Home > Diets > Calorie Counting Diet Navigation    
User Rating


of people who tried this diet like it

+ - Tried it? Rate it!
out of 100
based on 7 reviews
Pritikin Diet

Pritikin Diet Review (UPDATED 2024): Don't Buy Before You Read This!

It's a diet more about healthy living than weight loss.

Top Rated Diets of 2024
What is it?

The Pritikin Diet is a weight loss diet that emphasizes eating unprocessed whole foods and adding exercise for optimal health. It recommends eating a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat and protein.

All the information is available in the official book entitled “The Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise”. It’s self-proclaimed to be the safest and most effective weight loss diet. The claimed benefits include a healthier, longer, and more youthful life. Our review experts analyze many kinds of diets and they’ve found the most effective for weight loss is the 18Shake Diet. It can help suppress appetite for hours and burn fat using a diet pill and a meal replacement shake. Many positive testimonials and reviews are available from customers who’ve lost significant weight. To discover more about the 18Shake Diet, click on the link here.  

Do You Know the Best Diets of 2024?

Pritikin Diet Ingredients and Side Effects

The diet emphasizes foods which are either only slightly processed or unprocessed. It’s also low on calories, fats and protein while increasing carbohydrates. The following food recommendations are made:

• At least 5 ½ cup serving of complex carbohydrates.  This includes foods such as quinoa, brown rice, oats, beans, whole wheats, legumes, sweet potatoes and other foods. No refined foods such as white rice or pasta are allowed.

• 5 servings of vegetables a day. This amounts to around a ½ cup of cooked vegetables or a cup of raw vegetables. They advise mixing both raw and cooked vegetables with an emphasis on bright colors.

Our review experts have crafted a best of list of the highest rated weight loss diets.

• Protein is limited to 3.5 ounces a day with an emphasis on shellfish and fish. You can also have a serving of skinless chicken or a once a week portion of grass fed, free-range bison. A serving of red meat is recommended just once a month.

Additional protein can be in the form of two egg whites daily or some sort of vegetable protein such as soy, legumes, or beans.

• Nonfat diary is allowed with maximum of 2 servings. This can be in the form of a cup of milk, ¾ cup of yogurt, or a ½ cup of ricotta.

You’re also allowed to drink a cup of coffee or 3 cups of caffeinated tea a day. Water is highly recommended. Alcohol is limited to 4 drinks for women, and 7 for men per week.

There are some good suggestions made, but it severely restricts protein and fats. This can potentially cause side effects such as:

       • Malnutrition, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.

       • Mood swings, irritability, and headaches.

• Lack of energy, decreased immune function, and extreme hunger.

Healthy Living has also reviewed this diet and has said there’s a possibility for:

• Boredom with the limit on what you can eat.

• Deprivation from common and favorite foods.

• Reduced mineral and vitamin absorption.

• Increased gas and bathroom issues.

There’s a potential risk for many kind of side effects which can be dangerous.

Click the link cited here for a comprehensive list of the highest rated weight loss diets.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this diet with a proven meal replacement such as 18 Shake for better results.

Pritikin Diet Quality of Ingredients

This diet does allow for many healthy foods, but it also places a strict limit on fats and protein. Both are needed for healthy weight loss and for a healthy body.

It can be extremely challenging and possibly unhealthy to reduce fats and protein this severely. Diets like this may contribute to weight loss in the short term due to the severe limit on many common foods.

However, since it can be difficult to stop eating many common foods, it’s often likely that you’ll overeat and gain weight in the future. A list of the top ranked weight loss diets is featured in the link here.

Live Strong.com has also said this of similar diets:

“limiting protein and fat can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Sugar is a carbohydrate, and it is free from protein and fat”

They also add:

“it is a source of calories without essential nutrients, and sugary foods are not the centerpiece of a healthy diet”

This is why it’s highly advised to not adopt a diet similar to the Pritikin Diet; it may potentially lead to serious deficiencies.

