Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” How true is that? In the hustle bustle of life we forget to take care of our body. And the toll our body pays for it is being prone to heart diseases, cholesterol issues, and blood pressure problems. Hell, even obesity features on this list.

However, there is a list of diets that nutritionists have been pushing for these days to keep you healthy and fit. The one that is on the top of the radar is the Pritikin diet.

What is the Pritikin diet?  

Devised in the 70s by American nutritionist Nathan Pritikin, this diet was lost in the pages of history until recently it made a comeback in the US. Said to improve your heart health, the diet focuses on consumption of unprocessed food groups that offer low fat, low protein, and a good quantity of complex carbohydrates.

So what would you eat in the Pritikin diet?

The diet focuses on unprocessed foods—fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds—and discourages processed foods such as meat, processed carbs, and high-fat dairy products.

The Pritikin diet plan contains four to five servings of complex carbs, which works out to be about 40 grams per serving. Whole grains like whole wheat, oats, wholewheat pasta, and brown rice can fulfill this requirement. Low-fat diary products like fat-free yoghurt, low-fat milk, etc also make the bill.

On the Pritikin diet, you can eat oats, low-fat yogurt, fruit and veggies


Dieters can stick with very little protein, around 100 grams that too only lean cuts, seafood, or egg whites. Instead soya products like tofu and milk, and legumes are preferred over animal protein.

Of course, high-calorie foods like dried fruits, processed cereals, processed carbs like breads, processed forms of non-vegetarian foods, and high-fat dairy are out.

Is it sustainable and help weight loss?

There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are quite filling. One has to keep the calorie content in mind while filing the diet. The Pritikin diet will help in weight loss if calories are kept low and you ensure that there are no long gaps between meals. One needs to take three main meals and two mid meals.

Does the Pritikin diet have any side effects?

Experts warn that it’s not a balanced diet since the diet came in the picture in the 70s where fear of fat for overall health and other heart diseases was very common. Also lack of protein in the diet is a major concern too. Muscle building, strength, and stamina building are the most important functions of protein. Hence someone following the diet for long will feel lack of strength, stamina, agility alertness, and mobility even though it will help in losing a considerable amount of weight.

Inputs by nutritionist Neha Arora and Diksha Chhabra