Harmful Effects of the Ornish Diet Essay examples

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Harmful Effects of the Ornish Diet

The Ornish diet, a meal plan that emphasizes the consumption of carbohydrates over fats, is an unsafe plan despite its claims to being a safe and effective way to prevent heart disease1 – a claim only a balanced diet can make. Because the Ornish diet cuts out a large number of foods from a person’s meal, many beneficial nutrients are missing that would normally be in a balanced diet. In addition, recent studies have found that diets containing a larger than recommended amount of carbohydrates may actually increase a person’s chances of developing intestinal and breast cancers2. These findings show that despite any benefits the Ornish diet may provide to the heart, the complications of maintaining a
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Besides the ill effects of vitamin B12 and iron deficiency, a lack of omega-3 fatty acids, while not known to cause any major health problems, may prevent many beneficial effects from taking place. Nutritionists suggest that omega-3 fatty acids can lead to increased cardiovascular health by dilating blood vessels and acting as anti-inflammatory agents3. Omega-3 fatty acids are also believed to have mood regulating properties, and may play a role in combating depression. While proponents of the Ornish diet suggest that taking an array of multivitamins and fish oil supplements can counteract this shortage of nutrients, dieters may forget to take them, or not realize the need to do so. A balanced diet makes all of these additional ingredients unnecessary – all of the essential vitamins would already be contained in such a diet. Without the help of a large number of supplements, the Ornish diet can lead to many nutritional deficiencies and health problems – problems that would not occur in a balanced diet.

In addition to the health problems caused by a lack of nutrients, the Ornish diet may also cause health problems due to its large carbohydrate content. Recent studies in Italy and Mexico have found that meals high in carbohydrates (more than 60% of a person’s daily caloric intake as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration) may be linked to increased rates of intestinal and breast

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