Welcome Dr Mercola Readers!

Thank you, Dr Mercola, for introducing your readers to our diet.

Perfect Health Diet is a refined Paleo diet: Paleo, meaning it is the sort of diet that would have been eaten by hunter-gatherers in the Paleolithic, but refined using many sources of knowledge including traditional cuisines and modern scientific research. It is much easier than other Paleo diets to adopt, because we support eating white rice, which makes noodles, crackers, gluten-free breads available to support the full range of foods.

We believe that the healthiest diet is a tasty diet. Our taste preferences evolved to guide us to healthy food. So a healthy diet is delicious. This is why ice cream — properly prepared, a healthy food — is on the cover of our book. The tastiest foods often combine fats and carbs, and this pairing is central to a healthy diet, as suggested in our Perfect Health Diet Food Plate:

The mission of this web site, PerfectHealthDiet.com, is to learn how diet can be used to treat or cure diseases; and to help our readers attain a full life of excellent health. Toward that end, we have a “Q&A” page where we take reader questions, and a “Reader Results” page where we record outcomes.

Please take a look around our site. We typically post 3 times a week:

  • Once or twice midweek, when we discuss the science of diet and disease;
  • On Saturday, when we survey what’s going on “Around the Web”;
  • On Sunday, when we put up a recipe or food post.

You can find topics of interest to you by browsing the “Categories” in the sidebar. We’ve given a lot of time to hypothyroidism, blood lipids, obesity, migraines, and infectious disease, among other topics.

If you’re interested in following the “safe starches” debate, Dr. Ron Rosedale has added a new installment to the series. The whole history:

Thank you for coming and I hope you find our work helpful to your health journey!

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22 Comments.

  1. Dr. Mercola had a big influence on me when I was transitioning from low fat, low protein diets to healthier ones. I did nutritional typing, avoided the things Dr. Mercola avoids, and ate a lot of raw eggs and whey protein. He’s still a valuable source for health news and views, although I don’t rely on his site as much anymore.

    We’re on the same team. Team Healthy!

    …man that sounded lame. Oh well. Yeah!

  2. “We’ll discuss how to have a lean, athletic body composition, and offer 20 tips for maintaining optimal fitness throughout life.”

    I would love to know the 20 tips! I miss my athletic body.

  3. Hi,

    I would also love a blog post on the topic of “20 tips for maintaining optimal fitness throughout life.”

    I currently on a PHD diet and leangains traning protocol with very good results, but would love to learn more about the topic.

    Thanks again for an inspiring and informative blog

  4. Hi Stabby,

    Agreed! Rah for Team Healthy!

    Hi Jay, Ole,

    I’ll do a blog post on them. I promised that to CrossFit NYC.

  5. Hi, Paul!

    I’ve been thinking for a while that you might want to call “safe starches” something different, like “optimal starches” or some such. “Safe” sounds like they don’t harm so are OK for a treat or something. Necessary starches? Healthy starches?

    I am working on a gluten free potato bread today. If it’s successful, I’ll post in the recipe thread.

    I look forward to the “20 tips” post!

  6. Hi Paul,

    Regular reader of your site here…I think your approach and the way it influenced my naturopath helped me a great deal when my wife and I were developing health problems on a very low parb paleo diet.

    I do take issue with this statement a bit though:
    “We strongly believe that the healthiest diet is the tastiest diet. Our taste preferences evolved to guide us to healthy food. So a healthy diet should be delicious and full of pleasure”

    Although I agree that there is no reason healthy can’t be AMAZINGLY delicious and certainly is for us, this statement is a bit flawed. I have heard it said and believe that our tastes evolved to enjoy the foods that are the most available, i.e. people believe they eat what they enjoy but actually they simply enjoy what they eat. If we change what you eat, we will develop a taste for the new diet, learn better preparation methods, etc. and it becomes what we enjoy. I have relatives who would be extremely adept at reading your statement and saying to me “see, he says we prefer what is healthy, and I prefer breads and pastas and candies”. I know you didn’t mean it that way, but some people are just looking for excuses to keep eating what they have always eaten.

    I feel bad being even the least bit critical because your book is the one that makes the most sense of all those that are paleo-ish.

    Thanks for your work and may the Tao be with you.

  7. Hi Steph,

    I do think glucose is very safe so I’m happy with the term “safe starches.” Optimal, necessary, and healthy have their own drawbacks.

    Please do post your potato bread recipe, we’re experimenting with PHD breads ourselves!

    Hi Brak,

    Please don’t feel bad, I enjoy getting well-founded criticism! It helps me learn and keeps me honest.

    It is quite true that people learn to enjoy what they eat. There is a Pavlovian learning response in the brain’s food reward system. However, there are also innate preferences. Some things are easy to learn to like; other things, like kale, are very difficult to learn to like.

    So perhaps I should qualify that statement, but I hope readers familiar with our diet and food plate will understand that just because “forbidden foods taste sweet” does not mean they are good for you … rather good food will come to taste delicious to you before long.

    Best, Paul

  8. Hi Paul,

    I have no doubt that readers familiar with our diet and food plate will understand. In the spirit of this post being a “welcome” post, I just meant to clarify and provide a newcomer perspective. Yeah, my wife still doesn’t like it when I put raw mustard greens in our salads. 😛

    I like “safe starches” too; whether “safe”, “optimal” or “healthy”, the poison is still in the dose. “Safe” being just north of neutral sounds about right. Plus its catchy, I’ve seen the phrase on other blogs and heard it on podcasts.

    Yes! Bread recipes please…good bread is so hard to come by and even harder to make. Wheat based breads taste like paste to me now.

  9. OK, Paul, you know best, re: “safe starches”! I’m very grateful to you for your pro-starch message, as I feel so good with them back in my diet.

    Alas, the potato bread stank.

    Re: bread, though, I’ve tried a couple recipes from Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts, and they are quite good and bread-y, and especially good as toast, or garlic bread broiled to a crispy brown, but! alas, they have millet. I know that may be fine for some, but not for hypothyroids. So, back to the drawing board.

  10. Hi Paul.
    I’m about half way through the book and am enjoying it very much. It appears I’m eating too much meat. I’m an active crossfitter trying to build muscle, but I eat over a lb of meat some days. Are there symptoms of protein toxicity from eating too much? Thanks for all of your great work.
    Ben

  11. Hi Ben,

    I think 1 to 1.3 lb meat is the upper limit of our “safe” range, 1.3 to 1.6 lb may have insidious negative effects that you probably wouldn’t notice, and you might start noticing effects as you get above 1.6 lb.

    You might detect an ammonia odor in breath or sweat.

    Once you reach 1 lb or so, there’s more to be gained by increasing carbs than by increasing protein. If you do add protein above 1 lb, I would look to BCAA supplements and gelatin rather than meat.

  12. Steph,

    I have had good success with a rice-potato sourdough type loaf that doesn’t contain any millet. This takes a couple of days, as you need to let some rice & water & yeast ferment first for the starter. I don’t have the recipe with me at the moment, but I’ll find it, and post it here.

  13. Thanks for the reply. I do occasionally notice some strange underarm odor but I don’t know if it smells like ammonia. I’ll keep an eye out for it. Er, nose. I was suspecting it was caused by overindulgence of nuts.

    So you mean broths and such when you say gelatin?

    Just for context, yesterday I had a 3 eggs and 3 bacon strips for breakfast, a salad with chicken, feta and olive oil for lunch, sirloin (probably a bit more than a half lb), sweet potato in butter and kale in butter for dinner and a kefir, blueberry and pecan treat for dessert.

    Ben

  14. Carol, that’s very kind of you! Whenever you get a chance to post it (in the recipe thread?) I’ll definitely try it. I love sourdough bread.

  15. @Ben,

    that sounds tasty! And I don’t think it gives you too much (more then 600 cal.) of protein except that chicken in the salad was a bigger then 1/2 lb chunk.
    I would go easy on the nuts and add some safe starch (e.g. mashed potatoes instead of sweet potato and add a banana for breakfast). And like Paul said, add some BCAA, preferably in the morning and around workouts.

  16. Is the term, ‘safe starches’ an oxymoron? - pingback on November 24, 2011 at 8:33 am
  17. Hi Paul,

    The PHD book is fantastic and the blog is a great source of ongoing inspiration for me, thank you.

    I have been very curious to see how the Mercola/Jaminet diet recommendations mesh and particularly interested in where they don’t. I know Mercola is a big proponent of vegetable juicing and have had a hard time finding info. on the PHD blog addressing the usefulness of juicing. Is it as magically healing as some people so ardently believe?

  18. Paul,

    I notice that you have nuts as a pleasure food, and I was wondering your thoughts on using peeled/boiled/roasted chestnuts as a source safe of carbs/glucose which can be eaten on a regular basis. I was thinking that the toxins which are concerning in large quantities of nuts may be lessened in chestnuts?..and I just read in Nourshing Traditions that they can be considered a vegetable.

    Also, your opinion on canned foods–I tend to cook with (and eat!) a lot of canned chestnut puree (just peeled chesnuts and water) this time of year and I am concerned about toxins in the cans building up over time.

    Thanks!
    Elise

  19. Hi Elise,

    Chestnuts are great. They are a traditional food in Asia as well as Europe; Shou-Ching ate boiled chestnuts many times as a child. It was their second starch source after rice.

    We still obtain fresh chestnuts in the fall when they are in season and cook them.

    I am not that knowledgeable on the risks of canned food. As I understand it they are that metals could be leached from the can by acids, or that lining materials to prevent that might have toxic compounds like BPA that can enter food. But I’m not familiar with how the levels that actually enter food compare to the doses that are known to cause toxicity; nor which foods are most likely to draw toxins from the lining. The other issue is whether the food itself is damaged from long storage, or from heating during the canning process. It’s possible for food to go bad, even within a can.

    Chris Kresser has written about this topic, he may be more knowledgeable. Uncanned food is definitely preferable but I know there are circumstances when canned food is the only or best option.

  20. Hi,

    I although i agree with most of your diet guidelines i dont think there is a specific perfect healty diet %. Look at Okinawa people. They have much more carbs and less fat then the PDH says and were the people with best longetivity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_diet and http://211.76.170.15/server/APJCN/Volume10/vol10.2/Sho.pdf

    I think that there are several good proportions. Not necessarily one better then the other.

    Cheers…

  21. Hi tiago,

    The Okinawan diet varied substantially from the WWII era onward, it used to be very high in fat. In any case I don’t think varying carbs upward is much of a loss until you start getting lipid-deficient.

  22. From what i have read from several sources the Okinawan never was really rich in fat. They used to have every month a festivity where they would eat lots of fat from pork. So they would have a low-fat on their daily diet with occasional high fat ‘compensation’.

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