The Pritikin program was originally published as a diet and fitness plan (around 1979). The book was authored by Nathan Pritikin. Nathan founded the Pritikin Longevity Center in California.
Robert Pritikin carried on the work of his father, publishing the book The Pritikin Weight Loss Breakthrough – advocating a ratio of about 10% fats.
Since Pritikin has published an updated version in 2007 called The New Pritikin Program.
Pritikin Diet Outline
The Pritikin Center advocate a very low fat diet that is high in carbohydrates. A traditional low fat diet is comprised of 20-30% fat. Very low fat diets go much lower than this.
Pritikin doesn’t have a distinct diet plan, but something called the Pritikin Calorie Density Solution.
This involves looking at the combined calorie content of a whole meal. They aim to combine lower calorie content foods such as Pasta, Potatoes, Rice, Fruit, Vegetables, Seafood, and Poultry – with a small amount of fats (which they refer to as “forbidden”).
They make the interesting claim “…eat as much as you want… and you’ll still lose weight safely”.
Pritikin Diet – Is it Good?
Some of the claims made seem simply as sales speak. While it is good to reduce the fat in your diet, it is also easy to gain weight by eating too much processed or refined carbohydrates.
Some diets are only appropriate for certain people. If you are carb sensitive, this diet will not do you any favors, but some of the principles are sound.
Recent research has further debunked “lowfat” type diets and even supports the need for healthy fats in the diet. In general healthy fats should make up at least 25% of your total calorie intake.
The New Pritikin Program retails for $20.95.
There is also an online version of the Pritikin Diet that costs $95 – $395 a year depending on the membership level chosen.
Programs located at the Pritikin Longevity Center cost between $4000-$5,500 a week depending on options chosen.
- Sullivan, S., & Samuel, S. (2006). Effect of Short‐Term Pritikin Diet Therapy on the Metabolic Syndrome. Journal of the cardiometabolic syndrome, 1(5), 308-312. study link
- Rosenthal, M. B., Barnard, R. J., Rose, D. P., Inkeles, S., Hall, J., & Pritikin, N. (1985). Effects of a high-complex-carbohydrate, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet on levels of serum lipids and estradiol. The American journal of medicine, 78(1), 23-27. study link
- Hongu, N., Wise, J. M., & Gallaway, P. J. (2014). Healthy Fats: Tips for Improving the Quality of Fat Intake. link