The Price and Quality of Pritikin Diet

The official book is available on Amazon.com for $0.01 on Amazon.com. This low price is due to the fact that the diet is extremely old. Other prices to consider are from the mostly vegetable based whole foods one will be eating. It can take more time since you’re not allowed any processed or prepackaged foods; everything you eat has to be fresh.

The diet itself is poor due to the extreme limit of fats and protein. Both of these macronutrients are essential for the body to function properly. Without them it’s possible for people to experience multiple side effects.

Dr. Kendra Pearsall has reviewed this diet and concluded:

“You will become ill very quickly”

“You will have no energy”

“You will be constantly hungry”

This is just a few of the criticisms she had of the diet. She also mentioned how once you being eating normally after restraining yourself that you’ll regain any weight lost. The claim is that by restricting yourself so much the body will demand more calories from fats and protein. This can then lead to overeating.

It can also be hard to sustain since it requires you to limit many common foods. This diet is dated however and it’s now known that eating healthy fat and protein is essential for not just weight loss, but for overall health. Discover which weight loss diets were featured in the top ranked list.

Business of Pritikin Diet

The creator of this diet is the now deceased Nathan Pritikin. He came up with this diet while trying to research a healthy way to reduce the risk of heart disease.

It’s modeled after the claimed eating habits of primitive cultures which was mostly vegetarian. The book was written in 1979 and has sold over a million copies.

The diet has since been described as a fat diet, and there’s no evidence to suggest that all our ancestors had access to only low fat and mostly vegetarian diets.

A Dr. Kendra Pearsall has said this of the diet:

“Pritikin did not understand nutrition and biochemistry”

She adds how the claims made by the diet clearly show that he was unaware of what the body needs to sustain itself and to function normally. In her analysis of the Pritikin Diet she also adds how the depression experienced by the creator is likely due to not getting enough fats.  It’s known that when fats are reduced it limits brain function and can support depression and mood swings.

EDITOR’S TIP: The top 10 list of the best diets is available here.

Customer Opinions of Pritikin Diet

Here are a few select reviews taken from users of the Pritikin Diet:

“There’s just not enough fats allowed. I don’t think it would be bad to eat the foods not allowed on this diet”

“Eating like this is a road to disaster it bans so many healthy fats”

“You won’t feel good and you’ll constantly be hungry all the time”

“Once you’re forced to start eating normal you’ll regain any of the weight you lost”

Many found the diet difficult to follow, as it does not allow for several common foods. People also took issue with the low allowance of fat.

There were issues having to do with side effects and with a lack of lasting weight loss. Some had extreme cravings that made it impossible to follow the diet. The kinds of side effects experienced included headaches, nausea, fatigue, trembling, and difficulty concentrating.

To see a comprehensive list of the highest rated weight loss diets, click on the link here.

Conclusion - Does Pritikin Diet Work?

A good part of this diet is the fact that you’ll be eating a largely whole food, unprocessed diet full of vegetables and whole grains. The main issue however, is that it emphasizes eating in a way that is not scientifically proven to be better for weight loss. Reducing protein and fats to this limit may lead to deficiencies and serious side effects. This is why there are many users who couldn’t use it for long periods. Some people had to quit due to side effects and because of extreme hunger.

By reviewing many kinds of diets, our review experts have found that the most effective is the 18Shake Diet. It offers a fat burning diet pill and an appetite surpassing meal replacement shake. Users have experienced weight loss results and left positive testimonials and reviews. There’s only natural ingredients added that are free of stimulants, preservatives, colors, binders, harsh additives, or any artificial ingredients.

Each ingredient is made in a FDA approved, GMP certified facility. This seal of approval ensures that there’s a 3rd party to review the manufacturing process, ensuring routine quality and safety of each ingredient. For more about the 18Shake Diet click on the link cited here.

How Does Pritikin Diet Compare?
  • Product Name
  • User Rating
  • Easy to follow
  • Cheap Price
  • Fast Results
  • Pritikin Diet
  • 36 /100
  • .
  • .

> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 1 of 1, 14 total comments)


The diet is not low in protein at all - it limits animal protein. It is abundant in plant-based proteins.

posted Mar 12th, 2018 7:28 pm

B Blount

I did forget to say Pritikin is a diet for people with strong self discipline and a willingness to go against the grain of popular culture. I'm sure looking at death square in the face helps too.

posted Dec 5th, 2017 8:57 am

B Blount

My dad had a serious heart attack at 47. By the time he was 63, he had had another 4 heart attacks and was at the point where he had to stop and lean against a wall several times in a block. He went his doctor who told him to get his affairs in order, that henly had a month or two to live and there was nothing that could be done. As Dad left the office stopped him and said there was this man in California that seemed to be having success with heart disease, diabetes and other conditions. His name was Nathan Pritikin. Dad and Mom went out and stayed three weeks. Dad was in pain constantly, walked with difficulty, had incredible trouble walking, had high blood pressure. He and Mom stayed three weeks. When they went home, Dad was able to walk a mile with no problem. He had lost significant weight, felt good - very little pain. His blood pressure. There was permanent heart disease from his heart attacks, but he lived another 3 1/2 years feeling great. He and Mom walked a brisk several miles in the Forest Preserve every day. Mom stayed on the Pritikin Diet. She just celebrated her100th birthday. She just renewed her driving license, still sells real estate and lives in her own house and climbs stairs everyday to her second floor bedroom. Mom had no problem adjusting to the Pritikin diet. Dad missed meat and whole eggs (Pritikin allows egg whites only) for the first two months. I highly recommend the Pritikin.

posted Dec 5th, 2017 8:53 am



Too low in fat. Plant based fats are healthy IMHO, in moderation,and provide satiety and flovor. I've read that fat intake between 20-30% is optimal.

It's not vegan. I don't feel that animal flesh/products are at all healthy fare.

That its ok to eat some refined grains... White pasta isn't heslthy even if eaten with vegetables.

posted Sep 3rd, 2015 11:25 pm



I have been on Pritikin since the end of July 2013 (4 months now) and I have adjusted very well to eating in this way. I suggest that anyone should find a copy of THE PRITIKIN PROGRAM FOR DIET AND EXERCISE by Nathan Pritikin & Patrick McGrady (Bantam Books 1980--it's out of print but it was a huge seller in paperback and it can be found in any second-hand book store or rummage store). The book states what can be eaten, what can't be eaten, and why. My cholesterol is down from the highest it ever was--235 at 193 lbs. at my fattest--to 135 overall blood serum cholesterol currently at 145lbs. This for an almost 50 year old man!

posted Nov 23rd, 2013 7:56 pm



My Nutritionist is the one who told me about the Pritikin Diet. It was not easy to follow because as they say it takes commitment & hard work to be able to succeed. Set a goal in your mind and picture a healthier you. it's the best gift you could ever give to yourself. No more pain, no more pills, no more fast foods. Start today. I did it & when it was time to go back for my annual check-ups my cholesterol levels were just right. It's about living a better life & feeling great. I strongly recommend this diet.

posted Nov 5th, 2011 3:45 pm



If food is one of your gods, Pritiken may not work for you. If you can understand that food is fuel and not entertainment, you will benefit from the Pritiken Program. If you can discipline your eating habits, Pritiken will work for you no matter what stage you are in.

posted Jun 8th, 2011 2:12 pm



As a participant in the program, I witnessed miracle changes in health through the power of diet and exercise. I saw people in jeopardy of losing their limbs to diabetes learn to control it without medication. As for myself, my BP went from 180/120 to 111/76 without any drugs. So, if you need to drastically reduce your sugar, salt, or fat in your diet, this is excellent. However, if you are someone who is addicted to food and eats because you are hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or bored, you will not be able to sustain this diet over the long run.

posted Apr 1st, 2011 5:20 am


Pritikin is really excellent if you can do it. The cavemen did pritikin.

posted Feb 16th, 2011 11:36 am

Stephen Francis

I followed this for 3 years and dropped weight from 15 stone to 10 stone. Managed to resist temptation by finding specific allowed items that I liked. Hunger was not a problem but craving for protein was (I did not eat meat at all). Protein craving was satisfied by kidney beans. Went off the diet as I relaxed back into a normal lifestyle. You will need to keep allowed food with you for when you get hungry as it is difficult to get allowed items from fast food outlets.

