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“Ornish Diet” Named “Best Heart-Healthy Diet” by U.S. News & World Report for Sixth Year in a Row - Archived


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“Ornish Diet” Named “Best Heart-Healthy Diet” by U.S. News & World Report Sixth Year in a Row

Nashville, Tenn. – (January 25, 2016) –U.S. News & World Report has awarded the Ornish Diet the No. 1 ranking for the Best Heart-Healthy Diet for the sixth year in a row, every year since the Best Diets rankings began. In addition to the No. 1 heart healthy diet ranking, the Ornish diet ranked fourth for Best Diabetes Diet and 11th for Best Diets Overall and Best Diets for Healthy Eating.

KentuckyOne Health launched the Ornish Reversal Program in Lexington in October, following a Louisville launch in July, becoming the first and only provider in the state providing the program. Patients in the first class showed impressive results. Weight loss averaged 7.5 pounds, three patients lowered their blood pressure medication, and one patient who had diabetes came off his insulin and another is discussing coming off cholesterol medication after 25 years.

“The Ornish Reversal Program is a concept built on evidence-based medicine,” said Alice Bridges, vice president of healthy communities for KentuckyOne Health. “It’s been amazing to see the interest we’ve had in the program from people across the state. So much so that even we’ve been surprised by it. I think we’re at a tipping point culturally where there is more openness to this kind of lifestyle change.”

The Ornish Reversal Program, supported by nearly 40 years of rigorous clinical studies by Dr. Ornish and colleagues, addresses the root causes of heart disease by using lifestyle changes as a less invasive and more effective treatment option than drugs or surgery. Dr. Ornish’s whole foods plant-based diet is naturally low in both fat and refined carbohydrates. The diet is one of four equally important components of his transformational Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease™.

The U.S. News rankings are determined by a panel of nationally recognized health experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease. The experts reviewed information on 35 diet plans, scoring each in seven categories: short-term weight loss, long-term weight loss, ease of compliance, nutritional completeness, health risks and ability to prevent or manage diabetes and heart disease.

“Our program is based on addressing the underlying causes of heart disease and many other chronic diseases, which are the lifestyle choices we make each day: eat well, stress less, move more and love more,” said Dr. Ornish. “My colleagues and I appreciate U.S. News for helping people understand that these comprehensive lifestyle changes can not only help prevent but even reverse heart disease, early-stage prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes, and help people reduce or discontinue medications for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels (under their doctor’s supervision). 

“Also, we proved that changing diet and lifestyle changed over 500 genes in only three months—turning on genes that keep us healthy, turning off genes that make us sick. We also found that these diet and lifestyle changes begin to reverse aging at a cellular level by lengthening telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes that control how long we live. It’s not all or nothing-- the more closely people followed our diet, the more they improved.”   
KentuckyOne Health is offering the Ornish Reversal Program through global well-being improvement leader Healthways, Inc. Healthways partnered with Dr. Ornish in 2013 to bring his innovative, evidence-based approach to health systems across the United States in response to growing demand from consumers and providers for approaches that address the underlying causes of disease through lifestyle changes.
 In Kentucky, the Ornish Reversal Program is currently reimbursed for qualified and eligible members of Medicare, Anthem and Aetna. Individuals with qualifying heart conditions (acute myocardial infarction within the preceding 12 months, coronary artery bypass surgery, stable angina, heart valve repair or replacement, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary stenting, and heart or heart-lung transplant) may qualify for this transformative program. In addition, there is a discounted rate for individuals who choose to pay out-of-pocket.
The KentuckyOne Healthy Lifestyle Center staff can assist in determining eligibility and insurance coverage, and in obtaining the required physician order. For more information, contact 859.313.4793 or visit
Upcoming open house events will be held at the Healthy Lifestyle Center at KentuckyOne Health Office Park at 1401 Harrodsburg Rd., Building A, Suite 480 at the following dates and times:
•       Monday, February 1, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
•       Wednesday, February 17, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

About Dean Ornish, M.D.
Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ornish received his M.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine, was a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School, and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He earned a B.A. in Humanities summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin, where he gave the baccalaureate address.

Dr. Ornish was appointed by President Barack Obama to the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health in 2010 and, previously, by President Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy in 2000. He chaired the Google Health Advisory Council 2007-2009.

He has received numerous national and professional awards including being honored by LIFE magazine as “one of the fifty most influential members of his generation”, being recognized as “one of the most interesting people of 1996” by People magazine; and having been described in Forbes magazine as "one of the seven most powerful teachers in the world."

The Ornish diet, a critical component of the Ornish Program, was rated #1 for heart health by U.S. News & World Report in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
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About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including, hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved.  The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.

About Healthways
Healthways is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant’s health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 68 million people on four continents. Learn more at

Publish date: 

Monday, January 25, 2016