The prime aim of the Pritikin diet plan is to prevent and treat heart disease. It's weight losing properties are an addition benefit. The emphasis is on eating less fat and more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
After certain types of food are excluded, there is considerable freedom in the Pritikin Diet plan and portions are not controlled. However, meat and processed foods that create a satisfyingly full feeling, such as pasta and white bread, are banned so hunger may be a problem for some people. Eggs and most types of fats are also eliminated but 'healthy' fats high in omega-3 fatty acids can be eaten in limited amounts.
The Pritikin Diet plan is undeniably healthy but it demands real disciple, especially as dairy products have to be given up as well as meat. This is intended to be a way of life rather than a short eating plan to deal with excess weight.
The man after whom it is named was a Chicago engineer and inventor who became interested in the research conducted by a heart specialist who put 50 heart patients on an eating plan that resembled World War II rationing in Europe. The results looked promising and when he himself developed a heart condition in his early 40s he took it onto the next level by coming a strict vegetarian and incorporating exercise into hi daily routine.
So pleased was he with the outcome, he wrote numerous books on the subject and opened a Longevity Centre in California. The claims that this regime could reverse hardening of the arties - an almost universal condition in the western world lead - lead to an investigation in the mid 1970s by the highly respected American documentary 'Sixty Minutes'. A medical expert involved in the making of the programme was so impressed that he joined forces and opened another clinic.