Pritikin Diet: The Healthiest Diet Ever?

Low fat, lots of fresh ingredients, a low-calorie density of food: The Pritikin diet sounds very healthy. In fact, this diet can not only help you lose weight but also improve your health – but in the long run, it has its dangers.

When it comes to nutrition, trends are constantly changing. Many diets, like the Keto Diet, are certainly familiar to you. But have you ever heard of the Pritikin Diet?
This one is a low-fat diet based on vegetables, grains, and fruits. It was originally designed by Nathan Pritikin, us nutritionist, to reduce the risk of heart disease. His son later revised the concept.

The idea: foods with low-calorie density

The Pritikin diet focuses on plant-based, low-fat foods as staples. However, calorie density plays an important role.

Any food that is low in calories but still high in fiber and water – such as vegetables, fruits, beans, and natural, unprocessed grains – is suitable.

With the Pritikin diet, you don’t count calories directly, but pay more attention to the composition of your food: the basis of the meals is made up of filling foods that are low in calories – but rich in nutrients.

As with any healthy lifestyle, plenty of exercises is of course also important – extensive walks are recommended.

Allowed foods in the Pritikin diet

If you follow the Pritikin diet, you should eat three large meals a day and two additional snacks.

  • One to two servings of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, legumes, or starchy vegetables. So, brown rice, barley, oats, quinoa, whole grain bread or pasta, squash, and potatoes end up on your plate.
  • Five portions of fresh vegetables daily, ideally dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Four servings of fruit per day. Any type of fresh fruit such as apples, pears, strawberries, and bananas is allowed. You should only eat avocados in moderation because of their high-fat content. The same applies to high-calorie fruit juices.
  • In the Pritikin diet, only fat-free dairy products such as low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt are allowed. Intake should be limited to two servings per day. Vegans can also use low-fat soy milk, oat drink, or unsweetened almond drink.
  • Also allowed are small portions of lean beef or chicken. Fish, on the other hand, can be eaten three times a week. Ideally, salmon or another fatty sea fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Even artificial sweeteners are okay. Fried or salty foods, dressings with fat and fatty sauces, on the other hand, should be avoided.

For weight loss success perseverance is announced

Unlike the Mediterranean diet, the Pritikin diet uses very few fats.

Usually, a very low-fat diet makes you feel hungry. “Since fat is satiating, you may feel hungry more often on this diet,” clinical nutrition manager, Dr. Teryl L. Tanaka, tells the portal ‘’

However, since the foods in the Pritikin plan are very high in fiber, they can still satiate you well. Still, it might be difficult to follow this diet for a long period of time.

“It’s difficult to maintain such a low-fat content. Especially if you eat out a lot. It also takes a little more time to prepare delicious, low-fat food,” he explains.

To achieve lasting positive results, you’ll need to change your eating habits for a very long period of time – but that’s true of any diet.

Studies prove: The Pritikin diet is healthy

Once you get used to the dietary changes, you can achieve a lot of health benefits. The Pritikin program is not only suitable for reducing body fat.

Several studies prove its positive effects:

An analysis of about 4,500 subjects at the Pritikin Longevity Center over three weeks showed an average 23 percent drop in bad LDL cholesterol.

Within two to three weeks, markers of chronic inflammation also decreased, and insulin levels in the men were reduced by 46 percent.

Metabolic syndrome, which carries a high risk of diabetes and heart disease, was also no longer detected in 60 percent of men. With children even to 100 percent.

Other scientifically proven effects of the Pritikin program include a lower risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure to normal levels, and reduced risk of breast and prostate cancer.

Conclusion about the Pritikin diet

Fit employee Elina is an ecotrophologist and finds the Pritikin diet too one-sided: “Losing weight with carbohydrates – that’s what the Pritikin diet promises. And lets each Pastaliebhaber air jumps make. Indeed: The Diät is simple to convert, satiates, and promises many health advantages – clear, with priority also vegetables and fruit stand on the menu. In the long run, however, fats are missing from the diet.

Olives, avocados, and nuts: Even though these foods contain fat, we should not demonize the supposed fat bombs. Unsaturated fatty acids are essential for our health, have an anti-inflammatory effect, and have a positive influence on our hormones.

In addition, these fats help to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as other nutrients. You can eat as many vegetables as you want – without fat, it doesn’t make as much sense. And, let’s face it: life without hummus or almond paste? No thanks!”

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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