A Low Fat Diet is, quite simply, looking like the most powerful and promising diet on the planet right now. It is particularly important for most middle-aged and senior men to consider, because modern living is so hard on the endothelium and prostate and, as we’ll show below, some of the big benefits of a Low Fat Diet deal with these. NOTE: This diet is sometimes called the Ornish Diet, because it was popularized in several studies from famed researcher Dr. Dean Ornish.
Really the Low Fat Diet might better be called The Last Chance Diet as it offers a final chance for healing to all those who have destroyed their health through a Western diet and lifestyle. Think I’m exagerrating? Judge for yourself. Below are some of the key benefits – and they are huge – of a Low Fat Diet:
NOTE: One diet that has done poorly in the research, contrary to popular opinion, is the Atkins (or Low Carb) Diet. This type of diet is okay for weight loss, but for most people will likely lead to issues. Read about it here.)
And what a difference a Low Fat Diet can make! One study examined the hormones of 21 males who went on a Lowf Fat Diet and found that there estradiol (the “bad” estrogen or E2) dropped from 47.2 to 23.8 pg/ml on average. This is a reduction of over 50% and effectively halved their estradiol levels.  And the remarkable thing is that their testosterone stayed constant at 510 ng/dl!) This means that their testosterone-to-estrogen ratio was effectively doubled just by this simple dietary change.
CAUTION: Low testosterone or hypogonadal men generally should not reduce their estrogen any more or they can go too low and be at risk of low estrogen. See my link on Why Men Need Estrogen for more information.
2. Reversing Arteriosclerosis. One of the curses of modern living is accelerated arterial plaque buildup. In addition, men with low testosterone are even more at risk for arteriosclerosis (likely due to increased insulin levels). One of the huge benefits Dr. Ornish’s research showed was that one could actually partially reverse the plaque buildup in the arteries. Just as important, a Low Fat Diet stabilizes the plaque, because it is the unstable plaque breaking off that generally leads to most heart attacks.
So what’s the big deal about removing a little arterial plaque? Remember that this plaque is covering your precious endothelium, which is supposed to be pumping out nitric oxide to lower your blood pressure and give you erections. A diet that can actually partially reverse arteriosclerosis is proving that not only can you stop the normal plaque buildup from aging, but you can actually heal and repair your arteries and blood vessels. What middle-aged guy would not want the chance to de-age his arteries, especially the ones inside his penis??
And remember that for a normal sedentary person on a Western Diet, arterial plaque just keeps building and building at a rapid rate. Many men, by their late middle age or early senior years have 80% or 90% blockages. So it would be a remarkable accomplishment to halt this relentless process much less reverse it.
Also, consider the a Low Fat Diet does what no other technology or diet has ever been able to do. For example, Big Pharma tried to reverse arteriosclerosis by throwing various drugs at the situation and have had very limited success. Astra-Zeneca, for example, funded a study on patients with high C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels. Patients were given a placebo or a huge dose of their statin drug called Crestor, or rosuvastatin by its generic name, and did successfully reverse heart disease. However, this was a massive dose and I probably don’t need to tell you about the Nasty Statin Side Effects.
In other words, Big Pharma has pulled out their biggest guns and still cannot do what the Low Fat (or Ornish) Diet does. The Low Fat (or Ornish) Diet, as you will see below, does much, much more than just simple reduction of arterial plaque ad all without any known long term side effects!
3. Reduced Liver Fat. Decreasing arterial plaque is incredibly impressive, but just as impressive and critical to ones health is the fact that a Low Fat Diet can reduce liver fat. Fat storage in the liver has become recognized as one of the leading causes of heart disease and, undoubtedly soon, of erectile dysfunction. A Low Fat Diet can put the brakes on liver fat and even decrease it according to the latest reserach.  For more information, read my links on The Liver and Inflammation and The Liver and Insulin Resistance. (By the way, this is yet another reason that many of the Atkins, Paleo and Low Carb diets can get you into trouble quickly. They seem like a good idea but can be very hard on the heart and liver.)
4. Blood Pressure and Hypertension. Besides cleaning out your arteries, a Low Fat Diet usually very significantly lowers high blood pressure. One study of diabetics (half with heart disease) found that their average blood pressure was a high 136/79 and fell to an average of 124/72 on the Low Fat (or Ornish) Diet. This is a nice drop and put people with very serious medical condition(s) just a hair above normal! Similar results were found in individuals with ‘1,245 participants who had coronary heart disease (55%), diabetes, and/or at least three other risk factors (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and obesity)’.  High blood pressure is a huge risk factor for both erectile dysfunction and stroke. (You can also read about healthy the How Incredibly Healthy Grains For the Penis.)
How does a Low Fat Diet lower blood pressure? First of all, a Low Fat Diet is primarily plant-based and plant-based diets generally lower blood pressure, because they are high in 1) glutamic acid (NOT the excitotoxin), 2) flavanoids, 3) linolenic acid and 4) nitrates. I cover this more in my book The Peak Erectile Strength Diet. Put all these compounds together and you can make a very significant difference.
By the way, cleaning out the arteries may decrease blood pressure a bit in and of itself. The less narrow the arteries, the less pressure.
5. Erections and Erectile Dysfunction. Low Fat Diets will help many men with their erectile dysfunction simply because of #1 and #2. In this link on Low Fat Diets and Your Sex Life, I discuss how there is a direct and almost linear relationship between cholesterol and erectile strength. And, as we’ll discuss below, a Low Fat Diet is the most powerful diet for lowering cholesterol.
