Pritikin Diet: Basic Principles Plus Foods to Eat

The Pritikin Diet Program is promoted to significantly lower high cholesterol levels, as well as prevent obesity, diabetes, and various cancer types.

pritikin diet ingredients nuts brocolli

The Pritikin Diet is a diet plan that encourages low fat, high fiber and high carb food intake where exercising must be a daily regimen. This food management plan is relatively new and was created by Nathan Pritikin in the 1960s with a strong goal to prevent heart diseases. The food plan only permits less than ten percent of fatty food intake per day. In fact, this diet management program is well-praised for being effective and long-lasting especially when battling realities like obesity. Health scientists and big worldwide organizations highly recommend the plan.


Pritkin Diet

Organizations that endorse the Pritikin Diet include the American Heart Association (AHA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), United States Department of Health and Human Servies, and the United Nations (UN). Over 100 studies have revealed how individuals taking up the Pritikin Program achieve results in only a matter of weeks. The founder, Nathan Pritikin, was passionate about self-treating his own heart disease. He performed plenty of research that later enabled him to develop a low-cholesterol, animal meat-free diet plan which eventually saved him from his heart condition.

Today, the Pritikin Diet Program is promoted to significantly lower high cholesterol levels, as well as prevent obesity, diabetes, and various cancer types. You do not have to take in various supplements for this plan to be effective as it simply encourages wise, fresh food selections and whole foods over foods like fats. Little to no refined grains, sugar, salt, whole fat dairy, as well as processed meats is a rule to adhere to this diet plan. This article sheds light on the basic principles of the diet and the right food and beverages to consume on a daily basis.


Pritikin Diet Food Picks

Complex Carbohydrates

Plenty of carbohydrate intake enables drastic weight gain, but the rules of the Pritikin Diet advises consumption that lean particularly toward complex carbs. The diet instructs a strict daily intake of at least five cups of 1/2-cup complex carb servings. These choices include peas, beans (pinto, garbanzo, black beans), whole grains (oats, whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, quinoa, barley), starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, yam, winter squash), lentils, or legumes. Additionally, it discourages the consumption of refined grain, refined carbs, white rice, and white flour bread.


Vegetables make the stomach healthy and happy. In terms of vegetable consumption, the Pritikin Diet highly encourages you to eat vegetables at five (and more) servings per day. Specifically, one cup comprising both raw and freshes veggies: a cup of raw veggies and 1/2 cup of cooked veggies. Moreover, it’s best to add in leafy, orange, yellow and dark green vegetables to the servings. Canned veggies are discouraged due to the sodium mixed in them.


Fruits are well-known to be promoters for very healthy living and the Pritikin Diet followers are no stranger to this. Dieters of the plan must eat four or more fresh fruit servings every day. All fruit types are encouraged except for an avocado minimization (limited to two ounces) due to their fat. It is also advised to pick whole fruits over fruit juices as these juices contain plenty of sugar. If you do have fruit juice, just once per day is suggested.


Protein is not a staple in the Pritikin Diet compared to other plans. You are only advised to eat a strict 3.5-ounce serving only a day of animal meat like fish, shellshish, seafood, or lean poultry, with the first two being highly preferred. Poulty (skinless) is suggested just once a week and preferably of the grass-fed and free-range kind.

If you have a craving for red meat, you may have it, however, at once a month only. Additionally, when you’re a beginner of this diet program, you are encouraged to first pick a serving of legumes, beans or soy products like tofu instead of animal-based protein. You may also opt to eat two white eggs per day.

Dairy Products

Moo. Dairy products are allowed for this diet, however, only non-fat dairy selections such as yogurt, milk and ricotta cheese are permitted at two servings every day. These servings are chosen for their high calcium content. The recommended serving by diet experts is 1 cup milk (preferably non-fat), ½ cup ricotta cheese (preferably non-fat), and ¾ cup yogurt (preferably non-fat).

If you are lactose intolerant or are strictly vegan or vegetarian, you can opt for soy milk instead of low-fat or non-fat milk per day. Avoid drinking low-fat or whole dairy choices and pick cheese brands low in sodium instead. Additionally, the diet highly discourages the consumption of whole eggs. Egg whites are advised but at one (two at most) per day.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are part of this advantageous, long-term diet program, and healthy nuts and seed choices include cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds at just one ounce per day. Coconuts are discouraged in the Pritikin Diet as they contain lots of fat.


The Pritikin Diet Plan encourages you to pick water and herbal tea as staple liquids. Caffeine is discouraged, but you may take coffee substitutes (preferably the powdered roasted grain kind). One cup of caffeinated coffee or caffeinated tea (up to 3 cups) is allowed in a day.

You may also take two tablespoons of cocoa powder daily and have a cup of caffeinated coffee or three cups of caffeinated tea at strictly eight ounces. For women, they are only allowed up to four alcoholic beverages weekly. Men are allowed seven alcoholic beverages. Wine is highly preferred over other liquor choices such as vodka or gin.


The Takeaway

The Pritikin Diet is a rewarding, long-term diet plan that is well-praised by the health community and highly-rated by its followers. The diet not only reduces weight drastically, but also prevents many killer sicknesses and diseases like obesity hypertension, diabetes, and heart problems. Taking your regular intake of health-promoting foods like omega-3-fatty fish, white poultry, lean and low-saturated protein, tofu, soy products to leafy greens, are choices toward success in the Pritikin Diet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *