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The Pritikin Diet was created by Nathan Pritikin and enhanced by his son Robert Pritikin. It is a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet. (cf. Atkins diet) The Pritikin Diet holds that human instinct developed to favor foods containing fat. This instinct was salutary in pre-agricultural civilization because opportunities to eat were far more rare, and since fat is more nutrient-dense than other sources of food, its presence in the diet and as stored adipose tissue aided survival in periods of food scarcity. The Pritikin theory maintains that in the modern era, now Pritkin Diet Pritkin Diet  

that food is readily available and abundant, this preferential instinct for fatpredisposes man to overconsumption, leading to unhealthy weight gain, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and other diseases. The goal of the Pritikin Diet is a reorientation of the diet toward high-fiber, unprocessed carbohydrates and low-fat protein sources, in addition to a significantly reduced fat intake and regular daily exercise. The intended outcome of the Pritikin Diet is improved overall health, a reduction in the risk factors for dietary related diseases, and the leaner physique of our ancestors.

The practice of the Pritikin Diet holds that in order to feel satisfied and stop eating, a human being needs to consume enough food, of any sort, until he has ingested a certain amount of bulk, that is, physical weight. Fat, as a food source, is not unhealthy in itself; it is necessary to good health. Fat contains more calories per pound, however, than carbohydrates, and therefore eating fat is essentially choosing more calories for the same amount of "fullness" according to Pritikin's hunger satisfaction theory. The result: a given quantity of fat adds more calories for the same amount of fullness provided by an equal weight of food from other sources.

The stomach and the body, according to Dr. Pritikin's theory, do not "know" whether the bulk ingested consists of fat or anything else. The body knows only whether it has obtained sufficient bulk to feel sated. Hence the Pritikin principle advocates a low-density, high-bulk diet. This means a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, lean meats and fish, and plenty of nonsoluble fiber, all of which generally promote good health. Processed, high-fat foods, on the other hand, should be avoided--not simply because they have additives and artificial ingredients--but rather because they are low-bulk and high-calorie.

The Pritikin Diet was most popular in the 1970s and is less so today. The Pritikin Diet calls for balanced meals with foods of recognized nutritional value: fresh vegetables, fruit, and above all fiber--which reduces the risks of colon cancer and helps the body remove cholesterol.



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