NOTE: Have you heard that Low Fat Diets hammer testosterone? I have! The truth is that there are several studies that show either zero change or very little change in testosterone. For more information, see my link on Low Fat Diets and Testosterone.
6. Prostate Protection. Most meat eaters hammer their prostates for decades with risky heterocylic amines, the delicious black charred stuff on your meat from high temperature cooking. These HCA’s as they are called slowly injure the cells in the prostate, leaving men much more prone to cancer. Couple that with rising estrogen levels from weight gain and you have a deadly combination that leads almost all men down a path of prostate cancer. (Most men in Western societies, if they live long enough, will have at a minimum some of the slower-growing prostate cancer cells residing in their prostate.)
7. Morning Erections. You must give this a few weeks or even months, but, anecdotally, some men will experience increased morning erections as your endothelial function is restored by the Low Fat Diet. As your arteries are cleared out and your blood pressure is lowered, you may notice some pleasant surprises.
8. Telomerase. One of the key theories of aging deal with telomeres, the shortening of one’s chromosomes, and the enzyme, telomerase, that controls this process. As your body ages, most tissues have a certain number of cell divisions that they can undergo before they begin to “wither” and become dysfunctional.
As it turns out, research by Dr. Ornish showed that a Low Fat Diet increased telomerase activity in immune cells.  For more information, read my link on Telomeres and Telomerase.
9. Cholesterol. Many men suffer with chronically elevated cholesterol levels. They have tried everything they can think of, including medications, and just cannot get their cholesterol under control. What they and their doctors have missed: some men are very sensitive to saturated fat. Even small amounts of saturated fat in their diet sends their cholesterol through the roof. A Low Fat Diet is famed for its cholesterol lowering abilities.
Vitrually all men that go on a Low Fat Diet will find their cholesterol below 150. Remember that 150 is the magic number at which no heart disease occurs. Research has shown – read the China Study by Campbell for details – that cultures with cholesterol below 150 have dramatically reduced heart disease.
10. Mood. A Low Fat Diet has been found to boost mood in a couple of studies. For example, one study looked at dieting via Low Carb or Low Fat and found that Low Fat was clearly superior in the area of mood and cognitive function. See also How to Control Appetite and Boost Mood through Diet.
11. Unbeatable with Exercise. If you couple a Low Fat Diet with exercise, the combination appears to be unbeatable. For example, researchers studied just this scenario: they put patients with mild heart problems – and a high percentage of middle-aged and beyond me on a Western Diet would be in that category – on a Low Fat Diet (not as strict as the Ornish however) along with intense exercise. What did they find? You guessed it: drastically reduced heart disease and dramatically reduced injury to the arterial walls.  This stuff works.
The Tarahumara are yet another example of this. This native people in northern Mexico eat a Low Fat Diet and have cholesterol levels in the 120’s! They also exercise intensely, both in normal daily mountain living, and in ultramarathon sporting events that are part of their culture. This society has NO heart disease and almost imperectible rates of hypertension in both young and old. They also are known for incredible longevity and energy. Again, a Low Fat Diet and exercise are a powerful combination.
12. Weight Loss. Another big benefit of a Low Fat Diet is weight loss. I have had me write into me on a Low Fat Diet and ask how they can get more calories. The reason is that Low Fat foods, such as whole grain, vegetables, beans/legumes, etc. are almost all high volume foods that fill you up with minimal calories. Remember that fat is the much more dense calorically than either protein or carbohydrate. So most men find that it gives a lean, muscular fit look that you had back in your early twenties. And, by the way, that’s what most women want! I talk about this more in my link on Muscle Madness.
13. Save Money. A Low Fat Diet can be a great money saver. Let’s face it: the most expensive items in your diet are, by far, meat. Brown rice, beans, etc. – these are pennies on the dollar relatively speaking.
14. Reduced Supplement Costs. The Low Fat Diet is so powerful that you will likely be able to throw away many supplements. Some of you are dropping a hundred bucks or more a month, trying to fix your erectile dysfunction and other issues. You may be able to completely eliminate almost all of that.
NOTE: All the signs point to the Low Fat (or Ornish) Diet being very good for erectile strength. Read this link on How the Low Fat Diet is Good for your Sex Life.
So are there any cautions? Just a few and I include them below:
1. You have to let your colon adjust for a few days. All those veges and beans and fiber can make your belly feel like the Hindenburg. But, trust me, the pressure dies down quickly as your GI tract adjusts as well.
2. Grains are a common source of food allergy. If you have any issues – usually in adults it is a feeling the throat tightening or possibly nausea – then you may want to get tested.
3. Depending on your dietary pattern before going on a Low Fat Diet, there is some chance that it could lower your testosterone a little. Usually, one is more than compensated by the improved endothelial function, blood flow and nitric oxide, but it may be something watch out for. However, if you have heart disease and erectile dysfunction, then you should – ask your doctor first of course! – go on the Ornish Diet anyway to partially reverse your problems. Remember that erectile dysfunction is primarily a cardiovascular problem. The Low Fat Diet will help the great majority of guys out there with this issue.
1) Lancet,1990,336:129-33;Am. J. Cardiol,2003,91:1316-22
3) Circulation, 1992, 86:1-11
4) The Lancet Oncology, 9(11):1048-1057, “Increased telomerase activity and comprehensive lifestyle changes: a pilot study”
6) Ann Med, 2005, 37(5):347-56, “Fat in the liver and insulin resistance”
7) Am J Med, 1985 Jan, 78(1):23-7, “Effects of a high-complex-carbohydrate, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet on levels of serum lipids and estradiol”