posted May 7th, 2009 7:00 pm

Patti Giffin


..this is a great way to eat -- can not imagine ever being hungary on this regime -- you are allowed meat/poultry in moderation (portions are controlled) where there is no portion control over raw fruit and vegetables...the big adjustment is to no salt, no processed foods and minimal oils. Very satisfying way to eat - and your energy will increase and your health improvements will just continue to get better --- and a side benefit is losing weight!

posted Apr 2nd, 2009 4:05 pm


When I first read about this diet (many, many years ago), I felt it was way too restrictive. In light of what the medical community has discovered about fats--that some of them are actually good for you and don't cause heart disease--I am even more convinced that it is too restrictive. I agree with "yayadash23" that it is more for disease recovery/prevention for those that have serious heart problems.

posted Mar 4th, 2008 12:07 pm


Pritikin diet is very high in vegetables...and with the fiber I couldn't stay out of the bathroom


this is more for disease recovery/prevention than a diet...I still might try it just for a healthier body


Leave Feedback

Or, proceed without an account


Already a member?

BACKGROUNDBACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

Most of us don't make the drastic dietary changes until we learn of our poor health. Nathan Pritikin did the same in the '50s after learning he had heart disease. He quickly created a low-fat, high-fiber diet regimen accompanied with exercise that proved advantageous with clean medical reports thereafter. Based on his success, Pritikin introduced his Pritikin Diet, as well as created the Pritikin Longevity Center as a resource for other suffering similar health problems.

The Pritikin Diet requires serious commitment as it is nearly a wholly vegetarian program that is low in cholesterol, nearly void of fat and high in fiber. The Pritikin Diet recommends considerable amounts of whole grain and vegetables. You'll have about six meals each day with limited serving sizes. There are absolutely no processed grains like white bread or instant rice. The diet’s main objective is to create whole health. Studies have shown that the Pritikin diet can help reduce heart disease risks, help prevent and control type 2 diabetes and possibly some cancers. The diet also claims to promote healthy, long-term weight loss.

Main Website: Pritkin.com

Do You Know the Best Diet Pills of 2024?

  • May decrease risk of common illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
  • Claims to reduce cancer risks
  • Claims to promote healthy weight loss
  • Backed by substantial research to support the long-term health benefits
  • No special foods must be purchased
  • The diet is a lifestyle, not a temporary solution for losing weight
  • The plan is intended to create whole body wellness
  • Uses mind-body medicine to improve mental well-being to accompany the physical wellness
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Promotes fitness
  • Meat is limited on the Pritikin plan, especially red meat
  • One serving of animal protein a day is recommended, no more
  • Caffeine is limited on the plan
  • Many restrictions: some foods are limited to once a month
  • Uses healthy mind-body medicine to promote wellness, may not have as much research to back up these practices

Exercise is an important component of the Pritikin Diet. The three main focuses are cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, and stretching. Cardio is recommended about 30 to 90 minutes six days a week. Many activities ranging from walking to jogging or rowing all fall under appropriate cardio activities. Strength training is recommended for about 20 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Any sort of resistance training is acceptable from elastic bands to free weights. Stretching is needed daily for about 10 minutes at a time.


Pritikin is a very healthy diet as it eliminates nearly all cholesterol-containing foods and emphasizes fresh fruit and vegetables along with whole grains. The diet is intended to create a very healthy body, and mind as emotional well-being is a pillar in the whole program. The diet could be a tough transition for those who have eaten meat-heavy diets. The exercise is rather intense for a beginner, but seems sound in it’s reasoning, as it aims to promote longevity. As we all know, if you don’t use it, you lose it. So, consequently, if one follows the plan of healthy eating and exercise, weight loss will follow those who need to shed pounds.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

Pritkin Diet, Prikin Diet, Pritiken Diet

Whats better than
Pritikin Diet?