An Ornish/Esselstyn diet consists of whole, unrefined, unprocessed plant-based
foods, i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, soy, and legumes. The simplest
description of a healthful ULF diet is “Beans and greens.” Esselstyn’s advice is to
not eat “anything with a face or a mother.”

An Ornish/Esselstyn diet recommends:

• No oils, saturated or trans fats, limit fat intake to 10-15% of total calories
• No refined grains or refined grain products, e.g., white bread, white rice
• Minimal non-fat dairy or no dairy
• No nuts (although there is substantial evidence that nut consumption supports
CV health)
• Minimal added sugars; especially avoid added sugars in the form of sodas
and juices348
• Limiting sodium to 1,500 mg per day
• No processed foods—typically, they are high in added fat, sugar, and salt349
• No meat and (for some diets) no seafood
• No or limited alcohol

The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine advocates a very-low-fat
vegetarian diet based on fruits, grains, legumes, and vegetables. The food guidance
below is reproduced from their publication Healthy Eating for Life: Food Choices
for Cancer Prevention and Survival.

• Vegetables (4 or more servings a day), Serving size: 1 cup raw vegetables; 1/2
cup cooked vegetables
• Whole Grains (5 or more servings a day), Serving size: 1/2 cup hot cereal;
1 ounce dry cereal; 1 slice bread
• Fruit (3 or more servings a day), Serving size: 1 medium piece of fruit; 1/2
cup cooked fruit; 4 ounces juice
• Legumes (2 or more servings a day), including beans, peas, and lentils. This
group also includes chickpeas, baked and refried beans, soymilk, tempeh,
and texturized vegetable protein. Serving size: 1/2 cup cooked beans; 4 ounces
tofu or tempeh 8 ounces soymilk
• A good source of vitamin B-12, such as fortified foods or vitamin

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.