Wellness Coach Deborah Kesten explains the 10-percent fat diet.
Every food, every food, fruits, veggies, including lettuce for example, has fat in it. It is impossible to eat a non-fat diet, nor would you want to. Lettuce, for example, might have 0.2% calories from fat. All food has varying percentages of fat in it, protein, and cholesterol, including fruits and veggies and grains and beef and chicken; it doesn’t matter.
So when we talk about fat, what that means is, if in the Ornish program, which is what is recommended for reversing heart disease, the Ornish diet specifically, which is one part of a four-part program, we are talking about a no-fat added plant-based diet.
That means, if all food has fat in it, you don’t add any extra fat to the food. If you are a female and you are under-eating, which is typical, and you consume, let’s say, 1400 calories a day of the Ornish diet, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans and peas, you might be taking in one tablespoon, which is 14 grams of naturally occurring fat in the food; that’s 14 grams.
If you are a male, let’s say you double that number of calories a day and it’s 2800 calories. You are overeating somewhat; you are taking in two tablespoons of naturally occurring fat in the food. That is what 10% calories from fat means.
When people in my experience have followed the Ornish diet and they are malnourished, not only because they are not eating enough legumes, they are not eating enough whole grains, they are not taking in enough calories, they are not doing it optimally, they are simply eating plant-based food, but not doing it optimally, not only do they not take in enough fat, now they are down to three percent, four percent. They are not taking in enough vitamins and minerals. So, that’s kind of the key concept with what a ten-percent fat diet means.
About Deborah Kesten, M.P.H.:
Deborah Kesten, M.P.H., is an international nutrition and lifestyle researcher and educator, with a specialty in preventing and reversing obesity and heart disease. She was the nutritionist on Dr. Dean Ornish’s first clinical trial for reversing heart disease through lifestyle changes, and Director of Nutrition on similar research at cardiovascular clinics in Europe. More recently, she has created the pioneering Enlightened Diet, a “whole person” optimal eating and weight loss program, the results of which were published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. With more than 200 published health articles, she is the award-winning author of The Enlightened Diet, Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul and The Healing Secrets of Food, a comprehensive, evidence-based nutrition program about the power of food to heal physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.