A low-fat, high-fiber diet, the Pritikin diet is part of the “Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise”.
The lifestyle program, created by Nathan Pritikin in 1979, quickly became a best-seller, and the diet was quite popular for a while throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
A Diet And Exercise Regimen
As noted, the Pritikin diet was part of a full diet and exercise plan developed by Nathan Pritikin. Pritikin was an American nutritionist, engineer, and inventor who was diagnosed with heart disease in 1957.
After receiving the diagnosis, Pritikin developed a low-fat diet that was high in carbs like veggies, beans, and whole grains. He also started an aerobic exercise regime and together called the entire plan the Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise.
Pritikin’s diet and exercise program were quite popular for some time, though the diet slowly faded from use after the death of Pritikin and with the rise of other fad diets of the late 20th century.
A Low-Fat Diet
The Protein diet was designed to be high in fiber and low in fat. Those following the diet would have been encouraged to minimize refined sugared, grains, salt, and oils, and to focus on incorporating fruits, low-fat dairy, lean protein, fish, legumes, and vegetables into their meals.
The diet also suggested that users ease stresses in their lives, stop smoking, and exercise regularly. Snack times were to be regulated and only at set periods during the day.
Meals were supposed to start with soup, salad, or whole grains or fruit. This was designed to fill up the stomach, making it less likely for followers to be hungry and want to eat more high-calorie and high-fat foods.
The diet was fairly difficult to modify, with the specific structures of meals and snack times. However, the food eaten could be slightly varied depending on a participant’s food tolerances.
An Unknown Diet Today
Most news about the Pritikin diet faded away after Nathan Pritikin committed suicide in February of 1985. However, more recent news involves the study of whether or not the program is actually beneficial to the human body.
In most cases, these studies done over the last 10 years have shown that the diet is difficult to follow because it ends up being a bit bland and can cause nutrient deficiencies.
A Potentially Misleading Diet
Though the Pritikin diet claims to be based on scientific evidence, researchers have found that it really isn’t effective for weight loss in the long term. Additionally, before starting the diet, it’s important to know exactly where one’s vitamins, minerals, and nutrients will be coming from, with so many foods cut out of the everyday diet.
For this reason, people are encouraged to take multivitamin supplements when on the Pritikin diet.
A Detox For Longevity
Though the Pritikin diet isn’t necessarily considered a great weight loss solution, there were many celebrities who followed the diet for its other potential positive health impacts.
People like James B. Irwin, David Dinkins, and Don Nicholson were a few celebrities and notable names that took part in the Pritikin diet between the 1990s and today.
A Brief Fad Diet
Like so many other fad diets, the Pritikin diet is one that had its shining moment of popularity and has since become something of an underground or lesser-known diet. However, the short-term benefits of the diet are what keep people interested in trying it out!