The Pritikin Principle Diet was created by Nathan Pritikin. According to his story, he traveled around the world to different cultures in which heart conditions were not so prevalent to gather his findings. This was supposedly sparked by his personal suffering from a heart attack when he was in his 40’s. He claims that by following a diet that is low in fat and protein, while high in fiber, people will not face such risks of heart disease.
The Pritikin Principle Starter Pack is sold for $349.95 at a “special” price when supposedly the regular price is $100 dollars more. This package consists of one 30 minute over the phone consultation, one week of frozen meals, a one-year online Pritikin membership, and a book. To put this into perspective, by simply following this frozen dinner meal plan and reading a book within a week you are not going to see the results you were hoping for. Therefore, $350 dollars is an extremely steep price for far from guaranteed results. After a week, you will then only have access to your online membership. Once a member you have access to recipes, purchasing weeklong meal plans at a price of $225, a weight loss tracker, and a patient portal. What makes this diet program anywhere worth that expensive price?
This original diet was created a while back, around the year 1970. Since then, Nathan’s son has taken over and the diet has been altered. Although this diet was originally created in hopes of lowering chances of disease, it now claims to aid in weight loss. As time has passed and there have been numerous other studies on nutrition and how our body functions, this diet gets a rap for being old news and some of the original findings do not comply with the findings about healthy diets today.
Pritikin Principle Claims
Adapting to a lifestyle of eating foods that are low in fat and protein, while high in fiber can be quite a challenge. Not only to break habits, but on our energy levels as well. Now that the Pritikin Principle has loosened the reigns and allows nuts and seeds, the task is not as immense but still very difficult. So what makes it worth it?
The Pritikin Principle claims to be one of the healthiest diets on the market. It is more so geared towards alleviating and preventing disease rather than the weight loss factor. When Nathan Pritikin originally created this diet, he claims his intentions were as follows.
“All I’m to do is wipe out heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity” – (Nathan Pritikin, Founder).
In developing this program what he intended to achieve, in turn is what the claims hold for those participating in the Pritikin Principle Diet. Specifically, claims include; reducing triglycerides, reducing bad cholesterol, chronic inflammation, weight loss, etc. Although this is what the goal may have been, in doing some further research it does not seem as though these claims are really met in this program.
Does Pritikin Principle Have Scientific Backing?
Following the several claims made, there is indeed some extent of scientific backing for each of these claims. This Pritikin Principle Diet has been featured in multiple medical journals and studied by many recognized research institutions. Some of these institutions include UCLA, Harvard, and Stanford.
As part of the research, I found that some of the guidelines that this diet sets are actually faulty. For example, what we know about the importance of the proper fat in our diets from several studies that have been conducted in recent years. Nowadays, the “good fats” such as fatty omega 3’s found in salmon, and fats from avocados and nuts, are critical for proper brain function or feeling full for a sufficient period of time. Therefore the Pritikin Principle Diet that calls for a low fat diet is actually not the best for you.
Is Pritikin Principle Effective?
The Pritikin Principle Diet has extended from a published book, into a diet program with frozen meals and online membership, and later into a full fledge center. The Pritikin longevity center claims to be a location in which you can enroll and stay at for a period of time and that is where they guarantee the most results. However, if you do not have the time or money to enroll in a full on stay at a diet location, the at home program is your only option. If you are thinking that reading a book within a week and eating the frozen meals they send you with this program is enough to reach the results that they claim, you may want to reconsider. What if you have any allergies to the only food options they send you? What if you don’t see any significant changes in the first week and are forced to spend another $225 to get the meal plan for the next week? There are hardly any testimonials shown on the website, but in their defense they do provide scientific proof which does not make me automatically count out the effectiveness.
What are Pritikin Principle Side Effects?
As science has improved over the years, since the original Pritikin Principle Diet was developed there are definite some faults with the strict diet. As far as eating healthy and exercise, if everything is done in proper balance, there should be minimal side effects.
The issue lies with the lack of fats and protein that the diet calls for. With slight changes to the guidelines in recent years, there is more animal protein and fat allowed in the plan, but still needs to be reconsidered. The original diet excluded most fats and this can have a negative side effect on our brain functions and mental conditions such as depression. In today’s day and age there have been several discoveries made regarding the benefits of animal protein, general protein, and “good fats”. By limiting the intake of such nutrients our bodies may suffer the side effects rather than reap the benefits.
Pritikin Principle Support
The Pritikin Principle Diet is originally distributed in the form of a book. It takes a lot of self-discipline to achieve the benefits and follow the diet properly. The Pritikin Principle offers a newsletter, email form for inquiries, and phone number (888) 254-1462. These forms of support (besides the newsletter) are all geared towards making a reservation for a stay at their facility or inquiries regarding the in-house rehabilitation programs. However, they do not specify any one on one support for the at home program or membership besides the initial 30 minute consultation upon signing up. This leaves the consumer primarily on their own if one is not interested in going through with the full on overnight stay. That being said, there is also not any Money-Back Guarantee mentioned on the website.
The Pritikin Principle Diet was originally developed in the 70’s in the form of a book and has evolved into an at home weeklong program, online membership, or overnight stay program. Ultimately, this diet is very involved and far more complex than just following the steps to make some changes and achieve optimal health and weight loss. Although there is a large amount of scientific backing for this diet, it is research that can be done on your own and may not necessarily require the full on $350 weeklong program or stay at the Pritikin facility that they promote. If you are looking to lose weight, keep it off, and start a new lifestyle I would suggest that you save the money and find a program that will no doubt give you what you are looking to achieve.
- “Articles by CategorySuccess Stories.” Pritikin Weight Loss Resort. Web.
- “Pritikin Diet Revisited.” Body Soul. Web.
- “Scientifically Proven Results.” Pritikin Weight Loss Resort. Web.
- “What Foods Are Allowed When Starting the Pritikin Diet?” Live Healthy. Web.
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