The Nation's Health + [Nutrition]

Diabetes: Want to see someone turn diabetic?

If you want to witness the transformation of someone into a pre-diabetic or diabetic, put them on a low fat diet.

Dr. Dean Ornish's program, detailed in his books, Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversal of Heart Disease and Eat More, Weigh Less , are woefully outdated in 2006. Yet the low fat notion continues to show up in the consciousness of people I talk to about heart disease reversal.

"I'm already on a low fat diet. Do you think my heart scan score has reversed?"

Highly unlikely. What Dr. Ornish (as a non-cardiologist, by the way) failed to recognize is that what he did manage to reverse in a small number of people is something called "endothelial dysfunction", but he did not reverse or shrink coronary plaque.

Given the limitations of technology when the Ornish concept got its start, it appeared as if reversal was obtained. In reality, all his approach accomplished was a relaxation in tone of abnormally constricted arteries, thus giving the appearance of reversal. Increased artery tone, or endothelial dysfunction, is extremely common when atherosclerotic plaque is present.

Any cardiologist will tell you that there are many ways to reverse endothelial dysfunction: exercise, weight loss, cholesterol drugs, drugs for high blood pressure, fish oil, hormonal therapy, vitamin C, l-arginine, etc. There is nothing special about a low fat diet.

In fact, Track Your Plaque followers will recognize that a low fat diet is, in fact, potentially harmful, particularly when low HDL or small LDL is part of your pattern.

Let's bury the outdated ideas of the Ornish low fat diet once and for all. It doesn't work. All it may do is confuse you and set you back from your real coronary plaque reversal program.