make money. So I want to start looking at some different programs that are considered healthy. “The “Cabbage Soup Diet” will not be among them.
The criteria that I will be considering is the effectiveness supported by science. Also, that does not cause harm to the delicate system inside the human body.
Some diets do provide dramatic results, but some can overtax the delicate balance as well. So we will avoid discussing these. In the end, it is up to you the reader to decide what to do.
This information is here to educate you on what is out there. But of course, there are more than the four I will be considering.
The Pritikin Diet
I believe if I am going to write about something I need to own and read the book first. So I did. The Pritikin Diet and Exercise program, which hit the best-seller list in 1979, is the granddaddy of diet books.
The idea behind the Pritikin Diet is that eating low-fat, high-fiber foods and getting regular exercise can stave off or even reverse heart disease. It can also help people stay at a healthy weight. These thoughts were considered downright shocking. Now, those ideas are considered standard.
Today, no other diet-and-exercise program has been more highly praised by the scientific community. More than 100 studies in top medical journals have found that people who adopt the Pritikin Diet achieve dramatic results in just a few weeks, with more benefits long-term.
The World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have determined the same thing.
They all determined that the healthiest, most effective diet for fighting the obesity epidemic and building long-term health is a diet that closely mirrors the Pritikin Diet.
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The Pritikin Story
According to Nathan Pritikin”, “All I’m trying to do is wipe out heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.” That would be a miracle for anyone to complete, being as these three diseases are the three major killers of Americans.
Nathan Pritikin had a passion for both research and a desire to cure himself of his heart disease. He developed a low-fat, low-cholesterol, high-carbohydrate diet, which he credits for saving his life.
Pritikin’s cholesterol fell below the safe 150 mg/dL to approximately 100 mg/dL. This happened, after eliminating all animal products from his diet
His research led him to the conclusion that most illnesses seen in older patients were not due to the natural inevitable consequence of aging, but due to diets. Diets rich in saturated fats and animal products.
His desire was to not only treat his own heart disease but also to eradicate typical Western illnesses caused by the rich Western diet.
Michael Greger M.D shares the story of his grandmother, who inspired him to go into medicine:
What Does The Pritikin Diet Entail?
There is nothing extreme about the Pritikin Diet except that it is extremely healthy. In more than 100 studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals, the Pritikin Diet and Exercise program has been found highly effective.
Not only does the regime promote weight loss, but it also prevents and control many of the world’s leading killers, including diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
The plan includes “Go Foods”, “Caution Foods”, and “Stop Foods”.
These foods are the ones recommended to improve your overall health, help you lose weight and reverse disease processes. Such foods such as:
- Whole Grains like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and oatmeal
- Starchy Vegetables like potatoes, corn, and yams
- Legumes such as beans (like black beans, pinto beans, and garbanzo beans); peas; and lentils
- Lean Calcium-Rich Foods such as nonfat dairy milk, nonfat yogurt, and fortified soymilk
- Fish (a rich source of omega-3-fatty acids)
- Lean Sources of Protein (very low in saturated fat) such as skinless white poultry; lean red meat like bison and venison
- Also plant sources of protein, such as legumes and soy-based foods like tofu and edamame (soybeans).
“CAUTION” foods on the Pritikin Diet are those that have been proven to increase the risk of obesity and/or multiple health concerns. These include high blood cholesterol, high blood sugar, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and some cancers.
Such foods and condiments as:
- Refined Sweeteners such as corn syrup, and honey
- Refined Grains such as white bread, white pasta, and white rice
“STOP” foods on the Pritikin Diet are those that have been proven to substantially increase the risk of obesity and/or multiple health concerns. Including high blood cholesterol, high blood sugar, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and some cancers.
Such foods as:
- Saturated-Fat-Rich Foods such as butter; tropical oils like coconut oil, fatty meats; and dairy foods like cheese, cream, and whole/low-fat milk
- Organ Meats
- Processed Meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and bologna
- Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils
- Cholesterol rich foods like egg yolks
Exercise For Weight Loss
Weight loss does not happen overnight. It takes a great deal of dedication to lose weight, usually by changing eating habits and exercising regularly.
This two-step approach to weight loss may not produce the miraculous effects found in a “magic pill,” but it does guarantee long-lasting results.
The dietary changes restrict calorie intake while exercising boosts the body’s metabolic rate.
When used in combination, a calorie-burning effect occurs that leads to weight loss. In general, every exercise routine burns calories; however, aerobic exercises tend to produce the best results.
Aerobic Exercise Trumps Resistance Training for Weight and Fat Loss: According to Duke researchers, aerobic exercise trumps resistance training for weight and fat loss.
Exercise to Lose Weight
WebMD defends aerobic exercise as the outlet for achieved fat loss.
Exercise and Activity for Weight Loss: MedlinePlus shares basic exercises and activities that anyone can do around the house to promote weight loss.
Popular Swimming Pool Workouts
Follow these swimming pool workouts to burn calories and lose weight.
Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour: The Mayo Clinic shares a chart with calorie-burning exercises that will help shred the fat in under an hour.
Pros and Cons to Consider
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Pritikin Principle Diet, as with any diet, has both pros and cons that you should take into consideration. Here are a few of the most common pros and cons that you may want to think about before you decide this is the right diet for you.
- Pro #1 – Focuses on Healthy Eating – One of the key pros of the Pritikin Principle Diet is that it really focuses on healthy eating. The foods allowed in the diet are foods that are full of great vitamins and minerals. So you really get the important nutrients that help to keep your body healthy. Also, the foods that you eat make you feel full as well, which means you don’t constantly have to deal with cravings.
- Pro #2 – Allows a Variety of Foods – There are a variety of different foods that you are allowed to eat as well. This makes it a better diet than some diets that are extremely restrictive. When you have a variety of foods to eat, you are less likely to get bored.
- Pro #3 – Starch is Allowed in Moderation – While there are some diets that totally get rid of carbs, this diet allows you to have some carbs as long as it is done in moderation. This is a healthier choice than just totally getting rid of the carbohydrates in your diet.
- Pro #4 – Doesn’t Go Crazy with Excessive Calorie Counting – You really don’t have to stress about excessively having to count the calories that you eat. It can be a pain to count every calorie, but with this diet, you’ll know that the foods you are eating are low calorie.
- Con #1 – Large Amounts of High Fibre Foods – One of the main cons to this diet is that you eat many foods that are high in fiber. This helps to make you feel full and improve the way the digestive system works. However, over time this can cause swelling and bloating and you may not be able to eat enough in one meal to feel satisfied.
- Con #2 – No Cheat Days Available – Many people find that the fact there are no cheat days to this diet to be a huge con. So, some people may find that this diet is really hard to stick to all the time since they don’t get some of their favorite foods.
- Con #3 – Not Enough Healthy Fats – This is a diet that is low in fat, and it can be a con since you may not be getting the healthy fats that your body really does need to be healthy.
Who Would Benefit From This Program?
This diet is one that is a great fit for those who want to change their entire eating habits to lose some weight over time slowly. Also, those who want to start using vegetarian principles in their diet will find that this is a great diet to check out as well.
Instead of just being a diet, it focuses on becoming an entire lifestyle, so it is great for people who want an entire change of life. However, those who love their meats and sweets from time to time may not find this diet to be the right fit.
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