Ornish Diet: Doctor breaks down program targeted at reversing heart disease

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s the diet that’s been ranked number one for heart health by U.S. News and World Report.

The Ornish Diet has become known all over the country.

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Creator of the Ornish Diet Dr. Dean Ornish visited Wilmington to explain his program and the studies that support it over the last several decades.

Ornish explains, his program targets reversing heart disease through what he calls simple lifestyle changes.

Instead of taking pills for heart ailments, Ornish has found results through changing diet, exercising more and managing stress.



Ornish says his program has been used by New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Intensive Cardiac Rehab for around two years now.

“People say, ‘Oh, diet and lifestyle, that’s kind of boring. How powerful could that be?’ Well, pretty doggone powerful,” Ornish said. “We actually have several patients who have such bad heart disease, that they were told they needed a heart transplant. They went through our program as an alternative to that and got so much better in nine weeks that they didn’t need a heart transplant.”

Ornish spoke to dozens of health professionals at a conference Thursday, sharing the studies he has done over the last several decades. He says NHRMC is the only hospital in the Cape Fear region that uses his program with its patients.